Seven emergency department staff at one of Melbourne’s busiest hospitals have tested positive to coronavirus.
The new cases at the Northern Hospital in Epping come as Victoria scrambles to contain its latest outbreak.
The hospital’s emergency department is also undergoing a deep clean.
Patients are being asked to attend other hospitals while other emergency department staff undergo testing.
‘To free up capacity across the hospital there will be a temporary reduction in non-urgent elective surgery and outpatient appointments,’ a Northern Health spokesperson said.
‘This will allow for resources to be diverted to the emergency department and allow it to keep operating.’
The hospital has restricted visitor numbers as a precaution.
The new cases were confirmed during the past five days and contact tracing is underway.
As of Monday night, Victoria had 645 active cases which make up more than 97 per cent of Australia’s total 668 active cases.
Nine towers in Flemington and North Melbourne were locked down on Saturday in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, with 3,000 residents unable to leave their apartments for any reason for at least five days.
The state is to be shut off from the rest of the country after case numbers surged by 124 on Monday revised down from 127 – its highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic.
The Victoria-NSW border will close at midnight on Tuesday night as health officials desperately try to stop the spread of coronavirus across state lines.
Permits will be issued to people who need to cross the border for work or health care.
The Federal Government will send up to 500 military personnel to help NSW Police seal off the interstate border.
Many of the 55 roads linking the two states will be patrolled, while drones will spy from the air to stop people swimming across rivers or crossing through bushland.
More to come