THE COVID-19 numbers are on the increase locally with Inverloch and Wonthaggi residents in the firing line.

On Saturday afternoon, November 13, the Department of Health listed the Shell Service Station in White Road Wonthaggi as a Tier 1 Exposure Site after a staff member tested positive.

The Slice of Paradise Bakery also notified customers on Friday morning of a staff member who is a Primary Close Contact, reportedly in connection with Inverloch Primary School, and closed for two days on the advice of the Health Department.

The bakery was up and running again on Monday this week, but a spokesperson noted the response had not been without its difficulties.

“The problem for us is they’ve already been working from midnight (baking) and to have to close down in the morning was difficult.

“But everyone came back negative, and we’ve done a big clean.”

There have also been reports of a positive case at the Inverloch Primary School where parents and families of children in a specific year level have been advised to stay home and get tested.

Other local schools may also be involved.

The reports and response have resulted in a significant boost in numbers getting tested at the Wonthaggi Testing Centre in Watt Street Wonthaggi today (Monday) with cars snaking back down Watt Street and into McKenzie Street.

According to Bass Coast CEO Jan Child, there’s likely to be a more cases in the state’s south-east as we opened up to more visitors.

And that certainly proved to be the case on the weekend with tourism areas in Gippsland, including Bass Coast (30 active cases) and East Gippsland (74 active cases) reaching new highs.

“I wish my crystal ball could bring certainty that this will soon be over… but the truth is, there is no crystal ball that is accurate because there are just too many variables.

“A couple of big local outbreaks could change our whole trajectory and being a tourist hot spot in a pandemic is untested in the modelling.

“Every day as a service, and every week as a region, we have to continue to review all our strategies, and change our course as required, to position ourselves better for the next week.”

Ms Child said that it was likely to be a busy Christmas locally for health care staff and those supporting the testing and vaccination services locally.

Official report

The Shell Service Station, 307 White Road, Wonthaggi (South Dudley), has been listed as a Tier 1 Exposure Site on the coronavirus.vic.gov.au website for the following dates and times:

* Tuesday, November 9 4:00pm – 8:30pm

* Wednesday, November 10 4:00pm – 8:30pm

* Thursday, November 11, 4:00pm – 8:30pm

Anyone who has visited this location during these times must get tested immediately and quarantine for 7 days from exposure if fully vaccinated, or 14 days from exposure if not fully vaccinated or if you live with someone who has COVID-19.

The venue was officially listed on the Department of Health website at 4pm on Saturday, the first time any exposure site had been listed there for four days.

Also posting on Facebook locally, last Friday morning, was Slice of Paradise Bakery at Inverloch which was closed out of an abundance of caution and for cleaning on Friday and Saturday, November 12 and 13.

“Dear Customers, we have been advised this morning that a staff member is a close contact of a positive case of COVID-19. We have been advised to shut our doors and have our staff tested and isolate until we have negative results,” said a Slice of Paradise.

“As a precaution we will be closed Friday and Saturday whilst we await results and deep clean the shop. We are following all instructions and guidelines as provided by Dep of Health.

“We will see you all again once we get the all-clear. The staff member was last in attendance on Tuesday, November 9.”

The post was greeted with support and best wishes locally.