'Significant' concern for Melbourne's west

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Victorian authorities are concerned about the alarming growth of COVID-19 cases in Melbourne's west, with 60 per cent of the state's new infections based in the area.

Victoria recorded 79 new locally acquired cases on Friday, with 46 in the western suburbs including 12 in Wyndham and 11 in Newport.

COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar says Melbourne's west is "a significant area of concern" as he urged those who have visited an exposure site, or with symptoms, to get tested.

He said the west is currently dealing with "multiple chains of transmission".

"We're looking at quite significant community transmission," Mr Weimar told reporters on Friday.

"Where I have concerns is the inner-west, ongoing grumbling transmission around Newport, Wyndham, that's where we need to concentrate efforts."

Health Minister Martin Foley said the western suburbs is "disproportionately a community that is full of essential workers".

Up to 60 of Friday's cases may have been infectious in the community. Mr Foley confirmed 19 cases were self-isolating throughout their entire infectious period.

"With interviews still going on with quite a range of others, we would expect that number to grow over the course of the day," he said.

Fifty-three of the new cases are linked to known outbreaks, with the source of the remaining 26 under investigation.

Meanwhile, regional Victoria's outbreak is worsening with 10 of Friday's cases linked to the Shepparton outbreak.

The cluster has spread to nearby towns after an aged care worker in Echuca, a one hour drive from Shepparton, became infected by her partner.

The fully vaccinated woman last worked at Wharparilla Lodge in Echuca on August 20, with the 92-bed residential aged care facility now locked down.

"Given the person involved had been fully vaccinated, and had PPE equipment on, was doing all the right things, given the high levels of vaccination of residents in the facility, we hope that the response will indicate one case and one case only," Mr Foley said.

The Department of Health has reported another case in Kyabram, which sits between Echuca and Shepparton, linked to Unwin Street Preschool Kyabram, with four exposure sites in the small town.

About 16,000 residents in the Shepparton region, which has a population of 65,000, are self-isolating, forcing the closure of food distributors, supermarkets and pharmacies due to staff shortages.

Goulburn Valley Health chief executive Matt Sharp said more than 21,000 Greater Shepparton residents have been tested for COVID-19 in recent days.

About 400 food packages are being delivered to vulnerable members of the Shepparton community on Friday, as part of a multi-agency relief effort involving the Australian Red Cross and GV Cares.

Coles said home deliveries in the town were 630 per cent higher than the usual, with another five delivery vans sent to stores in the area to help with the increased demand.

The state's sixth lockdown is scheduled to end on September 2. However, it is expected to be extended given the high number of mystery cases and people infectious in the community.

"We will make all of those decisions based on the most up-to-date advice and at the moment, with another six days to go, it is too early to make that call," Mr Foley said.

There are 660 active COVID-19 cases in Victoria, 37 of which are in hospital, including 14 in intensive care, nine of whom are on a ventilator to breathe.

People in need of care or food in Shepparton are asked to call 1800 675 398 for support.

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