An outbreak of COVID-19 at a hospital in Melbourne’s southeast has forced over 600 staff into isolation.

Frankston Hospital has confirmed that 618 staff members have now been furloughed after 44 workers tested positive to the virus.

Health officials have undertaken contact tracing, contacting any patients who would have been classified as close contacts, with testing of asymptomatic inpatients and staff ongoing.

The hospital has since stopped admitting patients and closed a number of wards as a precaution, however, it continues to accept admissions into its cardiology, ICU, maternity, mental health and acute medical surgical wards.

The news comes as the number of new cases across Victoria continues to plateau, yesterday the state recorded 149 new cases of the virus.

As yet, it is not clear how the outbreak in the hospital began.

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