News

Two Kyabram District Health Service staff test positive for COVID-19

By Spencer Fowler Steen

Two staff members from Kyabram District Health Service have tested positive to COVID-19.

KDHS confirmed the news in a Facebook post on Tuesday night.

Department of Health and Human Services data from Wednesday also showed a new case of COVID-19 in Greater Shepparton, bringing the region’s total to 12.

The two cases are in addition to the staff member who tested positive on May 9.

“One staff member has not worked at Kyabram District Health for 11 days and the other for more than 14 days,” the post read.

“They are both isolating at home.”

KDHS chief executive Anne McEvoy said all Sheridan aged care staff members, including those on days off and annual leave, had COVID-19 tests on Monday, May 18.

“The two cases announced yesterday are in addition to the case early this month,” she said.

“If any additional staff test positive we will make this public as we have done with these instances.”

The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed in a daily briefing on Wednesday that neither healthcare worker had worked while infectious.

“A small number of staff must now self-isolate for 14 days — but at this stage there are no patients or residents who fit the close contact criteria,” the briefing read.

“The cases were detected as a result of screening all dedicated residential aged care staff — including those on annual leave and days off — on Monday, May 18. A total of 75 swabs were undertaken, with 73 returning negative results.”

It was not clear whether the two staff members had been out in public while infectious.

It was also not known which area of the facility they worked in.

All consenting residents who had not been swabbed previously were also tested, but were subsequently cleared.

KDHS said contact tracing was under way in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Public Health Unit.

“If you are considered a close contact, you will be contacted by the Public Health Unit,” the Facebook post read.

“Whilst we understand the news will cause anxiety in our community, please be reassured our priority is the health and wellbeing of residents, patients, staff, VMOs and our community.

“If you are feeling unwell then please report for symptomatic testing at either of the KDHS, Echuca or Shepparton screening clinics.”

Ms McEvoy said KDHS had followed all relevant Commonwealth Department of Health guidelines.

“Our first concern is for the safety of our staff and residents,” she said.

“We will continue to work with the relevant authorities and follow best practice.”

As of Wednesday, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Victoria was 1580, a net increase of seven since Tuesday.

Of the total 1580 cases, there have been 1307 in metropolitan Melbourne and 235 in regional Victoria. Several cases remain under investigation.

There have been 166 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Victoria that may have been acquired through community transmission.