By Jackson Russell
Another new case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Kilmore, with an Oddfellows Cafe staff member contracting the virus after an infectious person had breakfast at the cafe last Wednesday.
Oddfellows Cafe owner Kim Short was informed of the positive case on Monday night and announced via social media that the cafe would be closed until at least Monday, October 19.
The Department of Health and Human Services case locations and outbreaks website has been updated and lists the cafe as a high-risk location between Wednesday, September 30 and Saturday, October 3.
Ms Short said it was heartbreaking to have to close again.
“We’re trying not to focus on ourselves at the moment and trying to focus on making sure everyone gets tested if they need it,” she said.
“If you’re in Kilmore or if you’ve passed through Kilmore, you should be getting tested if you’ve had any symptoms whatsoever.”
Ms Short said most staff members are self-isolating and some had already tested negative to the virus.
“I know my staff member has not been anywhere even before she knew. She’s only been to work and back this week,” she said.
“Pretty much most of my staff are isolating whether they’ve been told to or not.
“Some have had symptoms and are being tested today and some were tested yesterday and only the one positive came back.”
With staff self-isolating, Ms Short has had to close both Oddfellows and the Rose Cafe.
“They haven’t told us we have to shut the Rose Cafe but we have anyway just until further staff are tested,” Ms Short said.
“We just don’t want to take any risks. We’re staying closed until we feel 100 per cent confident we have a safe environment.
“We have had an enormous amount of support, I’d like to thank everyone for the support we’re receiving.”
Premier Daniel Andrews thanked Ms Short, Oddfellows Cafe staff and the broader community for their efforts to keep the virus under control.
“I’m advised that we’ve got a drive-through clinic testing there today, there’s some other pop-up activity happening,” he said.
“I understand the drive-through is basically booked out for the day so that’s just a fantastic effort and we’re very, very grateful to everybody in that community for coming forward and playing their part in trying to test then track and trace anyone in that community that might be positive as a result of that outbreak.”
From North Central Review (Tuesday, October 6):
One new case of COVID-19 was identified in Mitchell Shire on Sunday, after a confirmed case linked to the Chadstone Shopping Centre outbreak came through Kilmore last Wednesday.
The person had breakfast at Oddfellows Café on Sydney Street about 9.15am that morning and was at the café for 45 minutes.
As of Monday, there were nine new cases of COVID-19 across Victoria, bringing the state’s total active cases to 227.
With the new case in Mitchell Shire, regional Victoria’s 14 day rolling average rose to 0.3 cases while metropolitan Melbourne’s decreased to 11.6.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed on Monday that the confirmed case that attended Oddfellows Café is from metropolitan Melbourne and was not permitted to dine-in at the café.
“They would’ve had a permitted reason to leave metropolitan Melbourne, I don’t know the further details, but not to eat in a café,” he said.
“Anyone who’s coming from metro Melbourne carries their restrictions with them and should be getting takeaway only.”
Oddfellows Café owner Kim Short said she was devastated after being forced to close the café over the weekend for deep cleaning.
“We’ve tried so hard to keep running, to follow all the precautions in place. We’ve done everything we possibly can to keep everyone safe and follow all the rules,” she said.
“I am upset this person came in when they shouldn’t have and this happened, it’s turned everything upside down.”
Ms Short said she had followed all the deep cleaning instructions and advice provided by the Department of Health and Human Services while preparing to reopen the café on Tuesday.
“We’ve been in constant contact with the DHHS, Goulburn Valley Health and Mitchell Shire Council just to make sure we’re following all the protocols to reopen,” she said.
“We are ready to reopen but [we had] more of a mental health day [on Monday] because it has been extremely upsetting and stressful.”
Ms Short said the café would ‘pick up its game’ to ensure dine-in patrons are from regional Victoria.
“We’re going to ask for ID from people we don’t recognise, and we have the right to refuse service, which we will,” she said.
“I’ve always tried to have my staff’s best interest at heart and that’s what we need to do now.”