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Gippsland Region Public Health Unit

Important information 

 ***Updated Monday 18 October 2021***

Cases in Gippsland: Bass Coast 11 / Latrobe 173 / Baw Baw 207 / South Gippsland 14 / Wellington 11 / East Gippsland 6

Please note the active case numbers are a snapshot of data available at the time of posting. They may change at any given time as more information comes to light. These active case numbers relate to the local government area/shire.

Exposure site venues seeking assistance should call: 1800 675 398

Primary Close Contacts seeking advice and information should call: 1300 651 160

Please be aware of the detection of positive viral fragments in wastewater in Lakes Entrance, Lake Tyers and Mallacoota.

As a result there are new testing opportunities in East Gippsland. See below.

For Businesses

The Victorian Government is offering a free, independent review of your COVIDSafe Plan to ensure it is up to date and reflects the current COVIDSafe settings. Every Victorian business must have a COVIDSafe Plan to help protect workers and customers from COVID-19.

Leading professional services firm, Ernst & Young will:

  • Consider your COVIDSafe Plan and any relevant information. 
  • Meet with you to discuss how you have implemented the plan.
  • Provide confidential advice on how to address any gaps or areas for improvement.

How do I book a free COVIDSafe Plan review?

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Provide the following: Your business name, the name of the best person to contact and their phone number. If you have any questions relating to your COVIDSafe requirements, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15


Understanding Tier 1 exposure sites

Not all Tier 1 exposure sites will be publicly listed….Why?

Tier 1 exposure sites may not be listed if all contacts are tracked down - if everyone was identified and contacted quickly. When we are confident we've reached everyone, then we won't need to publish it.

Listing dozens of exposure sites with very low risk of transmission can cause confusion and unnecessary alarm. We are focussing the public's attention on the sites where we believe there's a real risk.

Tier 1 sites of concern, where not everyone has been accounted for quickly, will be listed. This is a type of public health announcement where the community is asked to act – isolate, get tested, follow advice from the Department of Health.

There have been a few instances recently where businesses who have had a positive COVID-19 case visit their site have shared this information on social media - and a lot of the time, it's a precautionary measure.

And there have been individuals also doing the same after finding out about a case in their workplace or social group.

All of these messages add to awareness and encourage the community to remain vigilant, monitor for symptoms and continue practicing COVIDSafe behaviours. That's not a bad thing!

However the messages you might see from a business or an individual should not be considered an automatic direction to get tested and isolate.

People who are identified as a Primary Close Contact linked to a potential exposure site will be contacted by the Department of Health and given the necessary advice and information. Of course, testing is also recommended for those experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, however minor.

 


Latrobe City

Anyone who has visited a Tier 1 exposure site during the times listed must immediately isolate, get a COVID-19 test. If your result is positive, quarantine for 14 days until you are automatically released from quarantine on Day 15, unless otherwise notified by authorities. If your result is negative, test again on Day 13. You can automatically release from quarantine on a negative result. If it is a positive result, you will be contacted by the Department of Health.

Exposure sites in Latrobe City

Tier 1

Morwell Central Primary School, Morwell Wednesday 6 October 9.00am-3.45pm | Thursday 7 October 9.00am-3.45pm

Morwell Park Primary School, Morwell Monday 4 October 9.00am-3.15pm

Please get tested if you were at any of these exposure sites at these dates and times and stay home until you receive a negative result.

Testing opportunities in Latrobe City include:

  • Gippsland Regional Indoor Sports Stadium drive through, Ashby St, Traralgon Weekdays 9.30am-4.00pm. No appointments required.
  • Clinical Labs Traralgon, Monday-Friday 7.30am-3.30pm. Appointments required. Phone 5174 0285.
  • Dorevitch Pathology at Latrobe Regional Hospital. Appointment required phone 5165 0800.
  • Latrobe Valley Respiratory Clinic, Morwell. Monday to Friday 9.00am-5.00pm, Saturday 9.00am-2.00pm Appointments required. Phone 5191 9321 or go to https://bit.ly/3Fbd8eH
  • LCHS - Senior Citizens Centre, Moe, Tuesday and Thursday 9.00am-11.00am. Walk-up, no appointments necessary. You can pre-fill your details using the testing registration form
  • Melbourne Pathology in Moe (asymptomatic testing only) Weekdays 8.00am-5.00pm and Saturday 8.30am-11.30am. Appointments required. Call 5127 2004

 


Baw Baw

Current exposure sites in Baw Baw

Tier 1

  • Main Street Cafe, Warragul (staff and dine-in patrons only) Tuesday 5 October 6.00am-3.30pm | Wednesday 6 October 6.15am-3.00pm
  • Drouin Primary Early Learning Centre, Drouin, Monday 4 October 9.00am-2.15pm | Tuesday 5 October 9.00am-2.30pm | Wednesday 6 October 9.00am-2.30pm | Thursday 7 October 9.00am-11.30am
  • Robin Hood Hotel, Drouin West Sunday 3 October 10.00am-5.00pm | Monday 4 October 10.00am-9.45pm

Testing opportunities in Baw Baw include:


Bass Coast

Positive viral fragments are also being detected in wastewater. We urge the community to remain vigilant.

Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms, however minor, should get tested. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath.

Testing opportunities in Bass Coast include:

  • Cowes drive through at Bass Coast Health 9am – 2pm Monday-Sunday
  • Bass Coast Health drive through at the former McBride Campus of Wonthaggi Secondary College, Watt Street, Wonthaggi 9am-4 Monday-Sunday.
  • Wonthaggi Respiratory Clinic. Appointments are required. Go to www.gphn.org.au/covid-19/

South Gippsland

There are no exposure sites associated with these cases.

Testing opportunities in South Gippsland include:

  • Foster Respiratory Clinic. 9.00am-12.30pm weekdays. Appointments required. For bookings contact 5682 2088.
  • Gippsland Southern Health Service drive through. Wednesday and Thursday 9.00am-2.30pm. Appointments required, for bookings contact 5654 2777. From Monday 18 October, testing times will change to Monday and Thursday 9.00am-3.00pm.

Wellington

There are no exposure sites associated with current cases.

Testing opportunities in Wellington Shire include:

  • Wellington Respiratory Clinic, 9.00am-5.00pm Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Appointments are required for this clinic. Phone 5143 7900.
  • Yarram and District Health Service. Drive-through testing 10.30am-11.30am weekdays. No appointments required. 

 


East Gippsland

No public exposure sites at this stage. Positive viral fragments are also being detected in the local wastewater in Lakes Entrance, Lake Tyers and Mallacoota. As a result, we are asking the community to be vigilant and get tested. Primary Close Contacts who have had a test and received a negative result, should get re-tested. Those experiencing any symptoms (however minor) should also get tested.

Testing opportunities in East Gippsland Shire include:

  • Bairnsdale Regional Health Service drive-through 9.00am-1.00pm Sunday-Friday. Please note this site is unable to test children aged 5 and under. You will need to book your child in to the Bairnsdale Respiratory Clinic by calling 4116 2014. For the latest info go to brhs.com.au/coronavirus/
  • Gippsland Lakes Complete Health, Lakes Entrance 9.00am-5.00pm. Appointments required call 5155 8300.
  • Mallacoota Medical Centre 9am-5pm Friday 15 October. Appointments required, call 5158 0777.
  • Bairnsdale Respiratory Clinic. For bookings go to https://bit.ly/3Fbd8eH
  • Orbost Medical Centre Monday-Friday 9.00am-10.00am by appointment, call 5154 6777
  • Omeo District Health Monday-Sunday 8.00am-9.00pm by appointment, call 5159 0100
  • Gelantipy Bush Nursing Centre Monday and Wednesday 9.00am-11.00am by appointment, call 5155 0274

Exposure sites - What employers should do if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the workplace

As an employer, when you become aware of a confirmed case of COVID-19 at your workplace, you must respond quickly to limit further exposure and contain potential outbreaks.

If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at your workplace, you must:

Immediately

Direct the worker to return home and isolate immediately, whether or not they have symptoms. Once home, the worker must wait for further instructions from the Victorian Department of Health.

Notify the department by completing the Employer COVID-19 notification form and email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If the Department of Health has not contacted you within 24 hours of notification please call 1300 651 160.

Notify your workers, suppliers and customers there is a confirmed positive case.

Notify WorkSafe and other relevant industry bodies.

Within 48 hours

Complete the Workplace risk assessment, identify workplace close contacts by completing the Close contact spreadsheet. Your immediate action assists the Department of Health with contact tracing. The department will review the spreadsheet to confirm and identify any additional close contacts.

Submit the Workplace risk assessment and close contact spreadsheet by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notify identified close contacts - ask them to quarantine and watch for symptoms. The Department of Health will also contact close contacts to explain what they need to do, offer assistance and offer support to them for their quarantine period.

Consider closing or vacating the workplace if required. The Department of Health will work with you on the measures you need to take and provide information when it is safe for your business to reopen.

Deep clean the workplace or areas identified in the Workplace risk assessment.

If you need help with any of these steps, please call the Department of Health on 1300 651 160. Forms and information can be accessed here https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/confirmed-case-workplace

When exposure sites are published

Due to the current COVID-19 climate, GRPHU will often publish Tier 1 public exposure sites before they are listed on the Department of Health website. This early notification enables Primary Close Contacts to take the necessary precautions before they are formally contacted by the Department of Health.

Formal notification of Primary Close Contacts by the Department of Health may be delayed for up to 72 hours. In the meantime, if you visited a Tier 1 Exposure Site during the specified times, please be proactive – isolate and get tested. The GRPHU will publish all local, relevant public exposure sites every afternoon

 

 

What if I'm a close contact?

A close contact is someone who has been identified by contact tracers as having spent time with someone who has COVID-19. There is a high chance that people who have been close to someone with COVID-19 will get the virus and spread it to other people. The best way to protect yourself, your family and the community is to stay at home and stay away from other people as much as possible.

COVID-19 affects everyone differently. You may not feel sick and you may not experience any symptoms, but you could still be infectious so it is important to follow the public health advice.

There are two types of close contacts:

Primary close contacts:

- Someone who has had face-to-face contact or spent time in a closed space with someone who has COVID-19 while they were infectious.

- Someone who has been in an outbreak or other setting where there is a higher risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Secondary close contacts:

- Someone who has had face-to-face contact with a primary close contact at least 24 hours after them being exposed to COVID-19.

The GRPHU may also identify someone as a primary or secondary close contact based on what is known about a particular case or outbreak. Close contact with someone can happen in many ways, such as:

- living in the same household or similar setting (for example, a boarding school or hostel)

- being indoors together, including in a car, lift or public transport

- being at a public exposure site at a similar time

- direct contact with the body fluids or laboratory specimens of a person with COVID-19.

You should quarantine at home if: 

- you may have spent time or live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

- you may have spent time or live with someone who may have been exposed to the virus at work, school or somewhere else

- you may have been exposed to the virus at work, school or somewhere else

- you have been directed by the Department of Health or GRPHU to quarantine

- you have been identified as having to quarantine by authorised officers because you have visited an interstate high-risk location.

Secondary contacts: The requirements have changed

What do I do if I live in the same house as a primary close contact?

If you live in the same house as a primary close contact, you aren’t required to isolate unless:

  • you have COVID-19 symptoms. If you have symptoms, get tested and isolate until you receive a negative result.
  • in other very limited circumstances, and you will be contacted directly with advice by the Department or a public health unit, or via your primary close contact

The primary close contact in your household should quarantine away from the other members of the household as much as possible. If the primary close contact in your household has symptoms, they need to get tested as soon as possible.

What are the testing requirements for secondary close contacts?

You are not required to be tested for COVID-19 unless you develop symptoms or unless you are otherwise directly advised by the Department.

Do I have to quarantine?

If you live in the same house as a primary close contact, you aren’t required to quarantine unless:

  • you have COVID-19 symptoms. If you have symptoms, get tested and isolate until you receive a negative result.
  • in other very limited circumstances, and you will be contacted directly with advice by the Department or a public health unit, or via your primary close contact

Let's talk about exposure sites

How are exposure sites classified?

An exposure site is a location a person who has tested positive to COVID-19 visited while they were potentially infectious. These locations are generally identified through contact tracing, where the person provides a detailed history of their contacts and places they visited up to three days before they developed symptoms (or tested positive, if they didn’t have any symptoms).

You might have seen these exposure sites classified as either Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3. But what does this mean? Contact tracers and public health professionals carry out risk assessments to classify exposure sites. These risk assessments determine whether a particular place is a high-, medium- or low-risk setting for transmission.

We know SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is more likely to spread in certain environments. Typically, settings that constitute one or more of the ‘three Cs’ are considered high-risk:

  • crowded places (indoors carry a greater risk than outdoors)
  • close-contact settings (especially where people have close-range conversations, such as in a bar)
  • confined and enclosed spaces (this specifically refers to indoor spaces with poor ventilation).

In determining how to classify a site, health experts will also consider the amount of time the positive case spent there. We know the risk of COVID spread is related to the length of exposure — that is, the greater the time spent in close contact, the higher the risk.

Finally, the risk level of the site may be influenced by the nature of the location and the sort of activity the positive case conducted there. Tier 1 represents exposure sites where people attending are at greatest risk of catching the virus and passing the infection to others. As such, people who have visited a Tier 1 site during the time specified must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days — regardless of their result.

People who visited Tier 2 and Tier 3 sites are at lower risk of being exposed to a positive case, and therefore less likely to contract and spread the virus. For Tier 2, the public health directive is to get tested and isolate until you receive a negative result. People who visit Tier 2 sites during the relevant time period could be regarded as ‘casual contacts’. Tier 3 sites appear to be precautionary and present the smallest risk — and are potentially places where positive cases have just passed through.

If your workplace has been identified as an exposure site, there is information available to help you https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/confirmed-case-workplace.

What if you are living with a person who has attended an exposure site?

Tier 1: If you have a primary close contact living in your household (someone who attended a Tier 1 site within the specified times), you must stay in quarantine until that person is told they can leave quarantine. So, all within your household must quarantine. The close contact should isolate themselves where possible. Other people within that household should get tested if symptoms appear.

Tier 2: Secondary close contacts do not have to separate from each other within the same household. The primary close contact who attended the Tier 2 site within the specified times should limit their contact with other members of their household where possible and life can return to normal once the primary contact has returned a negative result.

Need support while in quarantine?

How do I get food or other supplies such as medication while I am in isolation?

If you don’t live with others, you should order food or supplies to be delivered to your house, or have friends, family or your carer drop off supplies to your house. Anyone delivering these items should not enter your house or come into contact with you – if possible, they should leave the supplies at your door. This is to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

I need assistance from a carer. Can I get help while in isolation?

If you need assistance due to your age, disability or a chronic health condition then a service provider, carer, family member or friend can visit your home and provide you with assistance. You should tell your service provider you are in isolation at home before they visit. A service provider or carer will need to wear a fitted face mask while visiting your home.

Can I receive deliveries during isolation?

Yes, although the delivery person should leave your delivery outside your door. They should not enter your home or come close to you in any way. Consider making payment for the delivery online in advance or using a contactless payment method to minimise the chances of physical contact. Avoid paying by cash.

Can I leave home to exercise? No. If you are confirmed as having COVID-19, you cannot leave your home to exercise. Penalties apply. More information is available at https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/what-to-do-if-you-have-covid-19 or call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398

Go to https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/what-do-if-you-are-close-contact#who-should-quarantine-stay-at-home for more information

 

About us

The Gippsland Region Public Health Unit (GRPHU) is led by Latrobe Regional Hospital.

GRPHU is responsible for managing and responding to public health issues in Gippsland including West Gippsland, South Gippsland, Latrobe Valley, Central Gippsland and East Gippsland – with a combined population of more than 271,000 people.

The current focus includes end-to-end COVID-19 contact tracing, case and contact follow-up and support, as well as outbreak management with the aim of building strong relationships with community partners, general practitioners and other hospital-based services.

GRPHU links closely with the Department of Health to provide a state-wide system of public health delivery and oversight.

Our focus is to:

  • Strengthen the public health response to COVID-19
  • Be closer to, and more engaged with, our local communities
  • Provide more efficient care and public health functions, such as testing, contact tracing, case and outbreak management
  • Rapidly respond to new cases and outbreaks

 

Latest News

The GRPHU's Operations Manager, Annelies Titulaer, was in great company during a live community webinar about the COVID vaccine. Watch the recording via the link below that includes some great questions from you, the community.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qAuaV2eFDQ

 

GRPHU Community Newsletter

We distribute a monthly community newsletter that includes information about our local public health response, vaccination stats and a Gippsland COVID-19 snapshot to keep you in the loop.

If you’d like to receive the community newsletter directly to your inbox, email Communications Advisor Tracy VanderZalm on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Alternatively, you can catch up here:

September 2021 Newsletter

August 2021 Newsletter

Victorian coronavirus information

Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Victoria, including the roadmap out, where to get tested and how to book is available at https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/

Exposure Sites

The Victorian Department of Health also manages a number of exposure sites which it doesn’t publish online, particularly if these sites represent lower risk exposures, or if they have sufficient record keeping and contact tracing measures in place, or are not attended by members of the public.

GRPHU will publish all local, relevant exposure sites on our Facebook page so make sure you follow us and keep up to date with the latest information at https://www.facebook.com/Gippsland-Region-Public-Health-Unit

Department of Health exposure site list https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/case-alerts-public-exposure-sites.

Need access to COVID-19 information in another language?

COVID-19 translated information for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, health professionals and industry is available at https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/translated-information-about-coronavirus-covid-19

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline 1800 675 398

If you suspect you may have COVID-19 call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

 

 

 

Tax Time - Focus on Falls

The end of the financial year is a time many people contribute to fundraising causes. You can donate online to our Focus on Falls Campaign as we raise money to purchase bed alarms for patients at risk of falling in our hospital. On average, one patient falls at LRH every day. We don't want it to be you or someone you love. Click on the Make A Donation link or contact LRH Fundraising on 5173 8577. Thank you for your kindness!

Latrobe Regional Hospital

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PO Box 424, Traralgon, Victoria,3844
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