Media release
26 October

Nearly 15,000 tests since last Tuesday (October 20) are providing the best possible insight into the movement of coronavirus in the northern metropolitan suburbs.

Victoria’s Commander of Testing and Community Engagement Jeroen Weimar said in addition there were no new cases linked to the northern metropolitan outbreak.

“This is one of the best outcomes we could hope to see, but the only reason we’re able to see it is because such a large number of people across the northern suburbs have taken the time since this outbreak was first identified to get tested,” Mr Weimar said.

“We have results for the 2,100 people who got tested yesterday and there are hundreds more samples going through the labs over the course of the day. Their commitment is a massive contribution to identifying what we hope are the very few remaining cases of COVID19 in Melbourne.

“Testing continued into the evening last night and we expect to see those results come through today. Testing in these five communities will continue to be a focus.”

Anyone with symptoms or who is an identified close contact should go and get tested at one of the many testing sites available to meet the needs of as many people as possible, including schools, local parks, shopping precincts and in traditional health settings.

There are currently 39 cases linked to the outbreak, including cases associated with East Preston Islamic College and Croxton Special School. DHHS continues to investigate links between the outbreak and other positive cases within the area.

“The community have done everything we could have asked of them with regard to testing. They have owned this response and have empowered themselves to take action which has been the best outcome,” Mr Weimar said.

In addition to the testing, Mr Weimar said more than 380 people had been contacted over the weekend through an extensive community health program, underway to advise residents located in Banyule, Darebin, Hume, Moreland and Nillumbik about the potential exposures, provide information about testing sites and how to access supports such as financial assistance.

“My thanks to the thousands of people who got tested over the holiday weekend – and the huge collective community effort with hundreds of skilled staff working at testing stations, knocking on doors to test people at home, analysing samples in the labs.

“There are literally thousands of public health professionals and support staff who are doing all they can to contain these last cases of community transmission.”

If you need additional support to say home, there are financial payments available to assist those who need it.

Information regarding COVID-19 and testing sites is available at the Department of Health and Human Services website or by calling 1800 675 398.

Media enquiries: 

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