SENTINEL-TIMES COMMENT

DON’T let the latest statistics fool you.
Bass Coast and South Gippsland shed their last remaining active cases of coronavirus at the weekend and are each sitting level on zero active cases and 11 cumulative cases.
But that’s no excuse for complacency.
The reality is that Melbourne’s Stage Four restrictions as much as our own Stage Three restrictions are protecting us at the moment and we’ve got to establish those strong personal practices – masks, hand washing, social distancing, covering coughs and sneezes and getting tested if the slightest of symptoms appear.
However, after we do get the numbers across the state down to single figures, we need to be seeing, from the state government, the sort of public information about tracking and tracing that we are already seeing in NSW and Queensland.
A week ago, the Health Minister Jenny Mikakos announced that DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) would be publishing more information about “high risk locations” including the names of supermarkets, shops and public transport visited by active cases.
So far, there has been little commitment to that announcement, probably because there are too many cases and locations to trace.
But in NSW and Queensland, such information is extensive.
Long lists; with location, dates and times are published daily, including the following:
• Caringbah Hotel – August 22 from 8.30pm to 11pm
• Virgin Active Pitt St Gym, Sydney, – August 25 from 5pm to 6.30pm
• Bus 442, Gladstone Park, Darling St, to Gladstone Park, Darling St on 25 August, 9.18am to 9.31am.
The lists end with the following message: “Anyone who attended the venues or transport routes are considered casual contacts and must monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if they develop.”
The venues respond with deep cleaning and public assurances.
So, yes, the numbers are coming down, but we’ve still got a long way to go before we can even begin to control this thing while being able to go about our business.