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11 new COVID-19 cases in Victoria, 3 new cases at Arcare Maidstone

Victoria recorded 11 new positive local cases of Covid-19 on Monday, including three in aged care.

Arcare chief executive Colin Singh confirmed two new cases at the company’s Maidstone facility in Melbourne’s inner west in a media statement on Sunday.

He said one was a 79-year-old resident who lived “in close proximity” to the first two residents diagnosed, while the second was an agency nurse who last worked at the facility on Saturday.

Mr Singh said both patients were asymptomatic but the 79-year-old has been transferred to hospital despite being fully vaccinated, “for public health reasons”.

All team members who worked at Arcare Maidstone on Saturday will be required to get tested immediately and isolate for 14 days.

“Further testing will take place [on Monday], with the indication that it will occur every two days while we manage this outbreak,” Singh said.

“Our team at Arcare Maidstone is doing everything possible to bring this outbreak under control and is continuing to work closely with the public health unit.

“The resident, who has had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, is asymptomatic but will be transferred to hospital for public health reasons.

“The registered nurse had received the first dose of the vaccine and is also asymptomatic.”

Health minister Martin Foley said on Monday morning that the nine cases announced today include one more staff member in the Arcare facility.

“There are the three new cases in Arcare Maidstone bringing the total number to nine: that being one resident and two new staff members. Two of these were announced yesterday by Arcare but were included in today’s numbers," he said.

The new cases take the number of active cases in the state’s latest outbreak to 94.

The number of primary close contacts linked to the outbreak has declined in recent days as some people take their day 13 tests, complete their 14 days of isolation and are cleared by Victoria’s public health teams.

More than 600 primary close contacts were cleared on Friday and another 800 were expected to be cleared on Saturday.

It comes as Victoria’s coronavirus venue alerts list swelled to almost 400 sites overnight after a Woolies, Coles and city office building were added as public exposure sites.

Covid fragments were also found in wastewater samples from Melbourne’s inner west and north catchment area, a detection described “of interest” to health authorities.

The suburbs have no confirmed cases of coronavirus but it is near the West Melbourne Delta strain mystery cluster.

“This new detection is of interest as there are currently no confirmed Covid-19 cases in that area but it does contain exposure sites and is near West Melbourne,” the health department said.

“The unexpected detections may be due to someone who has had Covid-19 that is no longer infectious continuing to shed the virus or it may be due to an active but undiagnosed infectious case.”

The suburbs affected are Aberfeldie, Essendon, Essendon West, Flemington, Footscray, Kensington, Maribyrnong, Moonee Ponds, Parkville and Travancore, with residents and visitors urged to monitor for symptoms and get tested if any symptoms develop.

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