Colac’s first COVID-19 case

More than 127,000 Victorians have been tested for coronavirus in the past two weeks. The State Government will announce the easing of some coronavirus restrictions this week.

Colac has recorded its first confirmed case of COVID-19.

A Colac resident is in isolation after test results confirmed on Friday that the person had tested positive to coronavirus.

Colac Area Health chief Fiona Brew said the person presented to Colac Area Health’s designated COVID-19 testing centre last Wednesday, after ringing the centre with concerns.

The clinic tested the person on Wednesday, with test results confirming on Friday afternoon the city’s first case of
COVID-19.

“They rang ahead and staff have taken all the normal precautionary measures, using personal protective equipment and tests were done,” Mrs Brew said.

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“All necessary processes have been implemented and the Department of Health and Human Services is also involved and aware of the case.”

This comes after the hospital reported a 20-per-cent rise in the number of people Colac Area Health is swabbing for COVID-19, as national testing criteria relaxes and the state aims to test 100,000 Victorians in the next two weeks.

Colac Area Health’s designated coronavirus testing site is currently swabbing about 69 per cent of people who present to the clinic – a 21 per cent increase from March, when staff were swabbing 48 per cent of people who were screened at the
clinic.

Criteria for COVID-19 tests has relaxed, with more people eligible for coronavirus tests, due to less people returning from overseas, or coming into contact with people who had been overseas in the past 14 days.

Mrs Brew said the hospital would work towards testing as many people as it could, in line with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ “testing blitz”, calling for 100,000 Victorians to be tested before May 11 when the state of emergency is reviewed.

“We’re requiring our staff in aged care to be swabbed, which is just another measure that we’re taking and the directions that we’ve been provided with through the Department of Health and Human Services,” Mrs Brew said.

“We would encourage staff to have it done because it’s important we’ve got a baseline and the more people that have it done in the Victorian community will influence the likelihood of relaxing restrictions.”

As of yesterday, Victoria had 1384 coronavirus cases, an increase of 13 from Saturday.

Meanwhile, Mrs Brew said Colac Area Health was promoting the use of the COVIDSafe app to staff and Colac and district residents, to track the spread of coronavirus.

“It is something that Colac Area Health is reinforcing and promoting, that all residents in Colac should look at downloading,” she said.

“In terms of managing COVID-19, anything we can do to keep our community safe, I will advocate for.”

People can call Colac Area Health’s COVID-19 testing centre on 5232 5402, open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

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