The infected staff member worked at a Coles distribution centre in Melbourne’s south east. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett.
The infected staff member worked at a Coles distribution centre in Melbourne’s south east. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett.

Coles worker tests positive for COVID

A staff member of supermarket giant Coles is one of Victoria's 17 new coronavirus cases today.

The person had worked at the Coles distribution centre in Laverton in Melbourne's south western suburbs while infectious last week, Victoria's health department said in a statement.

Close contacts have been identified and quarantined and the centre commenced a deep clean last night. The distribution centre supplies supermarkets across Victoria.

"Due to its size, regular cleaning measures and physical distancing, the risk of transmission is very low," the department said.

"The centre will be able to continue to operate with strict physical distancing to ensure safe food and grocery supply across the state."

Coles said distribution centre staff did not handle individual grocery products which are packaged in larger crates before being unpacked in stores.

In March, two workers at a Coles store in Melbourne's south east tested positive to COVID-19. The staff worked at Coles Brandon Park in Mulgrave.

The infected staff member worked at a Coles distribution centre in Melbourne’s south east. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett.
The infected staff member worked at a Coles distribution centre in Melbourne’s south east. Picture: AAP Image/Joel Carrett.

Victoria's chief health officer Professor Brett Sutton said the influx of cases meant the state would be forced to stay under virus restrictions for longer than expected.

"This is the seventh consecutive day of double-digit case growth in Victoria, with a continuing and concerning number of new cases associated with transmission in households and families," Prof Sutton said.

"As a consequence, the Victorian Government has announced a tightening of the rules and has reduced the number of visitors you can have in your home to five.

"Outside of the home, people can now gather in groups of up to 10 only.

"This move is important to keeping our community safe and to ensure COVID-19 does not get away from us. We do not want Victoria to suffer like many major cities around the world who have been devastated by the severe impacts of COVID-19."

Originally published as Coles worker tests positive for COVID


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