Weekly tests for high-risk industries


Esther Lauaki

Workers in some of Brimbank’s high-risk industries will face more intensive COVID testing as part of a new Surveillance Testing Program in an effort to prevent new outbreaks.

The new surveillance program aims to test 25 per cent of staff in a high-risk workplace each week.

Beginning with the food production sector, the government will work with industry to ensure employees can get tested on a regular basis.

All medium and large employers in the meat, poultry and seafood processing and supermarket and refrigerated distribution sectors will be asked to ensure that a quarter of their workforces are tested each week.

In July, JBS Australia’s Brooklyn meat processing plant was the site of one of the state’s largest outbreaks linked to more than 150 cases.

Premier Daniel Andrews said as the state takes safe and steady steps to reopening, finding and tracking cases of the virus was more important than ever.

“As we take steps towards COVID normal, our greatest tool to stop us going backwards is getting tested – our surveillance program will make sure we are leaving no stone unturned in tracking the virus,” Mr Andrews said.

“By expanding the testing options – we are giving industry the tools they need to reopen as safely as possible.”

After participating in the Surveillance Testing Program, employees are not required to self-isolate – however if they receive a positive result, they will need to isolate immediately and seek medical advice.

The government will work with food supply industries over the coming days to establish testing requirements as the program expands over the coming weeks.

Esther Lauaki