Media release
24 October 2020

The Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging all East Preston Islamic College and Croxton School families and staff to get tested at any testing centre in Melbourne, immediately even if they do not have symptoms, and stay home until they receive their results.

There have been an additional 4 cases in the Preston area. One case is a student at East Preston Islamic College. 

There will be a drive through testing centre operating at the East Preston Islamic College from today. Both schools will remain closed for the next two weeks. 

The community can access testing sites at the following locations: 

  • Broadmeadows Central Shopping Centre at north carpark 1099 – 1169 Pascoe Vale Rd, Broadmeadows from 9am – 5pm.
  • Coolaroo Respiratory Centre at 512 Barry St, Coolaroo from 9am – 5pm.
  • Melbourne Airport, Terminal 4 Level 2 (Mercer Dv exit off Tullamarine Fwy) from 9am – 5pm.
  • Craigieburn Health Service, 274 – 304 Craigieburn road from 9am – 5pm.
  • Austin Hospital at 145 Studley Rd, Heidelberg from 8am – 8pm.
  • Banyule Community Health at 21 Alamein Rd, Heidelberg West from 10am – 4pm.
  • Banyule Community Health at 14 – 32 Civic Drive, Greensborough from 9am – 4pm.
  • Northland Shopping Centre at Target carpark via Murray Rd, Preston from 9am – 5pm.
  • CB Smith Reserve at 79 Jukes Rd, Fawkner from 9am – 4pm. 

Additional pop-up testing sites will also be announced in Hume, Banyule and Darebin in the coming days.

In addition, we are testing a number of secondary close contacts at Sirius College and Ilim College.  They are connected to separate close contacts who will be tested again over this weekend.  

The Department is working closely with community and faith leaders from across Melbourne to ensure everyone is aware of the importance of getting tested as the best way to fight this virus.

Victoria’s Commander of Testing and Community Engagement, Jeroen Weimar, said the community response was incredible and thanked everyone who has played their part in stopping the spread of coronavirus in the northern suburbs.  

"I am so grateful to our community leaders for working with us to keep people safe.  I have held several sessions over the last two days to listen and act on the advice from leading community members.  We are all Victorians working together to keep this virus away from our families,” Mr Weimar said. 

Testing sites continued to operate across Broadmeadows, Coolaroo, Craigieburn, Heidelberg, Greensborough, Preston and Fawkner.  

Rapid Response Testing Teams and engagement teams also provided testing and information at ‘The Mall’ and Malahang Reserve with more than 80 people attending.

The Department is working together with taxi and private hire car drivers across the northern suburbs to ensure they help keep our communities CovidSafe. Over 22,000 drivers were sent text messages and emails to remind them to get tested if they had the slightest symptoms. 

Testing is also continuing on our industry surveillance program with around 25% of staff at higher risk food processing sites being tested each week. The Department has now tested all employees at a major chicken processing plant in the west of the city. 

“We are grateful to the operator for working with us and are pleased that all results have come back negative,” he said. 

To support local businesses in the area, the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions has held a business forum for local business leaders and is connecting with 5,600 local businesses, providing resources and further information about being COVIDSafe.

“I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the East Preston Islamic College which is has taken the precaution to close for the next 14 days and providing regular updates to their students and families. The College is leading their community through this difficult time and is to be commended.”

“Moving forward, while it may be Grand Final day, our work does not stop and our teams will continue to provide community support and testing sites will continue to operate, he said.

Yesterday the teams from DHHS and Banyule Community Health in partnership with Himilo Community Connect doorknocked more than 89 houses and conducted 31 tests.

Teams from the Department of Health and Human Services, Banyule Community Health and Himilo Community Connect doorknocked homes, held community meetings, distributed information packs, hosted information stands and liaised with businesses to ensure residents and business owners were aware that positive covid19 cases were present in their community and how to access testing locations and the supports available. 

Media enquiries:

Department of Health & Human Services Media Unit (03) 9096 8860 or press@dhhs.vic.gov.au