I wanted to provide a quick update to you given the ever-changing nature of life in Victoria under Covid-19 and lockdowns.
POSITIVE WELLINGTON CASE
As you may have heard, a positive case of Covid-19 was confirmed in Wellington Shire yesterday (July 20). Thankfully there are no exposure sites.
There is some confusion around this, so here are the facts:
The person was in isolation for their entire infectious period, so there are no exposure sites. How did this happen? They’d attended an event in Melbourne later identified as a tier 1 site. Once aware of this, they got tested and isolated, but were negative.
Some days later (still in isolation) they developed symptoms, were tested safely via drive-through at the hospital and tested positive. This is why there are no exposure sites in the Shire. Please share this information as there is some confusion going around.
The case is listed in postcode 3851 which is a large rural area surrounding Sale. The locality is not further identified given the small population in rural areas in this postcode. You can follow details of current Covid-19 cases here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-coronavirus-covid-19-data
ADDITIONAL TESTING SITES IN WELLINGTON SHIRE
As a result of the Wellington case, additional testing resources were stood up today, with a pop-up facility at the Sale Baptist Church, Princes Highway (opposite Cobains Road intersection). It will be open again at least tomorrow. Testing is available tomorrow at:
- Sale Baptist Church – 10am – 5pm
- Yarram and District Health Service – 10am – 5pm
Wellington Respiratory Clinic at Inglis Medical Centre, Sale, is open on an ongoing basis from 9 am to 5 pm.
The additional testing sites were set up to deal with an expected increase in demand – as experience shows, this tends to happen when a positive case is announced in a region.
BASS COAST AND PHILLIP ISLAND
Despite around 30 exposure sites from visiting positive cases on Phillip Island, so far this has not resulted in a single positive case locally. However virus fragments have been detected in local wastewater which has authorities concerned there may be an undiagnosed case (or cases) in the Phillip Island area.
There are still testing sites available in Cowes, Wonthaggi and Leongatha – check here for details: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/where-get-tested-covid-19
The State Government has announced today that with the extension of the lockdown for another week (until 11.59 pm, Tuesday, 27 July), further financial support is available for affected businesses: $4,200 under the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund and $2,800 under the Business Costs Assistance Program. Previous recipients will receive payment automatically.
If you haven’t previously applied, or your eligibility has changed since the May/June lockdown, you can apply here: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/financial-support-for-businesses-and-workers
The Opposition is very cognisant that sole traders and micro businesses are getting nothing from the State Government and has been calling for better support, so far to no avail.
However sole traders, like employees, who’ve lost income or work due to lockdowns can get access to the Covid-19 Disaster Payment here: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/covid-19-disaster-payment
We’re all frustrated at extended and ongoing lockdowns, but there is something we can do about it – get vaccinated!
Despite talk about shortages, that’s not my experience and evidence suggests it shouldn’t be the experience for most people in Gippsland.
As at today, the following people are eligible for a vaccine:
- All adults aged 40 and above
- Adults aged 18-39 can choose to get the Astra Zeneca vaccine in consultation with their doctor
- Numerous other categories, such as health care workers, Aboriginal people and aged care workers.
For the full details and to check if you qualify, see here:
Five Gippsland Respiratory Clinics (Bairnsdale, Sale, Wonthaggi, Warragul and Foster) are all open and offering both Pfizer and Astra Zeneca jabs, while an increasing number of local GP clinics are also offering both vaccines.
Check the list and contact details here:
We’ve also done a ring around of clinics in Gippsland South and all of those in Sale, Leongatha, Korumburra, Foster, Mirboo North and Yarram District Health Service are offering at least Astra Zeneca – call your clinic to make an appointment.
There’s also the community vaccination hubs right across the region located in Warragul, Wonthaggi, Leongatha, Traralgon, Sale, Yarram, Bairnsdale and Orbost. You can find details, including opening times and booking information here:
Some of these only take bookings, others will accept walk-ups. You can book by calling 1800 675 398 or online via the link above.
So don’t be put off by the talk – there are plenty of options for most people! Let’s get vaccinated and move a step closer to putting lockdowns behind us.
GETTING THROUGH LOCKDOWN
Our fifth lockdown is mentally, physically and financially draining for all of us – so reach out for help if you need it. Here’s some support services you may find useful:
Lifeline (24/7): 131 114
Lifeline SMS (12 pm to 12 am): 0477 131 114
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
Headspace: 1800 650 890
1800 Respect (relationships/family violence): 1800 737 732
Mensline Australia: 1300 789 978
Please check in on family, friends and neighbours and look after each other.
As always, if I can help with anything, don’t hesitate to contact me via email or call 51441987
Danny O’Brien MP
The Nationals State Member for Gippsland South
Shadow Assistant Minister for Regional Health
Shadow Assistant Minister for Ambulance Services
Ph: 03 5144 1987