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Richard Riordan MP- Colac abattoir workers’ quarantine blunder derailed coronavirus fight

A devastating COVID-19 cluster in a small Victorian town was potentially accelerated by an alarming mistake.

The small city of Colac, which is located 150km southwest of Melbourne, has made headlines in recent days after a coronavirus outbreak emerged out of the town’s abattoir.

So far, there have been at least 47 cases linked to the meat processor after the first positive case was discovered on July 17.

It is understood 40 of those cases are staff members and seven are household contacts of staff.

However, it has been revealed that staff were initially incorrectly told they would not need to isolate as a result of the outbreak, which meant a number of people continued life as normal, visiting shops and pubs and possibly putting others at risk.

According to the Herald Sun, workers were given a pamphlet by Colac Area Health on the advice of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on Friday which informed them they were not considered to be “close contacts” and would not be required to isolate.

“It may take a few days for your test results to come back,” the flyer read, according to the publication.

“You do not need to self-isolate while you wait for your results if you are feeling well.”

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