GETTING ‘ho-hum’ about COVID-19 reports? It’s not surprising after almost two years with the pandemic in our midst.

But it’s still ticking away and with the government backing off its response and data, it’s increasingly being left up to the individual to protect themselves, their family and friends.

There were five (5) new cases of COVID-19 reported by the Gippsland Region Public Health Unit in Bass Coast on Tuesday, November 23 for a total of 21 active cases being managed by GRPHU.

The Health Department’s website reports seven (7) new for Bass Coast and a total of 32 active cases to Tuesday, November 23.

South Gippsland has two new cases according to both GRPHU and the Health Department website making it 24 or 25 active cases depending on which report you read.

But clearly the numbers are finally starting to come down regionally and in metro Melbourne.

Across Victoria there were 827 new cases of COVID-19 reported from 48,427 tests but alarmingly, one of our worst days for deaths with 19. There are 9420 active cases of COVID-19 in Victoria.

The state is still sitting at 89% double dose for eligible people aged 12 and over, a number that hasn’t been adjusted for days.

The total number of active cases in Gippsland, being managed by the GRPHU, is 245 (Bass Coast 21, Baw Baw 65, East Gippsland 58, Latrobe 65, South Gippsland 24, Wellington 12).

The GRPHU is currently managing 245 positive COVID cases throughout Gippsland. There are two people in hospital. One of those is in ICU. Latrobe has recorded seven new cases from yesterday, Baw Baw and Wellington one, two for East Gippsland, five for Bass Coast and two in South Gippsland.

Bass Coast

There are currently 21 active COVID-19 cases in Bass Coast being managed by the GRPHU.

Testing opportunities in Bass Coast include;

South Gippsland

There are currently 24 active COVID-19 cases in South Gippsland being managed by the GRPHU.

Testing opportunities in South Gippsland include;

  • Leongatha – Gippsland Southern Heath Service, drive through. 9am – 3pm Mondays and Thursdays by Appointment, for bookings call 5654 2777
  • Foster Respiratory Clinic, 9am – 12.30pm weekdays. For bookings go to https://bit.ly/3Fbd8eH

Changes to quarantine, isolation and contact tracing

“Isolation requirements are changing for COVID-19 cases. These changes are possible because of the protection provided by the COVID vaccine, which close to 90 percent of Victorians aged 12 and over have now received,” said GRPHU.

“From 11:59pm on Thursday, November 18: Contact with positive cases In many cases if you come into contact with a confirmed positive case outside your home (for example in an office or restaurant) you will not have to isolate. Instead, you will need to get a PCR test (this is the standard test you get from a GP or COVID-19 testing centre) and isolate until you get a negative result.

“This means in most cases you will not get a call or text from the Department of Health. You will need to make sure you get tested and stay at home until you receive a negative result.

“The Department of Health will still manage any new outbreaks of concern and can still require contacts to isolate if necessary. Positive cases If you test positive you must tell your family, friends, work or school that you have COVID-19.

“If your child or someone you care for tests positive, you must tell their school or childcare that they have COVID-19. Workplaces, schools and childcare centres will then need to identify any contacts of the positive case and tell them to get tested and isolate until they get a negative result. Workplaces only need to tell employees, sub-contractors and visitors, they do not need to tell customers.

“School and workplace contacts presenting to testing centres for their PCR test will also be offered Victorian-funded rapid antigen tests (RATs) for recommended use before entering sensitive settings such as workplaces and schools. If you have COVID-19 you will only need to isolate for 10 days, instead of 14 days.”

Household contacts of positive cases

“If someone in your house gets COVID-19 there is a high chance they will pass it on to you. If you have spent more than four hours with someone who has COVID-19 at home you must get a PCR test and isolate for 7 days if fully vaccinated or 14 days if not fully vaccinated. You must get a second PCR on the last day of your isolation period.

“Children under 12 are considered fully vaccinated if everyone else in their household aged over 12 is fully vaccinated. Workers exposed at work, and children who are exposed at school or early childhood centres, will need to show a negative PCR test result to return to work or school. It is recommended they continue to use rapid antigen tests (RATs) for either seven days if vaccinated or 14 days if not vaccinated.”

Exposure sites and contact tracing

“Exposure sites will no longer be published online. Instead, you will get an alert through the Service Victoria app if you have been at a higher-risk venue where positive cases have been present (for example restaurants, gyms and nightclubs). If this happens you will need to get tested and stay home until you get a negative result.

“The Department of Health will not contact trace social contacts of people who test positive. If you test positive for COVID-19 you need to tell the people you have spent time with and encourage them to get tested.”

Businesses

“Businesses will no longer need to deep clean or wait for clearance from the Department of Health after a reported positive case attends their premises. COVIDSafe practices are strongly encouraged and a COVIDSafe plan is still required.”