Victoria records 11 new cases as Butcher Club manager fights virus in ICU

Victoria has recorded 11 new coronavirus cases as the manager of The Butcher Club, who was among the first people to contract the virus from a cleaner at Chadstone shopping centre, fights for his life in intensive care.

An additional four cases have been detected in regional Victoria, taking the total number of active cases outside Melbourne to six. The Health Department is yet to provide more details about the regional cases, although they appear to be linked to known outbreaks.

The state has recorded a fatality-free day, with the death toll remaining at 809.



The latest cases bring the statewide 14-day average, tied to the next stage of easing lockdown restrictions, to 10.1 new cases per day.

For Melbourne to move to step three of the state government's road map for easing restrictions on October 19, Victoria's 14-day average for new cases has to be below five. There also needs to have been five or fewer mystery cases, in total, over the previous fortnight.

Fourteen mystery cases have been recorded in the fortnight to October 5.

Premier Daniel Andrews said restrictions could be eased even in the scenario where "in the last three days of the 14-day period you got eight, 10, 12 cases but they were in aged care [or] health workers".

The Chadstone outbreak has grown to 31 cases, with linked cases stretching from Kilmore to Frankston.

The outbreak is believed to have been started by a Frankston cleaner who worked three shifts at The Butcher Club in Chadstone shopping centre despite members of her household having the virus.

The manager of The Butcher Club was rushed to intensive care with COVID-19 after his condition deteriorated on Tuesday.

Peter Robinson, co-owner of the business, said the manager, aged in his early 50s, was receiving oxygen and was expected to be in the ICU for the next two days. Five of the business' nine staff have tested positive to the virus, although two are asymptomatic.

More than 230 Kilmore residents are self-isolating and hundreds more have come forward for COVID-19 testing after an infected Melbourne resident, connected to the Chadstone cluster, dined at a cafe in the town. Two people in the town have contracted the virus, including a waitress at the Oddfellows Cafe.

Authorities are now trialling a tactic of asking "third ring" contacts in the Kilmore and Chadstone clusters to isolate, to try to stop the spread of the virus.

Jeroen Weimar, who is leading Victoria's testing regime, said anyone who visited the Kilmore cafe between last Wednesday and Saturday – and their close household contacts – were self-isolating, under a trial of quarantining "third ring" contacts.

The same "third ring" tactic is also being used with the wider Chadstone cluster but only started with the latest cases, Mr Weimar said.

A Chemist Warehouse store on Springvale Road in Forest Hill has been added to Melbourne's list of high-risk COVID exposure sites. Anyone who was at the store on Monday, October 5, between 11.30am and 11.50am, is advised to be on high alert for symptoms.

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