The announcement about the vaccinated economy trials starting in regional Victoria signals a big policy shift in learning to live with COVID-19.
It’s going to be a tough transition for many us, as we need to change our mindset from what has effectively been an elimination strategy over the last 20 months, to learning to live with COVID.
The trials will start from 11th October in six local Government areas initially, which includes Warrnambool.
Over 750 people have been tested since we announced last week that painting contractors working at the Pedrina Park Pavilion construction site had returned positive COVID-19 results on their return home to Melbourne.
In very positive news, all of the returned test results to date have been negative.
The department of health announced last Wednesday that viral fragments were also detected in Hamilton wastewater on Monday September 20. It was highly unlikely these fragments were related to the painters.
As a result of this detection, daily testing commenced at the local wastewater facility. It is pleasing that follow-up wastewater samples taken in Hamilton from the 21st to 23rd September have not detected any further COVID-19 fragments. Wastewater sampling will continue this week.
While this is great news, we continue to encourage anyone who has visited an exposure site, or has symptoms (however mild) to get tested.
We opened the mass-testing facility at the Showgrounds on Monday this week, however based on the current demand, it will return to the Hamilton Base Hospital from Tuesday 28th September.
Some members of the community may have noticed an active case was listed in our region on the Department of Health website. I can confirm that whilst the person’s home address is listed in the Southern Grampians, they do not currently reside in the area (this case is linked to the Bendigo cluster).
There have been no new exposure sites listed in Hamilton since the announcement last week which is really pleasing.
Based on the recent wastewater results and negative COVID-19 test results, the risk associated with the exposure sites listed in Hamilton last week is now very low.
Even so, with the news there is a new active case linked to the Corangamite case we ask the community to continue to be vigilant and stay up-to-date with regional exposure sites by visiting the Department of Health’s website.
It is also a great time to book in for a COVID jab at your local general practice, WDHS vaccination clinic or pharmacy. WDHS currently has Pfizer (dose 1 and 2) and Astra Zeneca (dose 2) available. Book your appointment at wdhs.net.
WDHS is extremely grateful for the community’s response to the listing of the exposure sites and will continue to provide regular updates in local media, on Facebook and Instagram and at wdhs.net.