Goulburn Valley Health rejects COVID-19 rumour

By Spencer Fowler Steen

Goulburn Valley Health says a claim that Shepparton currently has 20 active cases of COVID-19 linked to specific areas is "false and inappropriate".

Goulburn Valley Health chief executive Matt Sharp said he was aware of an email that had been sent from a local transport company on Friday afternoon stating there were 20 positive cases of COVID-19 in Shepparton.

“The information contained in this email is false and inappropriate on a number of levels,” he said in a Facebook post.

“It is also particularly unhelpful regarding the current situation many people are dealing with in relation to COVID-19, not to mention GV Health’s staff who are working around the clock to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

In the email obtained by The News, the person said they had received a phone call from a health care worker at GV Health notifying them there were about "20 positive cases" of COVID-19 in Shepparton, and went on to detail four locations across Shepparton and Kialla that were supposedly linked to the cases.

Mr Sharp said the person had been contacted directly by GV Health and a retraction was to be sent this afternoon.

He said contact tracing in regard to the new COVID-19 cases was under way and a number of people identified as close contacts had been tested for COVID-19 and were awaiting results.

“Further information will be provided as soon as possible.”

The transport company was contacted for comment.

Greater Shepparton has four active cases of COVID-19, including three recorded in the 24 hours to Friday afternoon.

A staff member at First Choice Liquor Shepparton and another at Shepparton Retirement Villages in addition to a contactor at Unilever Tatura have tested positive for COVID-19.

Victoria has recorded 450 new cases of coronavirus since Thursday, with the total number of cases now at 13,867.

Within Victoria, 42 of the new cases are linked to outbreaks or complex cases and 408 are under investigation.

There have been 11 new deaths from COVID-19 reported since yesterday. They include a woman in her 50s, two men in their 70s, three men and three women in their 80s and two women in their 90s.

Seven of the 11 new deaths are linked to known outbreaks in aged care facilities. To date, 181 people have died from coronavirus in Victoria.