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COVID-19 testing ramped up in the Victoria area

Reporting by Tim Callanan

COVID-19 testing capacity is ramped up in Shepparton today as the regional Victorian city tries to control an outbreak of the virus.

23 cases have now been confirmed in the region after two more cases were announced yesterday afternoon.

A new drive-through test site opens in town today.

Matt Sharp, chief executive of Goulburn Valley Health, said several cases had been linked to schools, which meant many close contacts would need to be tested.

“The challenge we are currently facing is that at this stage we are likely to expect on the order of 10,000 or more people to test for this outbreak,” he said.

Mr Sharp said it was encouraging that all the cases in the city so far were linked.

“We’re working as hard and as fast as possible to get the outbreak under control here in Shepparton right now. “

Meanwhile, the City of Mansfield Mayor said the town’s ski season was being decimated after a case surfaced in town over the weekend.

The Mansfield case has been linked to the Shepparton outbreak.

Councilor Mark Holcombe said the region was already struggling after peak tourist season hit COVID-19 restrictions.

“Very disappointed. We had a really terrible 15 months here from a tourist standpoint and we didn’t want to hear that, and the mountain has just closed on Mount Buller too, so this is just another” [thing that] makes it harder for us. “


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