How Chadstone outbreak reached regional Vic

The Chadstone outbreak was spread to regional Victoria by a relative of a staff member at The Butcher Club.

Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton revealed the crucial detail as he announced two cases in the country town of Kilmore about 60km north of Melbourne.

Professor Sutton said the diner who ate in at the Oddfellows Cafe in Kilmore was a relative of a staff member at The Butcher Club.

He said the man was permitted to be in regional Victoria for work but was not allowed to eat in at a restaurant.

There is now two cases in the Kilmore region – a cafe worker who came into close contact with the diner and another person who was in close contact with the traveller.

The Butcher Club outbreak has risen to 28 cases made up of eight staff members, 11 family and close contacts and four customers.

Concerns over the cluster has also reached Benalla in the state’s northeast after a positive case visited White Line Tyres on September 30 from midday to 3pm. No positive cases have been detected in Benalla yet.

Prof Sutton said the man who went to Kilmore wasn’t aware he was a close contact of the Chadstone outbreak before he travelled.

“It wasn’t that they were breaking quarantine, it was that they weren’t aware that they were a close contact of a positive case,” he said.

But Prof Sutton said if a Melburnian left the city for a permitted reason, they were still required to abide by the restrictions they lived under in the metropolitan area.

“It’s take away. The rules that apply in metro Melbourne are the rules that you take with you,” he said.

“Yes, you can travel for permitted work purposes but all of the other rules, you cannot. The metro rules apply as you travel.”

Prof Sutton said it was a matter for Victoria Police as to whether the traveller was fined for dining in but it wasn’t usual practice for breaches admitted during contact tracing interviews to receive fines.

Premier Daniel Andrews again said no fine was worth as much as accurate information from a positive case.

“That’s where the real gold is. That’s worth so much. That gets us open,” Mr Andrews said.

“Put aside any kind of frustration or anger that you might have towards someone who has potentially done the wrong thing. Them telling their story in complete and accurate terms, that’s how to contain something to 28 or 29 (cases) and not 280 or even more.”

The Premier also thanked the Kilmore community for their quick response to a positive case in the region.

“I understand that the drive-through is booked out for the day, that is just a fantastic effort and we’re very grateful to everybody in that community for coming forward and playing their part in trying to track, test and trace anyone in that community that might be positive as a result of that outbreak,” he said.

Prof Sutton also said the cafe did “all of the right things”, including a fantastic register of names.

“All of those close contacts are being contacted but there are 150 of them, so, again, the infectiousness of the virus and the opportunity to have dozens and dozen of people potentially exposed speaks of the challenge,” Prof Sutton said.

Victoria recorded 15 new virus cases on Tuesday, with the all-important metro 14-day average dropping to 10.6.

There are three active cases in regional Victoria where the 14-day average is 0.3.

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