There will be more local testing sites in Bass Coast from Sunday, July 18 including the Bass Recreation Reserve.


THERE may not be any local football at the Bass Recreation Reserve this weekend, more’s the pity, but there will be some important action at the venue all the same from tomorrow, Sunday, July 17.

The home of the Kilcunda-Bass Panthers will be taken over by the Koo Wee Rup Health Service from 9am tomorrow and on Monday to provide additional surge COVID-19 testing for affected Bass Coast residents.

The community of Phillip Island and San Remo has been left reeling from the notification of two COVID-19 positive visitors on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, July 12, 13, 14 and 15 and the subsequent notification of dozens of exposure sites.

Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child has urged those who attended the exposure sites (see to get tested immediately and isolated.

“It will be a miracle if we avoid getting cases locally but it’s vitally important we do all the right things in this initial stage,” Ms Child said to day.

And please, don’t let any frustration you might feel at any delays colour your response to hard-working testing staff.

On Saturday, July 17, 341 people were tested at Wonthaggi, 374 at Cowes and 260 at San Remo a total of 975.

“A great job by everyone and well ahead of the 100 daily total we had been previously doing,” said Ms Child.

It’s likely though, that as a result of further measures put in place by the Gippsland Region Public Health Unit, the over-arching body for COVID-19 response in the region, there will be still more capacity from Sunday, July 18.

Here are some of the details provided during the day on Saturday by GRPHU.

  • An additional testing site will be operated from the Anglican Church in Cowes, 102 Thompson Avenue. Operated by a private provider, the site will be open from 10am – 6pm, Sunday, July 18, walk-ins welcome.
  • Wonthaggi Respiratory Clinic open 10am-1pm on Sunday, July 18.
  • The Gippsland Region Public Health Unit is welcoming additional teams from Peninsula Health and Cardinia Health who will be able to support at the Rapid Response Testing at Bass Coast sites from Sunday.
  • Koo Wee Rup Health Service is hosting an additional testing site at the Bass Recreation Reserve, 100 Hade Avenue, Bass. This will be open from 9am–4.30pm on Sunday, July 18 and Monday, July 19. This is a drive-through clinic, and no bookings are required.
  • An additional Rapid Response Testing Site will be set up at Yarram Medical Centre to host a Rapid Response Testing unit at Yarram and District Health Service from 9am – 5pm from Sunday. No appointment required. There is only one lane available so the focus for this site is on overflow – if there is increased demand and people can’t test locally in Bass Coast, both Yarram and Leongatha are available.
  • The Gippsland Region Public Health Unit (GRPHU) is currently managing 12 of the 24 exposure sites at San Remo and Phillip Island. All are within the categories of Tier 1b and Tier 2. The GRPHU is responsible for the cleaning of these sites before re-opening. Tier 1b is where a Primary Close Contact is generated, and they need to quarantine for 14 days while testing initially and on day 14. Everyone within their household is a Secondary Close Contact.
  • Testing staff support is being received from Sale, Warragul, Foster, LRH, Yarram and Gippsland Southern Health Service (Leongatha/Korumburra) to continue to meet demand and ensure testing sites can expand times if necessary.

Key messages:

  • Please check the exposure site list regularly. If you have visited any of these locations, get tested and stay home until you receive a negative result.
  • We are already in lockdown, which is assisting in the management of the virus.
  • As per the process: those identified as exposed to Tier 1b are being managed by the Surge Workforce Management Team. Those identified as exposed to Tier 2 have received an SMS recommending they get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result.
  • Testing sites at Wonthaggi, San Remo and Phillip Island have the capacity to test up to 1000 people daily in total.
  • The local response to testing has been extremely positive and we encourage this continued momentum.