BCH CEO Jan Child: “It will be a miracle if we don’t get some local cases out of this”. So get tested.


LOCAL health services are ready for another big day of COVID-19 testing on Sunday, July 18, and Gippsland Region Public Health Unit (GRPHU) has added additional surge capacity at the Bass Recreation Reserve from 9am tomorrow.

The key drive-through centres at Cowes Transit Centre and Wonthaggi hospital will again be open from 7am but there are other opportunities for locals to get tested.

If you have been at one of the exposure sites, see the Department of Health website at https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites, or you have symptoms you must get tested urgently and follow the DoH instructions about isolating.

On Saturday, July 17, the day after it was revealed that two COVID-19 positive people visited a large number of venues on Phillip Island and at San Remo, almost 1000 people were tested.

The numbers tested were as follows: Wonthaggi 341, Cowes 374, San Remo 260: TOTAL 975.

Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child, who attended both the key Cowes and Wonthaggi sites on Saturday was impressed with how the testing sites coped with the demand for testing, and also with the commitment by the community to get tested.

Again, she asked people who were either not at any of the exposure sites or who are showing symptoms to stay away for a day or two, to leave time for the urgent cases to get tested.

“Great job by everyone! We were helped enormously by staff from Sale hospital, Latrobe Regional, Warragul, Foster, Peninsula Health and tomorrow we add resources from Koo Wee Rup and Cabrini and DH, plus two new testing sites,” Ms Child said.

“Huge gratitude to the public health team, those involved in event operations, the Bass Coast Shire Council and also the SES for their support in sorting the logistics.”

Obviously, it’s very much a case of fingers cross on Sunday and into Monday and next week in the hope we can minimise the number of local COVID-19 cases but as Ms Child said earlier on Saturday: “It will be a miracle if we don’t see some local cases out of this.”

Hence the reason for those who may have been exposed to the virus to get tested, no inconvenience now with most test results coming back in well under 24 hours.

Here’s where you can get tested tomorrow, Sunday, July 18:

* Cowes drive-through clinic, Transit Station, Cowes (next to the Phillip Island Health Hub) 7am – 5pm, 7 days per week (Monday to Sunday).

* 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.

* San Remo pop up testing site, 9am – 5pm.

* Wonthaggi Hospital drive through clinic, 235 Graham Street, Wonthaggi. 7am-5pm, 7 days per week (Monday to Sunday).

* Wonthaggi Respiratory Clinic open 10am – 1pm (Sunday).

* Bass Recreation Reserve, 100 Hade Avenue, Bass, drive-through. Koo Wee Rup Health Service is hosting an additional testing site at the Bass Recreation Reserve 9am–4.30pm on Sunday, July 18 and Monday, July 19.

* Yarram Medical Centre 9am – 5pm from Sunday. No appointment required.

* Leongatha: Gippsland Southern Health Service drive through, 66 Koonwarra Road, Leongatha. Mon-Sun 9am-5pm.

If you suspect you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) or have been at an exposure site on the notified days and times and can’t get a test, call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days, 1800 675 398.