For the second time, sewerage samples from Phillip Island have revealed positive COVID-19 fragments prompting a warning from the Health Minister Martin Foley for all Islanders to get tested.


THE good news is that no positive cases of COVID-19 have been detected among the residents of Phillip Island, San Remo and Bass Coast, who have been tested in the past four days.

None of the 22 positives notified in Victoria today, Tuesday, July 21, relate to Phillip Island.

But we’re not out of the woods yet, on two fronts.

At today’s state-wide briefing by the state government it was revealed that COVID-19 fragments have been detected in the Cowes’ sewerage system for the second time and only 57 per cent of the Phillip Island tests have been returned.

The message from the Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley to Phillip Island people is “get tested” and given his statement that some positive cases can be asymptomatic, he’s appealing to all Phillip Islanders to get tested now.

“Can I particularly give a shout out to Philip Island. You’ll recall yesterday, the COVID commander pointed out that there had been sewage test results, locally. That’s occurred again overnight,” Minister Foley said.

“So, our particular shout out to the people Philip Island is please keep coming forward in the numbers that you have had to get tested.

“A couple of days in a row of testing, when the cases associated with Philip Ireland, to the best of our knowledge have returned to metropolitan Melbourne, makes us concerned that perhaps there is undetected cases in the Phillip Island and San Remo communities.

“So, a special shout out to Philip Island, you’ve been doing a fantastic job. A big shout out to Bass Coast Health for the wonderful work they’ve been doing.

“But could I also just reiterate, please, if you’re on Phillip Island, if you’re on the Bass Coast, come forward and get tested.

“Obviously if you’ve got even the slightest of symptoms, but more broadly, and some people can be asymptomatic in this process, if you haven’t been tested yet, please come forward and get tested.

“We know that testing, if you are out for the five reasons, that you’re allowed check in, make sure you follow the public health rules. These are the most important things you can do over the next seven days to help us build the confidence that we’re on top of this, which increasingly I’m confident that we are. We will get ahead of this through the public health measures, through the support of those 28,000 people, both primary and secondary contacts, who are isolating and the millions of Victorians who are following the rules, we will get on top of this, and we will get back to a COVID normal life, as soon as we possibly can.”

Minister Foley extended his appreciation to all those involved in the response.

“I want to thank our pathology team, our frontline workers on the testing centres, and everyone involved in that enormous effort. Everyone needs to get tested if they have even the slightest of symptoms, it continues to be the most important thing you can do, and until such time as we have enough vaccines for everyone that wants one and needs one, staying ahead of this is through testing, is through following the rules, is through, making sure that we find all the public health advice.”

Of the 22 positives recorded today, 16 in complete isolation, Chief Heath Officer Professor Brett Sutton detailed the positive cases as follows:

* 5 Trinity Grammar

* 5 Miss Frankie’s

* 3 St Patricks Primary School Murrumbeena

* 2 AMI Park

* 2 Bacchus Marsh Grammar

1 Westgate Tunnel

1 Northern suburbs outbreak