Nurse in Victoria tests positive for Covid-19 amid surge in cases

Victoria's fight against Covid-19 has intensified as an emergency department nurse tested positive to the virus and health workers descended on two Melbourne suburbs to control community transmission.

A file image a of a nurse in a negative pressure room - used for isolating patients with infectious diseases like COVID-19. Source: 1 NEWS

Details of the Royal Melbourne Hospital nurse's case are yet to be revealed, including what her level of exposure was to fellow staff, patients or visitors.

A statement from the hospital said all known contacts had been informed and were receiving support, and the hospital was carrying out additional cleaning and contact tracing.

Victoria recorded 41 new cases yesterday, marking the 11th consecutive day of double-digit rises.

Health workers are going door-to-door in Keilor Downs and Broadmeadows, with mobile testing vans and expanded community engagement teams on the ground.

Residents in the two areas were also sent emergency text messages yesterday, urging testing.

"We know that cases and outbreaks will continue to occur, and we really are doing our best to keep absolutely on top of them," Deputy Chief Health officer Annaliese van Diemen said.

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'This is not something any of us have experienced before' - Victoria records 41 new Covid-19 cases

Eight of the 41 latest cases are linked to known outbreaks, one is a returned traveller, 13 are from routine testing and 19 are being investigated.

Australian Defence Force medical and support personnel are understood to have arrived in Victoria to help the state's efforts.

Victoria is seeking legal advice about making it mandatory for returned travellers to be tested following revelations some had refused the test.

Dr van Diemen sought to allay concerns about the reported 30 per cent refusal rate, saying that figure related to overall numbers since hotel quarantine began but that current refusal rates were lower.

The total number of recorded virus cases in Victoria is now 1987, with 1762 recoveries, and the death toll remains at 20.