Coronavirus testing blitz launched in Broadmeadows

Coronavirus testing blitz launched in Broadmeadows

Coronavirus testing blitz launched in Broadmeadows

Australian health workers plan to go door to door, testing over 100,000 residents in a coronavirus hotspot in suburban Melbourne that is threatening to undo the nation's success in battling the pandemic.

Despite the spike in cases in Victoria, the neighboring state of New South Wales (NSW) said it would not introduce a hard border closure between the states.

Deputy chief health officer Annaliese van Diemen said the Orygen Youth Health facility was now in lockdown.

As the state's cases climb, up to 200 specialist medical and support personnel from the Australian Defence Force will be called in to help with the testing blitz from Saturday.

But strategies to have 850 ADF members concerned in hotel quarantine are staying revised, and the government will only request about 150 members of the military to help in its coronavirus efforts.

In a media statement released on June 25, Andrews said the ADF personnel would provide planning and logistics support to the state government, including the transportation of pathology samples interstate if necessary.

Australia's second most populous state on Wednesday said a man in his 80s died overnight from the coronavirus, the country's first death from the virus in more than a month, as concerns about a second wave of infections saw thousands queue for COVID-19 tests and supermarkets impose new restrictions.

The worker from the fast food chain's Mill Park location in Melbourne's north was confirmed to have contracted the deadly virus on Friday, 7 News reported.

Among those to reportedly test positive was a cleaner at Melbourne's Flinders St Station.

The cleaner had only invested 30 minutes at the station in the previous two weeks, their employer mentioned in an e mail quoted by the Herald Sun.

Keilor Downs, Broadmeadows, Maidstone, Albanvale, Sunshine West, Hallam, Brunswick West, Fawkner, Reservoir and Pakenham all have high rates of community transmission.

Premier Daniel Andrews this morning revealed that Keilor Downs and Broadmeadows were the "worst affected" by the virus, prompting the testing blitz. "Then they were desperately asking for it, they were proud they were going to be coming, and now they're turning them away", he said.

"This is a public health bushfire and when it comes to the bushfires, we always work together", Mr Andrews said.

Seven of the cases were in hotel quarantine while the other 26 appear to be locally acquired, nine of which are linked to existing clusters and 11 are under investigation.

Community engagement in the local government areas of Brimbank, Casey, Cardinia, Darebin, Hume and Moreland has also been ramped up after they were identified as coronavirus hotspots.

Testing sites have been flooded ever since the number of new COVID-19 cases surged over the past week.

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