Victoria virus cases up 11, caution urged

A second McDonald's restaurant in Melbourne has been closed for deep cleaning because of COVID-19.
A second McDonald's restaurant in Melbourne has been closed for deep cleaning because of COVID-19.

Victoria has recorded 11 new COVID-19 cases, while the number connected to a west Melbourne abattoir cluster has grown to almost 100.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos on Saturday said the state's total had grown to 1554, with seven people in intensive care.

Two new people connected to the Cedar Meats viral cluster in Brooklyn were among the 11 new cases recorded on Saturday.

Four people previously confirmed to have the infection overnight were also linked to the abattoir, bringing the total to 98.

Elsewhere, a McDonald's restaurant in the north Melbourne suburb of Fawkner has recorded an additional case, with the outlet's cluster growing to 11.

The restaurant had been closed for deep cleaning but reopened on Wednesday.

A second McDonald's was been closed for deep cleaning after a staff member at its Craigieburn premises tested positive.

The Craigieburn worker was a relative of a staff member at McDonald's in Fawkner and all his colleagues were told to self-isolate for 14 days.

"We have spoken with the employee and confirm they are self-isolating at home with little to no symptoms," a McDonald's spokeswoman said on Friday.

Victorian chief health officer Dr Brett Sutton said the chances of a McDonald's customer catching coronavirus from a staff member through "casual contact" is very low.

While many Victorians enjoy social visits this weekend, Ms Mikakos told reporters the health advice remained to be cautious, physically distance and get tested if unwell.

Victorians can now socialise in small groups of no more than five guests to a home.

"It's important everyone understands this pandemic is not yet over, we have a long way to go (and) it's important people still take every possible precaution," Ms Mikakos said on Saturday.

She encouraged people to stay home as much as possible despite some restrictions easing.

It comes as police issued 20 fines to people in breach of social distancing rules in the past 24 hours.

A number of those fined had gathered at a fast-food restaurant car park at Noble Park around midnight, Victoria Police said.

Ms Mikakos added that Victoria had this week collected more than 56,000 swabs for coronavirus testing, surpassing the government's goal for the week of 50,000.

There were also 36 people connected to the Lincoln Bakery Cafe in Carlton who contracted salmonella food poisoning.

The cafe has been closed since May 8, with investigations taking place and no one with food poisoning in hospital, Dr Sutton confirmed.

Australian Associated Press