WORKERS and contacts of a Colac abattoir which has become regional Victoria's biggest coronavirus cluster are receiving groceries, information in various languages and in some cases housing in motels.
A Department of Health and Human Services spokesman said an Incident Control Centre was now managing the outbreak connected with Australian Lamb Company employees in Colac.
The control centre includes CFA District Six commander Mark Gunning and is doing contract tracing, case management, public information and making sure people isolating or in quarantine have the services they need.
"Whether it's alternative accommodation, financial support or assistance with essentials like groceries, the department is in regular contact with the company, local council and health services to ensure workers impacted have access to all the support they need," the spokesman told The Standard.
Colac Otway Shire Council chief executive officer Peter Brown said the control centre was providing groceries and public communication efforts.
Mr Brown said some in isolation came from diverse backgrounds and communications were in a variety of languages.
"Whatever responses we make are appropriate to the cultural of the people and that might be in food and language and just the way we interact," he said.
"All of the ALC employees are being treated as close contacts, so all of those people are in isolation together with close contacts."
Mr Brown said the city's motels were also accommodating some from households where isolation was challenging.
"There are some people who need to stay away from a group they might be living with and they are in motel rooms," he said.
The Standard understands seven people are in alternative accommodation, which is available to confirmed cases or those identified as close contacts if they are unable to safely isolate at home.
Coronavirus cases linked to ALC rose to 45 on Saturday, up from 43 the day prior and a significant increase from the 29 cases recorded earlier in the week.
Australian Defence Force personnel will also be present in the town in coming days, as they assist with responding to the outbreak.
A Colac primary school will close its doors for at least two days after a student tested positive for coronavirus on Friday.
St Mary's Primary School principal Michael Mahoney said the year one student received the test result on Friday and the school would close until at least Tuesday for a deep clean.
"I have spoken to DHHS and they suggested we do a deep clean of the school," Mr Mahoney said.
The school is the second to close in Colac after the city's Trinity College also shut last week and has now transitioned to online learning until July 31.
Mr Mahoney said the student who tested positive had not attended school for the past week.
"Parents have been really nervous this week and most parents have kept their children away from school. The child has not been at school for the past week. We are hoping there won't be too many close contacts at school," he said.
"We have 290 children at the school and the most we had on any given day was seven. On Monday we had zero.
"The town is really on edge at the moment and just waiting until everything settles down and we know the results."
Mr Brown complimented ALC's response, which he said had been "proactive".
"Our community really has responded well, they have gone to a voluntary response where appropriate, wearing masks in supermarkets and in the street."
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