McDonald’s closes stores


Tate Papworth

Three McDonald’s restaurants in Brimbank are among 12 across Melbourne’s north-west to be shut down for deep cleaning following a truck driver testing positive to COVID-19.

Restaurants closed are Taylors Lakes, Calder Highway northbound/outbound and southbound/inbound, Sunbury, Melton East, Campbellfield, Riverdale Village, BP Rockbank Service Centre outbound, Laverton North, Yallambie, Hoppers Crossing and Sandown.

A McDonald’s spokesperson on Sunday night said the truck driver was employed by an external service provider and had made deliveries to the 12 restaurants, interacting with a small number of employees at each store, while asymptomatic.

No other employees had tested positive for the virus.

“Potential close contacts and employees who have worked specific shifts during and after the truck driver’s delivery have been instructed not to return to work for 14 days and advised to be tested,” a McDonald’s spokesperson said.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to close and conduct a deep clean of 12 restaurants.”

According to Department of Health and Human Services figures, the number of active COVID-19 cases across Brimbank had dropped to eight as of Sunday, bringing the overall total of cases within the municipality to 60.

The number of cases linked to the outbreak at Brooklyn-based abattoir Cedar Meats hit 99.

Last week, Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton conceded the cluster, which included 90 infections of 64 staff and 26 close, contacts could have been handled better.

“It’s pretty clear it’s been an explosive outbreak in terms of numbers,” Professor Sutton told 3AW.

“I think two linked cases is enough to shut a place down. Maybe we shouldn’t have waited for a third linked case.”

It followed confirmation that WorkSafe would be investigating the site, looking specifically at whether social distancing measures were in place and if workers were provided with appropriate personal protective equipment.

Cedar Meats general manager Tony Kairouz said he welcomed the WorkSafe investigation.