THE last of those caught up in the Tier 1 exposure site scare on Phillip Island, from July 12 to 15, came out of their 14-day quarantine period on, Friday, July 30, 2021.

But the “magnificent” Island community has been robbed, possibly unfairly, of their right to celebrate a rare triumph over the Delta strain by the notification on Thursday morning, July 29, of a “confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in Bass Coast”.

Having announced that “a person has tested positive for the coronavirus in Bass Coast”, authorities would not say, initially at least, whether the person is isolating in the area or not.

Local residents claim the person is not living here anymore.

But they say they have a right to be told.

On Friday, the Department of Health confirmed “the case has a second residence in the LGA (Bass Coast)”.

Later yesterday, the Department of Health went further:

“One case is a close contact of the Trinity Grammar outbreak who was in quarantine on Phillip Island.”

They said this person was a Primary Close Contact of an exposure site outside the region and as a result, “this case presents no risk to the community as the person has been isolating throughout their infectious period”.

There are also no new exposure sites as a result of this case, they said.

So, did this person, who is linked to the group that visited Phillip Island between July 12 and 15, allegedly with two of them positive at time, stay or did they come back to the island to isolate?

It’s a fair question and one that should be investigated and notified.

The fact remains however, call it dodging an bullet or a miracle, but there has been no community transmission on Phillip Island and surrounds after more than 30 exposure sites were notified in the region and several hundred people went into 14-day lockdown.

Local Bass Coast Shire Councillor Michael Whelan said today it appeared the Island had “seen it off”.

“Certainly, visibly at least, everyone was doing the right thing through the lockdown, the place was absolutely deserted. I think everyone responded really well.

“I think in Victoria, although we’ve escaped a bit of it down here, we really know what it means to lockdown hard and we did that.

“This one was a lot closer to home but it’s good we’ve been able to see it off.”

As well as thank the local community, especially those who had to go into 14-day isolation, Cr Whelan said health authorities had responded strongly to the Phillip Island incident.

The Bass Coast Shire also played a strong supportive role.