Messaging on chance of regional Vic shut-downs stays consistent

Premier and Victorian Chief Health Officer still clear on no regional shut-downs

Coronavirus
Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton is watching regional coronavirus cases but maintains there is no planning for regional restrictions.

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton is watching regional coronavirus cases but maintains there is no planning for regional restrictions.

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Premier and Victorian Chief Health Officer still clear on no regional shut-downs

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Any extension of stage three lock-downs to regional areas of Victoria remains off the state government's radar at this stage.

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton was asked on Saturday about an outbreak at Colac, where an abattoir is linked to 43 cases, and whether his team was on top of regional cases.

"We're certainly watching the regional cases in Victoria very closely," he said.

"We can see the links back to Melbourne; a lot of that is because people have to work, and move into regional Victoria.

"We know there's been some ongoing transmission within households; again the same message around isolating yourself and getting tested very early is key there.

"But we're not seeing a kind of growth in community transmission in any of those places, really.

"There's been some different settings where outbreaks have seeded, Colac is an example, but for most of the postcodes across regional areas, we're talking about one or two cases only."

Premier Daniel Andrews was asked again on Sunday if the government was considering added restrictions.

"Any changes that are made would only be made on advice; I have no such advice," he said.

"It is a workplace-based outbreak ... a known, and contained outbreak.

"That doesn't speak to community transmission, for instance, or a whole lot of unknown cases right across regional Victoria - those numbers remain low."

Mr Andrews thanked those people in regional areas who were wearing masks.

"It's not like there are no rules in regional Victoria ... they still have to be followed," he said.

"If you can't maintain that 1.5 [metre distance], we're asking you to wear a mask.

"Many people in country Victoria are doing that, and that's a really significant thing."

Victoria recorded 459 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday.

A Wangaratta case was removed on Friday after being listed the day before, but the data appears to be inconsistent in the Chief Health Officer's media release with an active case in Mansfield also being removed and added back on.

On the NSW side of the border, MLHD is introducing more measures in its health services.

Health workers in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District are now required to wear surgical masks when they are within 1.5 metres of patients.

Patients in hospital and community health settings will also be required to wear a mask, where possible.

Carla Bailey, MLHD incident controller - COVID-19 health emergency operations centre, said it was a precautionary measure.

Carla Bailey, MLHD incident controller - COVID-19 health emergency operations centre,

Carla Bailey, MLHD incident controller - COVID-19 health emergency operations centre,

"Please don't become alarmed when you see a health worker wearing a surgical mask," she said.

"This is an extra precaution we are taking in order to protect our staff and the broader community, on top of a range of other infection control measures."

Ms Bailey said from Monday, MLHD would reinstate a visitor policy for all hospitals and multipurpose services which restricts visitor numbers to one visitor per patient/resident at any time for up to 60 minutes during dedicated hours.

Albury Wodonga Health has also strengthened its COVID-19 screening process to require all staff, patients and visitors to wear face masks when on site.

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The story Messaging on chance of regional Vic shut-downs stays consistent first appeared on The Border Mail.

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