Covid Victoria: Five new suburbs on alert as housing block in isolation

Tom Flanagan
·News Reporter
·2-min read

More than 100 social-housing residents have been told not to leave their homes while people from five Melbourne suburbs are being urged to come forward for Covid-19 testing as Victorian health authorities battle to prevent a new cluster during a period of low infection across the state.

The alert comes after a student at East Preston Islamic College, in the city’s north, tested positive to coronavirus while additional cases have been linked to the outbreak.

Residents in Melbourne’s northern suburbs are being urged to watch for symptoms with Dallas, Roxburgh Park, Broadmeadows, Preston and West Heidelberg identified as particular areas of concern by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Health workers at a Melbourne coronavirus testing clinic as people line up to get tested.
Health authorities are desperately trying to stop a cluster from developing in Melbourne's north. Source: Getty Images

The additional cases are linked to a social-housing block in Broadmeadows – a setting of particular concern to health authorities due to the close living arrangements.

There are 120 residents who have been told to self-isolate for 48 hours and they have all been instructed to get tested at an on-site facility, even if they are not displaying symptoms.

“We need everyone working together to tackle this virus,” the DHHS’s testing chief Jeroen Weimar said.

A close contact has also been identified at Dallas Brooks Primary School, and as a precautionary measure the school has been closed for deep cleaning and contact tracing is underway.

“We’re asking everyone who lives in this area or who has loved ones linked to these suburbs to please get tested if they have symptoms and to share this information within their families and broader community,” Mr Weimar said.

An extensive community health door-knocking program will start Thursday morning to alert residents in identified areas about potential exposure to coronavirus and provide information about testing sites, and how to access supports such as financial assistance.

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