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Home Health Victorian Health Minister says supermarket receipt to blame for COVID-19 exposure site mistake

Victorian Health Minister says supermarket receipt to blame for COVID-19 exposure site mistake

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A supermarket receipt has been blamed for Victorian health authorities listing the wrong COVID-19 exposure site in Melbourne’s north.

Six potential COVID-19 exposure sites were published on May 11 after a Wollert man who completed his hotel quarantine in South Australia returned to Victoria and tested positive.

The site error was uncovered after traces of coronavirus were detected on Thursday in wastewater from Epping and Wollert.

The new exposure site is:

  • Woolworths Epping North, Corner Epping Rd and Lyndarum Drive (2 Lyndarum Drive), Epping (North) on May 8 between 5:40pm – 6:38pm

Health Minister Martin Foley told the ABC one of the Woolworths supermarket locations on the list was wrong due to a receipt from a primary close contact not specifying the correct name of the supermarket the person had visited.

“Upon review of the evidence and re-interviewing the primary close contacts involved, the receipts from what turned out to be Epping North Woolworths nonetheless said on the receipt Epping Woolworths,” Mr Foley said.

Mr Foley said the authorities believed COVID-19 detected in wastewater was viral shedding, and a low risk to the community.

“But out of an abundance of caution … we’re asking the people of Wollert and Epping North to keep an eye on any COVID symptoms and get tested if they display any,” he said.

Testing stations in the area include The Northern Hospital in Epping, open from 9:00am to 5:00pm every day, and a pop-up testing site at Epping Stadium open from 9:30am this morning until 5:00pm.

Hospitality businesses fall short of COVID-safe measures

Meanwhile, authorities are continuing to target businesses to ensure they are complying with COVID-safe rules such as having QR code check-in systems and density limits.

More than 2,200 businesses have been checked so far this month with seven businesses receiving fines of between $1,652 and $9,913.

About one-third of businesses checked, largely in hospitality, have been non-compliant with chief health officer directions including not having COVID-19 safety signage up, density quotients not being adhered to, customer tables too close together or QR code check-in systems not in place.

Businesses fined include:

  • Four hospitality venues in St Kilda, South Melbourne, Brunswick, and Geelong fined $9,913 for non-compliance issues including having no QR code check-in system in place
  • A hospitality venue in Sunshine in Melbourne’s west fined $1,652 for having no QR code system in place and no density quotient signage in place
  • In the CBD and Docklands, two hospitality venues were fined for not having a government-approved QR code check-in system in place

Since May 1, more than 200 enforcement notices have been issued including 59 written warnings, eight verbal warnings and 136 improvement notices issued for COVID non-compliance.

More businesses are expected to be fined over coming weeks as compliance and enforcement efforts ramp up.



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