THE first case of coronavirus in western Victoria has been confirmed today in Hamilton.
Western District Health Service (WDHS) reported the COVID-19 case this morning, which was detected after testing at its drive-thru clinic on Wednesday afternoon.
WDHS chief executive Rohan Fitzgerald said the COVID-19 the patient was in transit to an interstate destination and was screened, then tested at the drive-thru clinic.
The patient did not enter the Hamilton Base Hospital.
“Nurses at the WDHS drive-thru follow strict infection control guidelines and wear appropriate protective equipment, to eliminate the prospect of spreading the infection,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
Yesterday, Limestone Coast Local Health Network governing board chair Grant King said the Limestone Coast was yet to record a confirmed coronavirus case, however a number of people had been tested for the virus.
All people who are tested for COVID-19 are advised they must home isolate until they receive their test results.
If they have a positive result, home isolation continues until they are cleared by their relevant state or territory public health agency.
“I understand that a positive result in our community may heighten anxiety, but want to reassure everyone that WDHS is doing everything it can to ensure the safety of residents, clients, patients and staff during this time,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
He said the case demonstrated the effectiveness of the drive-thru clinic and other social distancing measures WDHS has in place, in reducing the potential risk of transmission of the virus in our facilities.
WDHS has also introduced strict visitor restrictions to protect staff and the vulnerable in aged care facilities and hospital.
“We understand that limiting access to friends and loved ones in our facilities will cause concern for some members of our community, however, social distancing measures are seen as the best defence in delaying the spread of the virus,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
How to help slow the spread of coronavirus
* Follow social distancing protocols – keep a 1.5 metre space between you and other people
* Hygiene – wash your hands frequently with soap for 20 seconds, particularly after eating or using the toilet
* Cover your cough – use a tissue, hankie or your elbow pit. Throw out used tissues
* Stay home if you are unwell
* Stop shaking hands and hugging – minimise physical contact where possible, particularly with high-risk persons such as the elderly or sick
* Keep children away from grandchildren or older citizens
* Avoid large public gatherings or any non-essential public interactions (bans now apply to indoor gathering of more than 100 people and over 500 people outdoors
Ed note: The Border Watch encourages all readers to visit health.gov.au for the latest health advice and information regarding COVID-19. Please practice all recommended social distancing measures and be considerate of others in the community at all times.