Covid testing low, cases drop

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Under ever-enduring lockdown, Greater Dandenong’s Covid-19 active cases have plummeted to their lowest levels for two months.

As of 6 September, the figure was 53 – down from 101 a week ago.

The 3175 postcode including Dandenong, Dandenong North and Dandenong South has also relinquished its title as the South East’s hotspot.

In the past two weeks, active cases in the postcode have dropped by more than 100. The total sharply dwindled to 27 as of 6 September.

It is now less than the 33 active cases in the 3977 postcode, which includes Cranbourne, Skye and Botanic Ridge.

Noble Park/Noble Park North has 16 active cases (unchanged from last week), Endeavour Hills one (down by 14), Keysborough nine (down by five) and Lynbrook/Lyndhurst 8 (down by two).

Also in single digits are Sandown Village/Springvale (3), Hallam (9) and Doveton/Eumemmerring (3).

In the meantime, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has identified Greater Dandenong and Casey as Covid-19 hotspots due to a rising proportion of positive tests.

Brett Sutton told a media conference on 2 September that the council areas – along with the “usual suspects” such as Wyndham, Brimbank and Hume – were “more of a concern in recent days”.

There’d be also a push to lift the consistently low testing rates in the region, he said.

According to Department of Health and Human Services data, Casey (1 per cent) and Greater Dandenong (1.2 per cent) are above the metro positive test average (0.8 per cent).

Professor Sutton said there continued to be transmissions in aged care, Peninsula Health and high-risk workplaces.

Known aged care clusters have been recorded at Outlook Gardens in Dandenong North (116 cases including 41 residents), Estia Health Keysborough (20 including seven residents) and Mercy Place Dandenong (23 including 12 residents).

An ongoing outbreak of 48 cases has also been linked to Dandenong South truck manufacturer Vawdrey Australia. The cluster has 16 active cases.

Monash Health spokesperson Rhonda Stewart told ABC Melbourne Radio that test numbers were “slightly down”.

They mirrored the drop in cases and peoples’ possible complacency toward testing.

Ms Stewart said it was important for symptomatic people to get tested. It helped halt the spread of Covid-19 along with self-isolation and contact tracing.

Statewide, there were 43 new Covid-19 cases and nine deaths in the 24 hours up to 7 September. Active cases dropped from 2620 to 1872 in the past week.

A vast proportion of active cases are 916 linked to aged care and 216 health care workers.


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