SOUTH Gippsland has officially recorded its first case of coronavirus in regional figures released by the Department of Health and Human Services yesterday afternoon, Saturday, March 28.
The number of cases in Bass Coast stays at two, although anecdotally at least, one of the cases attributed to Bass Coast has simply listed his home address in Bass Coast but doesn’t live here.
Either way, the numbers are still among the lowest in the state despite fears that an influx of holiday makers at Phillip Island, Inverloch and other coastal destinations will result in the development of a “hot spot” here as has occurred on the Mornington Peninsula.
Coronavirus numbers in other Gippsland and nearby local government areas have shown an increase:
- Bass Coast 2
- Baw Baw (Warragul) 4
- East Gippsland 1
- Casey 23
- Cardinia 7
- Latrobe 5
- South Gippsland 1
- Wellington (Sale) 3
The total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Victoria is 685 on Saturday, March 28 – an increase of 111 from Friday. Victoria has recorded three deaths related to COVID-19. There have been no new deaths recorded overnight.
The total number of cases includes 378 men and 300 women, with people aged from eight to 88.
There are 21 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria that may have been acquired through community transmission. More than 30,100 Victorians have been tested to date.
Currently 21 people are in hospital, including three patients in intensive care. 191 people have recovered.
Of the total 685 cases, there have been 550 in metropolitan Melbourne and 117 in regional Victoria. A number of cases remain under investigation.
Details can be found on the DHHS website at: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/media-hub-coronavirus-disease-covid-19
The Department of Health and Human Services follows up and monitors all close contacts of confirmed cases and provides them with information and support. All close contacts must self-isolate for 14 days.
All people arriving from any international destination on Saturday must also self-isolate for 14 days as per Commonwealth Government direction. From 11.59pm last night Saturday), all travelers returning from overseas to Victoria will be placed in enforced quarantine for the self-isolation period of 14 days.
While most Victorians are voluntarily complying with requests to quarantine or self-isolate, Police have strong powers to enforce the direction if it’s required. From today, police can issue on the spot fines for anyone who is not following the directions of the Chief Health Officer including up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses.
Under the State of Emergency people who don’t comply could also be taken to court and receive a fine of up to $20,000. Companies face fines of up to $100,000.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said these are unprecedented times. The threat of coronavirus to public health is real and everyone must take social distancing seriously.
“Everyone who’s unwell must isolate themselves and everyone who’s been told they’re in quarantine either as a returned traveller or close contact must do so,” Professor Sutton said.
“Social distancing will save lives.
“Everyone needs to comply with restrictions in place to keep yourself, your loved ones and the whole community safe.
“We urge everyone to stay 1.5 metres away from everyone else, wash your hands often with soap and water and cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.”
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has a hotline for public information on COVID-19 which is 1800 675 398. Large numbers of calls will result in some delays and we ask Victorians for their patience as we work to manage the volume. Further information is also available at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus