A COVID-19 cluster linked to a country music concert for vaccinated patrons in regional Victoria is continuing to grow.
- Eight new infections linked to the performance in Hamilton were recorded overnight, bring the cluster total to 26
- Fourteen people that attended the gig subsequently contracted the virus
- All 14 concert attendees that caught COVID were fully vaccinated
Eight new cases have been linked to the performance, which was hosted at the Hamilton Golf Club in western Victoria on November 14.
It’s not yet known if they caught the virus at the gig, or are subsequent contacts of positive cases.
In total, 26 cases of the virus have now been linked to the outbreak.
Event organisers told the ABC the performance was for vaccinated patrons only, and that all attendees had their vaccine status checked.
Western District Health Services (WHDS) has confirmed that 14 people caught the virus at the event.
They were all double vaccinated.
WDHS chief executive, Rohan Fitzgerald, said the cluster was proving to be a salient reminder of the speed at which coronavirus can spread.
“I don’t think anyone in Hamilton was expecting that COVID-19 would come as quickly and as hard as it has,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
Fears were raised after an infectious person subsequently volunteered at The Birch aged care facility in Hamilton.
However subsequent testing of residents have come back negative.
Three people that caught the virus at the event remain in hospital in a stable condition.
Disability sector impacted
Close to 1,000 people have been tested as a result of the outbreak, more than 600 of which were conducted yesterday.
Concerns were raised about the impact the outbreak would have on disability services in western Victoria, after WDHS confirmed that its services and elective surgeries would be impacted.
Mr Fitzgerald said nine aged care residents at The Birches would remain in isolation until a second negative test is received.
“Thank goodness they’ve applied all the COVID safe practices they should,” he said.
“But the the outbreak is also extending to the disability sector as well. And that’s a significant concern.”
Additional testing capacity is being stood up in Hamilton today, and anyone with symptoms is being urged to attend the Hamilton Showgrounds for testing.
Mr Fitzgerald said the team is working to log the movements of all positive cases.
“Over the course of the next 24 hours, the contact tracing team will be doing all that they can do to ensure that they understand more about the movements of these individuals and the potential risk that presents to our local area,” he said.
“This is a salient reminder for the entire community that we need to continue to think about how we manage the risk of COVID-19 in this new normal environment.”