A MAJOR operation is underway to test more than 1000 people in Colac for coronavirus by late Tuesday.
Health services and Australian Defence Services personnel planned to test 800 people on Monday with a goal to reach 1500 by Tuesday.
The testing is occurring at Colac Central Reserve and will focus on re-testing known cases and their contacts, many linked to an outbreak at the Australian Lamb Company abattoir and some from further businesses and schools that have closed.
CFA District Six commander Mark Gunning is part of an Incident Control Centre managing the response in the Colac area and said positive cases would likely increase in coming days as results returned.
"We know we have over 50 cases, we are now doing a major testing operation of those people and close contacts, we would be naive to think the figures wouldn't move," Mr Gunning said.
"There will be a huge presence over the next 24 hours to help us get really good information and help us contain things.
"If we have good results we can then advise those people on what to do to stop further transmission of the virus."
He said Colac Area Health and the Department of Health and Human Services was conducting the tests and authorities had brought more labs online to speed up results.
"There is a whole heaps of logistics, we had cars in the fog on Monday morning in big lines," Mr Gunning said.
Colac Otway Shire had 47 active COVID-19 cases early Monday, with that figure expected to rise later in the day.
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