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COVID-19 latest: Fourteen cases linked to new Melbourne cluster

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Victoria’s infection rate remains in single figures but has had another small spike as authorities reveal they are investigating a new cluster at psychiatric facility, the Albert Road Clinic in central Melbourne.

In announcing the latest figures, Ms Mikakos revealed authorities are investigating a new cluster at “a private inpatient psychiatric facility”.

Albert Road Clinic has confirmed the cluster.

“Any person who attended Albert Road Clinic on or after Tuesday 24 March is considered at risk of developing COVID-19. This includes clinical and non-clinical staff members, patients and visitors,” the clinic said in a statement.

Three of today’s six new COVID-19 cases are attributed to the cluster.

In total, fourteen people have been infected from the cluster; five patients, five staff and four people in close contact with patients and staff.

Three of those infected via the cluster have been hospitalised, including one in intensive care.

All staff at the facility, which has been locked down, will be tested in coming hours and days.

There were six new cases statewide in the most recent 24-hour testing period.

“With six new cases we are seeing fragility of the situation,” Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton, said the cluster is “a warning sign”.

“Today is a demonstration that you can get explosive outbreaks and sometimes these spill out into the community, so we have to be mindful that things could change in the wrong direction over the next month,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

The first case of coronavirus was detected at the psychiatric facility in mid-March.

“To have patients turning up now may mean there was someone who was minimally symptomatic who didn’t exclude from work or patients who were minimally symptomatic and weren’t tested,” Professor Sutton said.

NEW DAILY CASES IN VICTORIA
April 16: 2 new cases
April 17: 1 new case
April 18: 17 new cases
April 19: 9 new cases
April 20: 1 new case
April 21: 7 new cases
April 22: 2 new cases (and 2 cases removed from total)
April 23: 1 new case
April 24: 6 new cases

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Image: Google Maps

FULL STATEMENT FROM ALBERT ROAD CLINIC:

Albert Road Clinic confirms that it has received notification from the Victorian Public Health Unit regarding a number of staff and recently discharged patients from the clinic, who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The clinic is working closely with the Public Health Unit on contact tracing to ensure that any person who has been identified as a close contact of the confirmed cases, can be advised and isolated accordingly. The clinic is also contacting all recently discharged patients.

Any person who attended Albert Road Clinic on or after Tuesday 24 March is considered at risk of developing COVID-19. This includes clinical and non-clinical staff members, patients and visitors.

Patients who have attended Albert Road Clinic on or after Tuesday 24 March are being treated as close contacts, and placed into quarantine for 14 days after their most recent contact with the clinic. Any patients who are currently in hospital are in a private room, nursed in droplet and contact precautions and screened for symptoms daily.

There is an immediate cessation of all new patient admissions to the clinic and the movement of staff and patients across the facility has been restricted.

All staff and doctors will be tested and have been advised not to work in any other clinical setting.

The clinic has a range of comprehensive measures already in place including the restriction of all non-essential visitors to the facility.

Albert Road Clinic CEO Jane Pickworth said the safety of patients, staff and doctors was of paramount importance and the clinic would implement all additional restrictions effective immediately.

Further updates will be provided if the situation changes.

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