Retail Food Group dairy facility closed after workers test positive for COVID-19

Retail Food Group dairy facility closed after workers test positive for COVID-19

A dairy processing plant in Tullamarine, Melbourne that supports Retail Food Group's (ASX: RFG) operations has been shut down after three workers tested positive for COVID-19.

The Dairy Country facility's entire staff will now be sent to get tested and the premises will only reopen once deep-cleaning has been completed.

"The health and safety of our staff and customers is our priority," says RFG executive chairman Peter George.

"Dairy Country's Tullamarine facility will reopen once it has been deep-cleaned and pending the availability of staff.

"Dairy Country's Campbellfield facility has not been impacted by these events, and continues to operate as normal, subject to the various measures implemented to date in response to the Coronavirus pandemic."

RFG does not expect the closure of the Tullamarine facility to have a material financial or operational impact on the broader company.

Yesterday Ingham's (ASX: ING) was forced to close one of its poultry processing plants in Melbourne after five workers returned positive tests for COVID-19.

Ingham's says it is working with its customers to minimise supply chain disruptions and to ensure that its products will remain available to Australian consumers.

The closures come as Victoria has reported 403 new cases of COVID-19 and five more deaths today.

It brings the total number of active cases in the state to 3,630 and the number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic to 49.

Of the 403 cases, 69 can be traced to known or contained outbreaks with the rest currently under investigation. In total, there are approximately 2,579 cases still under investigation in Victoria.

The Victorian government also announced today that they will give out an extra $300 to anybody who has taken a test for COVID-19 and is required to isolate at home but does not have access to sick leave.

The new measure is in response to data analysis released yesterday by the Victorian government showing that 53 per cent of people waiting on COVID-19 test results are not following isolation orders.

Cases currently linked to key outbreaks in Victoria are as follows:

  • 182 cases have been linked to Al-Taqwa College
  • 73 cases have been linked to St Basil's Homes for the Aged in Fawkner
  • 67 cases have been linked to Estia Health in Ardeer
  • 55 cases have been linked to Menarock Life Aged care in Essendon
  • 34 cases have been linked to Estia Health in Heidelberg
  • 33 cases have been linked to Arcare Aged Care in Craigieburn
  • 21 cases have been linked to Baptcare Wyndham Lodge in Werribee
  • 20 cases have been linked to Embracia Aged Care Moonee Valley in Avondale Heights
  • 72 cases have been linked to Somerville Retail Services in Tottenham
  • 58 cases have been linked to JBS in Brooklyn
  • 29 cases have been linked to Australian Lamb Company in Colac
  • 21 cases have been linked to Clever Kids Childcare in Ashburton
  • 10 cases have been linked to Bertocchi Smallgoods in Thomastown

In New South Wales 19 new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed overnight, bringing the total number of cases in NSW to 3,444 since the pandemic began.

Of the 19 cases, three are associated with the Crossroads Hotel cluster, nine associated with the Thai Rock cluster, three under investigation, one is a Western Sydney resident who returned from Victoria, and three are travellers in hotel quarantine.

Victorian economy takes a beating from COVID-19 pandemic

New modelling from the Victorian government demonstrates that the State's economy has been significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, after Victoria invested more than $9 billion in fighting the pandemic on the health and financial fronts.

In a statement from the Victorian Treasury the State's Gross State Product (GSP) is forecast to fall by 5.25 per cent this calendar year.

Further, Treasurer Tim Pallas expects GST revenue to be around $8.5 billion lower over the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years compared with pre-pandemic forecasts.

Reduced revenue also means the Victorian budget will now likely return an operating deficit of $7.5 billion in 2019/20.

More than 23,000 businesses have had liquor licences and application fees refunded, totalling $22.61 million.

The Victorian unemployment rate climbed to 7.5 per cent in June, and is expected to peak at 9 per cent in the September quarter.

"The global coronavirus recession is one of the biggest economic challenges our state and country has ever faced and we are not immune from its impacts," says Treasurer Pallas.

"We're doing everything we can to support the tens of thousands of businesses, workers and families doing it tough.

"Victoria's economy is robust and will make it through to the other side, but we all need to follow the rules and slow the spread the sooner we can get on top of this virus, the sooner we can repair the economic damage it's caused."

Updated at 11:38am AEST on 23 July 2020.

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