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Australian Lamb Colac coronavirus cluster case numbers increase again, but shire cases drop

Kyra Gillespi The cluster of coronavirus cases linked to an abattoir in Colac has continued to rise, with four more recorded Wednesday afternoon.

17 cases have been linked to Australian Lamb Company in Colac, up from 13 yesterday. However the total number of active cases in Colac Otway Shire has reduced to 26, one less on yesterday's tally. Colac Otway Shire mayor Jason Schram said the sooner the town hit its peak virus numbers, the quicker it could be brought under control.

"The people of Colac have been brilliant, over 70 per cent of students are not attending school and people are staying away from work if they can and no-one's grizzling about it," he said.

"The abattoir workers have to isolate for 14 days and they have been very accepting of that.

"If there was an award for the best regional town Colac would be a front runner." He urged anyone experiencing hardship in isolation to call the Victorian coronavirus hotline for assistance.

On Monday Colac Area Health tested 413 people through its drive through clinic and 17 through its COVID clinic on Monday. On Sunday 144 people were tested at the drive through clinic and 89 through the COVID clinic. On Wednesday afternoon Premier Daniel Andrews said blanket testing of all workers in the Victorian meatworks industry would not be entertained at this stage.

He revealed that around nine out of 10 people positive cases in Victoria did not isolate when they first felt sick and 53 per cent, or one in two people, did not isolate between when they were tested and when they received their results. Mr Schram hopes the government will do more to support Colac.

"We certainly need government assistance financially for Colac Area Health, as a little hospital it's already financially stretched as it is throughout a normal year.

"Now with this health crisis thrust upon us we would certainly be asking for the assistance so the ratepayers don't have to foot the bill."

Member for Polwarth Richard Riordan said people in Colac were still waiting for their results, despite the Premier saying DHHS was contacting close contacts within 24 hours. Mr Schram said he knew of people that had been waiting for days for their results. There are 18 active cases in Greater Geelong, 10 in Ballarat, four in Bendigo and Horsham, two in Surf Coast Shire, eight in Golden Plains Shire and three in Glenelg.

The active case recorded in Corangamite Shire yesterday has disappeared off the daily local government area list.

Warrnambool still has zero active cases.

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