Victorian construction workers are set to be targeted with a massive testing blitz for COVID-19, whilst workers will receive a new dedicated bus fitted with mobile testing facilities.

In its latest announcement, the Victorian Government says it will target workers in construction as well as several other industries as part of a blitz that will see up to 100,000 people tested over two weeks.

The blitz will help the government to better understand how the virus is spreading within the community and to assess the potential for easing restrictions.

Construction workers will be a focus for the tests as will workers in health and aged care, supermarkets and agriculture.

The widespread testing of individuals will be used alongside wastewater testing, where the levels of coronavirus in sewage will be tracked to help anticipate or rapidly respond to local outbreaks

The sector is also set to receive dedicated mobile testing bus under a new initiative provided by joint employer association/industry union enterprise Incolink with support from the state government.

Named the Incolink Health Bus, the facility will hit the road this week and will provide nasal and mouth swab testing under an exercise which will be supervised and conducted by GPs and nurses.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the importance of testing should not be underestimated.

“We’ve asked a lot of Victorians, but the plan we put in place to slow the spread of this virus is working,” Andrews said.

“And if we keep working together and keep doing the right thing, we will get to the other side of this crisis.”

“By increasing the testing for coronavirus and widening the testing criteria, it gives us more evidence and therefore more options when it comes to slowly lifting restrictions.”

Master Builders Victoria CEO Rebecca Casson welcomed the initiatives.

“This is further evidence of the innovative and collaborative efforts taking place across the building and construction industry in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said, referring to the new mobile bus.

“The more we can all do to ensure the health of our members, the faster our economy can recover from the damaging effects of the coronavirus pandemic to the Victorian economy.”