EDITORIAL COMMENT

GIPPSLAND Southern Health Service should be supported by the community for coming out promptly today and advising the community that they have a staff member, who worked at one of its facilities last Tuesday, test positive to coronavirus.

However, after issuing a statement to that effect around lunchtime today (Friday, July 24) there have been quite reasonable requests made, on social media, for the health service to say which facility or facilities the staff member attended during the week.

The health service has declined to say, citing privacy concerns.

But, in this instance, the public has a right to know, at least whether its facilities at Korumburra or Leongatha are involved.

The health service operates the Leongatha hospital and Korumburra hospital, and also aged care facilities Alchera House and Hillside Lodge at Korumburra, Koorooman House at Leongatha and community health centres at Korumburra and Tarwin Lower.

The Sentinel-Times put the question asked on the newspaper’s Facebook page “Korumburra or Leongatha” to the health service today but they declined to comment further. They may have their reasons.

Since then we have been contacted by older local residents, one attending Leongatha hospital today and an older couple attending Korumburra, who said that while the health service has safety protocols in place, that it was reasonable they be informed about the location in question so they could make their own decision – to go or not to go in for an appointment – at least until the response is in place.

In Sydney, when the Crossroads Hotel recorded a positive to coronavirus recently, they didn’t say “a hotel in the western suburbs” and here we are talking about two different towns, two different communities – so which is it “Leongatha or Korumburra”?

It’s a reasonable question.