A 796-apartment tower construction site in Melbourne’s CBD has been shut down after 12 cases of coronavirus were confirmed, with fears the number of infected could grow.
The cases were confirmed at the Multiplex site on Friday afternoon, with up to 20 close or casual contact workers identified.
Developer Fragrance Group is behind the 79-storey “Premier Tower” skyscraper at 134-160 Spencer Street.
Multiplex said all workers on the site were notified of the closure.
“All workers attending the Premier Tower site today have been asked to take a Covid-19 test and self-isolate until they are confirmed to return a negative result,” a Multiplex spokesperson said.
“The site was immediately shut down for a full, hospital-grade clean.”
The $315 million tower, currently under construction, had been “on track” for completion by the end of this year.
Multiplex said that work is expected to recommence early next week once testing results have been returned.
The construction industry has faced mounting pressure during the coronavirus outbreak, staying open amid growing concern for the health and safety of construction workers since Covid-19 first hit Australian shores.
As a result, preventative measures such as social distancing, staggered shifts and break times as well as site-wide decontamination were introduced as the “new normal” to support workers on sites and curb infection spread.
As of Friday morning, Melbourne had more than 10,570 active Covid-19 cases, following the announcement of 627 fresh cases and eight deaths.
An Incolink testing bus and medical team have been made available on the Spencer Street Multiplex site to offer tests to all workers who were asymptomatic.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday that Victoria would officially enter a "state of disaster", with Melbourne to transition to stage four restrictions, including an overnight curfew—from 8 pm to 5 am—commencing Sunday night.
Andrews said that the current rate of community transmission – mystery cases that cannot be traced back to work or home – was far too high, in his announcement.
“As they tell us, based on the current numbers, cases might begin to drop off not in days or weeks – but in months,” he said.