Eight staff at The Alfred hospital in Melbourne have tested positive to coronavirus, forcing hundreds more into self isolation.
Victoria became the coronavirus capital of Australia on Saturday when a further 216 were diagnosed.
Contact tracers are still trying to determine how many other staff at The Alfred may have come into contact with the infected staff members.
The Alfred has not confirmed the roles of the staff members who have tested positive, Sydney Morning Herald reported.
But the publication claims hospital staff reported they included a nurse, a pharmacy assistant and student, a ward clerk and respiratory intern who may have come into contact with intensive care patients.
The infectious diseases ward, which is currently housing COVID-19 cases, has been effectively locked down in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus.
Anybody entering the ward must register their details with a concierge to ensure they can track their movements.
Victoria now has more diagnosed cases of COVID-19 than any other state in Australia with 3,560 cases, 275 more than in New South Wales, which has so far recorded 3,285 cases.
On Saturday, a man in his 90s died of the deadly respiratory infection in Victoria, taking the state’s death toll to 23.
Thirty of Saturday’s new cases are linked to known outbreaks, while the remaining 186 are still under investigation to determine their origin.
There are currently 49 Victorians in hospital with coronavirus, including 15 who remain in intensive care.
During his press conference, the state’s Premier Daniel Andrews urged the public to follow health directives and stay at home.
‘This is not an ordinary weekend. It is anything but that,’ he said.
‘You’ve got to be in your home if you are in the metropolitan Melbourne or the Mitchell Shire.
‘I wouldn’t want anyone in Melbourne to think this isn’t relevant to you. It is relevant to your family, your street, your community and all of us. We’ve all got a part to play.’
There are just four reasons people living in locked down suburbs should leave their homes.
Those reasons are:
- Essential shopping
- Work or study
- Giving or receiving medical care
- Daily exercise
More to come.