GEELONG ON LOCKDOWN WATCH
State reviewing daily after new outbreaks at childcare centre and Corio Bay factory Anger as Melburnians urged to leave coast
THE state government is ready to lock Geelong down at a moment’s notice with officials reviewing the region’s coronavirus status every day.
Victoria’s chief health officer, Professor Brett Sutton, confirmed the region was being watched closely as it was revealed a child at an Ocean Grove childcare centre and a worker at a North Shore factory had tested positive to COVID-19.
A CHILD at an Ocean Grove childcare centre has tested positive for coronavirus and seven staff at a North Shore fertiliser manufacturer are waiting to see if they have COVID-19 after a workmate was confirmed to be carrying the infection.
The Boorai Centre in Shell Road told families late on Thursday it would be closed until further notice.
The City of Greater Geelong said the centre was shut for a deep clean following advice from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that a confirmed case of COVID-19 had attended the centre on Thursday, July 2.
The council said the child did not display any symptoms and was not visibly unwell on the day.
The council on Friday undertook a deep, environmental clean of the facility and assessed further control measures.
Council employees identified to have come into contact with the affected child will be tested and will remain at home during a quarantine period determined by the DHHS.
At North Shore, seven staff from Incitec Pivot have been tested for coronavirus after a Geelong engineering team member, who lives in Melbourne, tested positive this week.
An Incitec Pivot spokeswoman said the contractor had not been at work since Thursday, July 2, when they showed no symptoms and were largely working in isolation.
The contractor stayed home after becoming unwell and was tested.
The spokeswoman said the contractor was “being offered our support and assistance and will not return to work until cleared by health authorities and our own strict COVID-19 control measures”.
“As a precautionary measure, seven people from our Geelong site — none of whom displayed symptoms — have been tested for COVID-19,” she said.
“There has been no impact to our operations or customers.”
It comes as Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton revealed the situation in Geelong, which has so far escaped a return to lockdown, was being reviewed daily.
Two new coronavirus cases were reported on Tuesday in Greater Geelong and four on Thursday. But a case was removed from the tally on Friday, with the total number of confirmed cases at 73.
There were five known active cases of coronavirus in Greater Geelong on Friday, as Victoria reported a record daily increase of 288 new cases.
Asked at what point locking down Geelong would be considered, Prof Sutton said Geelong had to be reviewed daily.
“We need to know where those cases are occurring. If community transmission is established in Geelong, that would make the case stronger,” Prof Sutton said.
“But we also need to bear in mind how much the western suburbs of Melbourne have an increase in cases and how much commuting for work purposes, essential purposes, is coming from Geelong.
“I would certainly say to those in Geelong, you need to be as mindful of testing and symptoms as anywhere else in Victoria, and if you’re commuting for essential purposes, especially to the western suburbs of Melbourne, bear in mind all of the things you need to do to protect yourself.
A young boy at the COVID-19 testing centre in Ocean Grove yesterday.