Virus testing in Brimbank to ramp up

A Drive-through coronavirus testing site. Pic of nurse Helen Child. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 208017_01

Tate Papworth

Health officials will flood Brimbank over the coming days in a bid to quash outbreaks of COVID-19 within the municipality.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said testing for the virus would be significantly bolstered in virus “hot spots” such as Brimbank.

“Starting from today we have an action plan in relation to those communities,” Ms Mikakos said.

“We are stepping up testing in those communities. We’re going to offer widespread testing to the school communities at Keilor Downs Secondary College and Albanvale Primary School.

“Children and their families will be able to be tested regardless whether they have symptoms.”

On Monday it was revealed that Albanvale Primary School will remain shut until at least Wednesday after a second staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

Ms Mikakos said the two new cases recorded over the past 24 hours were linked to the school, bringing the total number of cases linked to the school to three.

Investigations are underway to see if the outbreak is linked to one at Keilor Downs.

But testing will also be extended across the wider community.

“We will be providing a pop-up clinic, which is open this morning in the Keilor Downs community, we are also extending the opening hours of the Deer Park drive-through site to weekends,” Ms Mikakos said.

There will also be roving testing squads on the ground in Brimbank as well as a pop-up clinic in Sunshine.

“We have a team of 50 starting from today to do doorknocking,” Ms Mikakos said.

“We are going to start with Brimbank and Cardinia, and they will be people clearly identifiable as public health officials who will be able to provide the community in those hotspot locations with more information and advice.”