‘Very foolish’ visitor to Gippsland

A GIPPSLAND MP has labelled the actions of two metropolitan visitors who may have spread coronavirus at the weekend as “very foolish”.

Gippsland East MLA Tim Bull said a metropolitan person who was tested for COVID-19 had travelled to the Orbost region after that test, and was subsequently found to be positive.

The woman, who travelled to the area with her boyfriend, is known to have visited Aldi in Lakes Entrance on Friday evening, Leon Palace Chinese Restaurant in Orbost on Friday evening, the Marlo Hotel on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, Snowy River Bait and Tackle on Sunday and Orbost Foodworks on Monday.

The 25-year-old woman and 26-year-old man were each fined $1652 for breaching the Chief Health Officer directions.

Mr Bull urged people who had been at these businesses during this time, or had been in close contact with someone who did and were showing symptoms, to get tested and self-isolate.

“Hopefully, we will get out of this without ramification, but only a week or so will tell,” he said.

“While I know people are angry, it cannot be undone, and it is important we deal with this rationally and sensibly.”

The man and woman have shut down their social media accounts following a barrage of criticism.

Mr Bull reiterated that people who had been tested must self-isolate until the test outcome was received, and in this instance this did not occur.

“I have spoken to the inspector of police this morning and that person’s actions are currently under both police and DHHS investigation,” he added.

The businesses the woman visited have since undertaken cleaning, while the Orbost Club Hotel has announced “out of an abundance of precaution”, it will shut for the next five days or so while its staff get tested and await results.

The coronavirus-infected woman didn’t visit the hotel, but other patrons from the Marlo Hotel and the Chinese restaurant have subsequently visited the Orbost hotel.

Contact tracers are now getting in touch with anyone who was in close contact with the person during that period.

A pop-up testing clinic was established on Wednesday at the Orbost Football Ground, and is open for testing from 8am to 4pm.

To avoid bottlenecks, people should phone 0400 895 580 to schedule a time to be tested.

People in that community who have flu-like symptoms should phone the Orbost Medical Clinic on 5154 6777 to make an appointment for testing.

Nearly nine-in-10 of Victoria’s 3810 COVID-19 cases diagnosed between July 7 and 21 did not isolate when they began to notice flu-like symptoms, and 53 per cent did not isolate between being tested and receiving results.

To report a suspected breach of public health restrictions, such as isolation, a mass gathering or business breaches, phone the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or report online.