Victorian Government contracted call centre accused of COVID-19 breach

A COVID-19 positive whistleblower has revealed allegations of serious infection protocol breaches at a Victorian call centre operating with a government contract. It's one of more than 50 workplaces accused of ignoring the rules. A cluster at a Box Hill construction site has grown by five to 63 and now 14 cases have been identified at a Craigieburn worksite. Government inspections at building projects have caught out 54 operators ignoring COVID-safe rules. LIVE NEWS: Victoria records highest spike during third wave COVID-19 Response Commander Jeroen Weimar yesterday noted the light commercial construction sector had some work to do. Mr Weimar said mask-wearing wasn't as strong as it needed to be, nor were site registers or cleaning arrangements. The Department of Health is now also investigating a call centre working on the government's behalf to answer vaccine enquiries. An infected employee from Acquire BPO has blown the whistle to 9News. "The reason I've g..

A COVID-19 positive whistleblower has revealed allegations of serious infection protocol breaches at a Victorian call centre operating with a government contract.

It's one of more than 50 workplaces accused of ignoring the rules.

A cluster at a Box Hill construction site has grown by five to 63 and now 14 cases have been identified at a Craigieburn worksite.

Government inspections at building projects have caught out 54 operators ignoring COVID-safe rules.

LIVE NEWS: Victoria records highest spike during third wave

A whistleblower has alleged a call centre contracted by the Victorian Government has been breaching COVID-19 safe protocols.

COVID-19 Response Commander Jeroen Weimar yesterday noted the light commercial construction sector had some work to do.

Mr Weimar said mask-wearing wasn't as strong as it needed to be, nor were site registers or cleaning arrangements.

The Department of Health is now also investigating a call centre working on the government's behalf to answer vaccine enquiries.

An infected employee from Acquire BPO has blown the whistle to 9News.

"The reason I've gotten it now is because a company who is meant to be representing the Department of Health has not done their due diligence to provide a safe environment for their employees," the whistleblower said.

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She claims the office was over-crowded and dirty, with staff sharing equipment and desks that weren't wiped down.

The claim also alleged there was only one bottle of hand sanitiser available for more than 200 workers.

"There was a desk near mine that had a dirty keyboard with coffee on it. It was like that for four days," she said.

It's also alleged staff repeatedly asked to work from home but were told no.

The number of cases currently linked to Acquire stands at 25.

An Acquire spokesperson told 9News it was adamant and comfortable that its COVID-safe plan was being followed and infection control protocols were being met.

The company has denied the whistleblower's allegations.

"I think we're having a close look at that – they're not direct employees of the government – they're a firm that's been subcontracted. I'm not certain about the exact facts there yet," Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.

Opposition spokesman David Southwick took issue with the Premier's response: "Daniel Andrews now claiming it's not his responsibility. Well, quite frankly what is Daniel Andrews' responsibility?"

The COVID-19 virus is spreading fast through the state's northern suburbs with 94 cases there yesterday – 53 in Hume and 17 in Moreland.

Fifty were picked up in the west, including 21 in Wyndham.

Eleven were recorded in the south-east and two in the eastern suburbs.

There were eight cases in the CBD, one in the city of Yarra and two in the inner south.

There were six reported cases in Shepparton and one in Wodonga.

"There are eight cases that are still under investigation that dropped late last night," Mr Weimar said.

As for the investigation into influencer Nadia Bartel and her lockdown party, the premier pulled no punches.

"It would be my expectation that that matter would be treated no differently to the engagement party," he said.

"And it would be my anticipation that every single person at that house would be getting a $5500 fine."

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