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Latest COVID-19 figures: Health chief admits Cedar Meats should’ve been closed sooner

CORONAVIRUS LATEST

The COVID-19 outbreak at Cedar Meats has grown to 91 cases, and Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has admitted the government should have ordered the closure of the abattoir sooner.

Victoria recorded nine new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, including three new cases linked to Cedar Meats, and two linked to McDonald’s in Fawkner.

Another three cases are returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

The new cases bring Victoria’s total coronavirus tally to 1523. Nine people are in hospital, including six in intensive care.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says, in hindsight, the Cedar Meats outbreak could’ve been handled better.

“It’s pretty clear that it’s been an explosive outbreak,” Professor Sutton told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“I think even two linked cases is probably enough to shut a place down.

“Maybe we shouldn’t have waited for a third case, maybe in these setting we should shut an entire place down.”

Professor Sutton’s comments come after Health Minister Jenny Mikakos earlier this month claimed the outbreak had been handled “absolutely perfectly”, and Premier Daniel Andrews backed her remarks.

In a statement, Cedar Meats said it will reopen its cold storage facility on Monday, but it is not resuming production.

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