Five new cases recorded as schools, kindergartens join exposure sites

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Five new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 have emerged in Victoria in the past day, bringing the total number of community cases recorded since last Monday to 46.

Exposure sites now include several aged care homes, schools and kindergartens, as well as shops in Chadstone, bus routes, display homes, workplaces, grocery stores, restaurants and cafes across Melbourne.

One ‘mystery case’ emerged on Sunday, in an aged care worker, a woman in her 50s. She worked at Arcare in Maidstone, and no other sites. Several other facilities run by other operators have since gone into deeper lockdown, due to concerns other staff working across sites may have been exposed.

There are 54 active cases in the state, including nine recorded in hotel quarantine. As of Sunday night, one patient was in hospital.

It is not yet clear how today’s five new cases are connected to the existing outbreaks stemming from Whittlesea and Port Melbourne, and now the third outbreak in aged care.

A preschool in Viewbank closed on Monday morning after a staff member visited a coronavirus tier 1 exposure site.

Viewbank Preschool emailed families to warn them that anyone who had been in contact with the staff member would have to isolate “until our staff member returns a negative COVID test”.

“This means that all staff and children and any parents who visited the Preschool between Saturday May 22 and today are considered secondary close contacts until our staff member has returned a negative test,” the email said.

Fairy Hills Kindergarten in Ivanhoe has also been closed and listed as a tier 1 exposure site after a positive case attended the site.

Willmott Park Primary School in Craigieburn, which was only open to the children of essential workers and those who are vulnerable, has also been closed.

Thousands of Victorian primary and secondary students have returned to home learning this week after schools were closed for the duration of Victoria’s latest seven-day lockdown.

Kinders and childcare centres were allowed to remain open.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath and loss or change in sense of smell or taste.

You can find your nearest testing site, and see how long you can expect to wait, on the Victorian government’s website.

More to come

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