ARN’s Melbourne office in lockdown as staffer tests positive to COVID-19
The coronavirus outbreak has hit Melbourne radio.
Australian Radio Network has been forced to temporarily close its Melbourne office after an unnamed employee tested positive for COVID-19.
It’s understood the employee had had limited contact with other workers.
GOLD104.3 breakfast host Christian O’Connell broke the news on Twitter, saying that the station “has had to go into a 24hr emergency Corona lockdown”.
A previously pre-recorded show aired on Tuesday (March 24) with plans in place for the show to resume broadcasting live on Wednesday from either home studios or freshly-sanitised studios.
No radio show this morning @gold1043. The station has had to go into a 24hr emergency Corona lockdown. Will say more when I can. Please stay safe and also AT HOME. Show will be back tomorrow morning.
Big love, Christian
— Christian O'Connell (@OC) March 23, 2020
A spokesperson confirmed the office closure with Radio Today, saying that the health and well-being of its staffer remain its top priority with many already working remotely.
“After contact with a person who recently returned from overseas, late yesterday a staff member of the ARN Melbourne team tested positive for COVID-19.
“This staff member had minimal access within the ARN Melbourne office and as all non-essential staff were already working from home, this person’s contact with others at ARN was limited.
“The health and well-being of our people is our number one priority and, as such, we’re in constant communication with any Melbourne staff who may have been in contact with this person.
“In line with Government advice, the ARN Melbourne office is currently closed while being professionally sanitised.
“Due to ARN’s business continuity plans, the GOLD104.3 and KIIS 101.1 stations remain broadcasting and our technology and resources are in place to ensure all staff, including on-air talent, news and content teams, can work from home and other appropriate locations.
“We will continue to work with the appropriate Government bodies to further contain and manage the situation.”
O’Connell returned to the top of the roost for FM Breakfast in Melbourne in the latest radio ratings with a solid gain to 9.2% (+1.4) but remains just below the station average.