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Kilmore outbreak hits four, nearly 300 tested

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By Jackson Russell

The total number of COVID-19 cases linked to Kilmore’s Oddfellows Cafe outbreak has reached four while contract tracers are investigating a potential fifth case.

There are 11 new cases across Victoria today, with regional Victoria’s 14-day rolling average increasing to 0.4. Metropolitan Melbourne’s average decreased again to 9.7 overnight.

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Three of regional Victoria’s six active cases are linked to the Kilmore outbreak, which was caused by an infected Melbourne man dining in at the cafe last Wednesday morning against COVID-19 restrictions.

The man who visited the cafe is included in the four linked to the Kilmore outbreak.

Queues continue to stream down Sydney Street after 294 people were tested in Kilmore yesterday, at both The Kilmore and District Hospital’s drive-through site and a new pop-up site at Kilmore Memorial Hall.

In a social media update, Oddfellows Cafe owner Kim Short said a second Oddfellows Cafe staff member and a family member had tested positive.

Other Oddfellows and Rose Cafe staff test results came back negative. The cafes are linked through the same ownership.

“This news has broken our hearts and [I] hope they have a mild case with a quick recovery,” she said.

“Then on the other hand, we are happy to announce all other results today for staff from both cafes have been negative.

“There have been no positive cases for our staff at The Rose Cafe but all staff have been instructed to quarantine and re-test on the 11th day for both cafes.

“We are still waiting on a couple of results, which we will have over the next couple of days. Both cafes will remain closed for a minimum of 14 days.”

Other Kilmore businesses have elected to close to help contain the outbreak including Kilmore Trackside, Wolf Clothing, The Handmade Marketplace, the Gaol Cafe, and The Guitar Room.

Deputy chief health officer Allen Cheng encouraged anyone who attended the cafe between September 30 and October 3 to come forward for testing.

“So, there weren’t any cases reported yesterday. We would expect there may still be ongoing cases, but hopefully in people that we’ve identified and are in quarantine already,” he said.

“There are four official cases and one of those is the person from Chadstone that went up to Kilmore. We’re aware there’s probably a fifth case and we’re just looking into that right now.”

Health Minister Martin Foley thanked the Kilmore community for its community resolve in keeping the outbreak contained.

“The Kilmore community has done an outstanding job, all Victorians have done an outstanding job,” he said.

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