THERE are 245 active cases of COVID-19 which are being managed by the Gippsland Region Public Health Unit (GRPHU).

There are 24 active cases in South Gippsland (two new cases) and 21 cases in Bass Coast (five new cases).

Further afield, Latrobe and Baw Baw both have 65 active cases, East Gippsland 58 and Wellington 12.

There are two people in hospital. One of those is in ICU.

 

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 per cent of Victorians aged 12 and over have now received.

As of 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 seven 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.