Coronavirus outbreak hits major Melbourne hospital

A coronavirus cluster is engulfing the Royal Melbourne Hospital with at least seven patients, staff and visitors testing positive to the potentially deadly virus.

The COVID-19 outbreak was sparked by a Shepparton man who had surgery at the hospital 10 days ago and was not tested for the virus before his operation.

Contact tracers with Victoria Health now fear the hospital cluster will grow.

Victoria today recorded 65 new coronavirus cases, including some cases initially reported yesterday.

READ MORE: Victoria records 65 new local cases, including 16 reported

COVID-19 testing in Victoria.

Of the 65 local cases, 55 are linked to current outbreaks and 10 are under investigation.

Twenty-one of the new cases live in Shepparton and 53 of the 65 cases were out in the community while infectious.

"That case wasn't there for COVID-19 symptoms and wasn't showing COVID symptoms when they underwent surgery on 12 August," Victorian Health Department Deputy Secretary Kate Matson said.

"There was no reason to test that gentleman prior to his surgery. We are now working with our health system to reintroduce pre-operative health testing."

An elderly patient in the hospital bed next to the man has since tested positive to COVID-19. The daughter of the elderly patient has also returned a positive test for the virus.

Pre-operative health testing was a protection hospitals adopted last year.

READ MORE: NSW records 830 new local coronavirus cases, three deaths

There are fears a COVID-19 outbreak at Royal Melbourne Hospital will worsen after seven test positive to the virus.

Health Minister Martin Foley said there was also a new case reported overnight, not in this morning's numbers, in the Mansfield area and linked to the Shepparton cases.

A total of 26,149 vaccines were administered over the past day.

Mr Foley said the Victorian government was putting in place systems that would offer all public sector employees access to half a day's paid time off for each dose of the vaccine received.

In addition to this, he announced an aged care workforce vaccination blitz.

Mr Foley said 81 per cent of public residential aged care staff had received their first vaccine and the majority of those had received their second vaccine.

"We just need those remainders to come forward and get vaccinated," he said.

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