Covid-19: meatworks, aged home clusters

Outlook Gardens aged care home in Dandenong North is linked to 55 Covid-19 cases. 212209_11 Picture: GARY SISSONS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

A Covid-19 outbreak at a meatworks and six new cases at Outlook Gardens aged care home are among 14 new cases in Greater Dandenong.

At least three workers have tested positive at Australian Meat Group abattoir in Dandenong South.

Meanwhile the cluster at Outlook Gardens has risen to 55, including residents and staff.

The Greater Dandenong area has recorded 200 cases since January – 156 of them currently active as of 31 July.

Casey added 29 extra cases, with 243 residents actively infected.

Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union state secretary Paul Conway said the AMG meatworks had not yet notified the union about the positive tests, but confirmed at least three workers were infected.

He said outbreaks at several Victorian abattoirs was due to the meat industry being “one of the last vestiges of manufacturing”.

“If we still had the car and rag-tag industries, we would see further clusters there.”

Mr Conway joined other union leaders in calling for paid pandemic leave to encourage sick workers to stay home.

Many labour-hire workers with mild Covid-19 symptoms were reluctant to self-isolate due to their “perilous” employment.

“Then by the time they fall ill, it goes through other people in the work environment.”

The union urged Covid-infected workers whose illness was traced to their workplace to submit WorkCover claims.

Statewide, there were 627 new cases recorded – down from a record 723 the day before.

Eight people died in the past 24 hours, including two men in their fifties.

Four of the deceased were linked to known aged care outbreaks, with 928 active cases linked to more than 80 aged-care facilities.

The state’s Covid death toll is 113.

There are 614 actively infected health care workers.


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