Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child says close contacts in Leongatha have already been contacted but urges others with even the slightest symptoms or concerns to get tested.

ALL of the close contacts of the confirmed COVID-19 case in Leongatha have been traced, isolated and are being tested.

That’s the good news from Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child today, Friday, January 1, 2021.

But, at this morning’s Coronavirus update, Victoria’s Commander of COVID-19 response, Jeroen Weimar confirmed what had been a rumour in the region from yesterday afternoon, that there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Leongatha.

The person is apparently a visitor, not a local.

The person is one of the eight confirmed cases from Thursday, December 31, connected through an outbreak in Melbourne with the cases in NSW.

But as Mr Weimar stated today, it should sound a warning to all Victorians that this is not a NSW problem, or a Melbourne metro problem; it’s a state-wide issue and we need to respond accordingly.

Masks are compulsory in all indoor locations outside your own home, but may be removed while working out in gyms. Masks reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus by 30 per cent.

Victoria’s Commander of COVID-19 response, Jeroen Weimar has confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 in Leongatha.

Ms Child said today that testing centres in Leongatha, Wonthaggi and Phillip Island have been expanded to cope with the increased in demand for testing.

“The testing centre at the Leongatha Hospital was open until 6pm yesterday and will be open until 6pm again today, or while there are people in the line.

“We would certainly welcome, and we have been welcoming people to come across to the Wonthaggi Hospital to get tested. We’ve also been testing people who were at other exposure sites, at Fountain Gate on Boxing Day and also at the Plaza in Wonthaggi.”

There was a line of cars waiting to get tested at the Wonthaggi Hospital on Friday morning.

Wonthaggi Hospital has increased the number of testing lines from one to four.

The official statement from DHHS to those who attended Kmart, Wonthaggi Plaza Shopping Centre on December 28, from 1.30pm-2.30pm is to monitor for symptoms, if symptoms develop, get tested immediately and quarantine until you get a result.

Results are expected within 24 hours.

“We’ve already been seeing increased numbers for testing at Wonthaggi, up from 40 a day to 170 yesterday and we would expect more today.”

The new pop-up testing clinic at the Leongatha Hospital car park has been busy all morning.

The health hub is also open 24/7 in Cowes.

“The Gippsland Primary Health Unit from Latrobe Regional Hospital is managing the contact tracing, in co-operation with local health services,” Ms Child said, noting that all known close contacts in Leongatha had been contacted already, were isolated and waiting tests.

“What we are saying is that anyone with even the slightest sign of symptoms should gest tested and isolate while they are waiting for their result.

Kmart at the Wonthaggi Plaza has been identified as a public exposure site. The shopper spent 15 minutes in Kmart. If you visited the store between 1.30pm and 2.30pm on December 28, you should monitor for symptoms. If symptoms develop, immediately get tested and isolate until you receive a negative result.

“We’re saying that even if you think you have hay fever, you should get tested and we’re happy to test anyone who might be anxious about their health to get tested.”

Mr Weimar gave additional details this morning about the Leongatha case.

“We’re now having conversations with the Leongatha case,” he said.

“My understanding of their movements is that… it’s a holiday rental.

“They moved to the Leongatha residence fairly recently so they may not have had much exposure in Leongatha during that time – during their infectious period – but that work is happening at the moment.”