ARE the coronavirus numbers for Bass Coast and South Gippsland accurate?

It has been put to the Sentinel-Times, by a friend of two former ‘positive’ cases, that they haven’t been taken off the ‘active’ list despite twice testing ‘negative’ to the virus.

According to our source, those involved only had mild symptoms, and both before and after being initially tested, have isolated at home.

It’s been days since they were confirmed negative, but it is yet to show up on local figures.

We put the issue to the Department of Health and Human Services.

“We respect the privacy of patients and don’t provide details about individual cases unless it is necessary to do so in the interests of public health,” said a Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson.

“There are strict procedures in place to protect the public wherever someone tests positive to coronavirus, including close contacts being identified and notified that they need to self-isolate and seek testing.

“As part of our contact tracing, relevant public exposure sites are contacted and provided with advice about the transmission risks and any cleaning that may be required,” said the DHHS officer.

According to DHHS, there have been 11 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Bass Coast Shire, including three active cases in the community.

Post Code data (Monday, August 17) identifies those cases as being at Glen Forbes (1) and in the Corinella/Grantville area (2).

The shire’s larger settlements at Phillip Island, Wonthaggi and Inverloch are coronavirus free.

South Gippsland has had a cumulative total of 12 cases since August 4, initially six active cases on August 4, but adjusted to five on August 5.

As of August 12, South Gippsland has four active cases with Post Code data identifying Agnes/Toora (1) and the Korumburra district (3) as the locations.

Main towns including Leongatha and Mirboo North do not have active cases.

But two negatives are yet to be taken off the ‘active’ list in one of the shires.

“Our LGA data is continually analysed and clarified as our contact tracing teams gather information – so published numbers are always subject to change.

“Residential location is the residential address provided when a case is notified to the department.

“This is not necessarily where the person was infected and may not be where the individual currently resides.

“A case is considered recovered when certain clinical criteria are met.

“These clinical clearance criteria include:

  • The patient has not had symptoms for the previous 72 hours,
  • At least 10 days have elapsed after the onset of the acute illness,
  • There has been a noted improvement in symptoms, and,
  • A risk assessment has been conducted by the department and deemed no further criteria are needed.

“Once a case has officially been cleared by the department and the relevant alterations are made to the case on the department’s data base, a case will move out of the active category and only be reflected in the cumulative total for that LGA.”

So, with all that checking and cross-checking there may well be a lag, but hopefully at least two ‘active’ cases will come off the list in one of the two shires over the next few days.

It doesn’t take away from the fact that we’ve got to continue observing all of the Stage Three restrictions, wear a mask and refrain from travelling to Melbourne for all but unavoidable reasons.

On July 20 Bass Coast was listed as having 6 cumulative cases and 2 active cases. South Gippsland was 8/3.

Bass Coast dropped an active case on July 25 and added a case on each of July 29, 30 31 and August 1. The shire has had 10 cumulative cases since August 1.

South Gippsland added an active case on July 25 and experienced a few adjustments up and down through to August 1 when it added two new cases in the next four days. There are presently 12 total cases of which four are active.