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Hospitality worker identified as COVID-19 super spreader

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 11/04/2020 Olivana Smith-Lathouris

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A super spreader has been linked to four clusters of COVID-19 in Victoria.

The state's pandemic officials suspect the hospitality worker from Melbourne is behind dozens of cases at four separate events. The man did not develop symptoms himself - sparking concerns the virus is infectious much earlier than first thought.

a man standing next to a bus: A man wearing a face masks as a preventive measure against Coronavirus is seen after disembarking the city circle tourist tram in Melbourne. © AAP Image/James Ross A man wearing a face masks as a preventive measure against Coronavirus is seen after disembarking the city circle tourist tram in Melbourne.

Health authorities initially thought that people attending the venue had the virus but now it's been revealed it was this one worker, unknowingly spreading it. 

The situation has now raised concerns over when the virus actually does become infectious.

In pictures: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around the world

A number of clusters have developed in hospitals around the state with at least 157 cases of health care workers contracting the virus.

Victoria has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country with more than 1,241 confirmed cases.

Victoria coronavirus death toll

A man in his 80s died from coronavirus in a Victorian Hospital on Saturday. His passing brings the death toll in Australia to 55 and 14 in Victoria.

Victoria's Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos confirmed the tragic news on social media and shared her condolences.

"My thoughts are with his family," she tweeted.

https://twitter.com/JennyMikakos/status/1248769781974437888?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

"There are 118 confirmed cases that may indicate community transmission. 44 people are in hospital, including 15 in ICU. 986 people have recovered and more than 67,000 Victorians have been tested.

"Our message is clear: stay at home."

Daniel Andrews in glasses looking at the camera: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews addresses the media during a press conference in Melbourne, Sunday, April 5, 2020. © AAP Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews addresses the media during a press conference in Melbourne, Sunday, April 5, 2020.

The number of known coronavirus cases in Victoria was 1265 as of 11.30am on Saturday, an increase of 24 cases.

While most Victorians were expected to stay home, Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams announced funding for short term accommodation for those who could not safely isolate at home.

a person riding a skateboard down a street: Stranded Australian travellers are seen arriving at Melbourne International Airport. © AAP Image/James Ross Stranded Australian travellers are seen arriving at Melbourne International Airport.

"For some women, the biggest fear during this pandemic won't be coronavirus - it will be the fear they can't escape a violent partner," Ms Williams said.

"That's why this funding is so important - it will give them and their children a safe place to go."

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