• July 18, 2021

Regional communities on the brink of outbreak spread from Melbourne


While Cr Modica, along with other border communities, has been pushing for a more “nuanced” version of the blockade for regional areas, it said it understood that the restrictions should be in place when there was a case in the community.

Jacki Turfrey, executive director of Mallee District Aboriginal Services, said an outbreak would have serious consequences for the local Aboriginal community.

In 6702, the Loddon Mallee region The Aboriginal population of 6702 is about 14 percent of Victoria’s total.

“I am very concerned for the Aboriginal community,” Turfrey said. “We have much higher levels of chronic health problems… it’s not just the elderly who have chronic health problems.

“We have a high percentage of people here who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, which means we have a fairly vulnerable population overall.

“I am really concerned about members of the Aboriginal community who have not yet been vaccinated and the risk they are at.”

Acceptance of the vaccine increased during the most recent shutdown, and Turfrey said he would not be surprised to see the new case trigger another spike in strokes. But he said the change in advice for the AstraZeneca vaccine had created uncertainty.

“We had a very good buy-in with AstraZeneca, a massive buy-in, which is great,” he said. “The only problem was with the mixed messages about AstraZeneca… it just completely vanished. People are very afraid to come and get that vaccine.

Nikkita, a Mildura resident, who declined to give her last name, said the case could act as a wake-up call for many people in the community.

“I think there was a sense of complacency here at Mildura, but now I think this will be a big wake-up call for the community that obviously we are not immune to this kind of thing because we are so far from Melbourne.” she said.

Queues at the testing clinic in Mildura on Sunday afternoon.

He said that most people had been wearing masks, but many had not been registering with QR codes as often as they should. He said a testing center had been set up near his home on Sunday and there was already a long line.

“A lot of people in the community are going to get tested, which is great to see,” he said. “Mildura has a strong sense of community; everyone goes out, gets tested and does the right thing. “

Three Mildura show sites were added to the official list on Sunday night. Two were level 1 sites: Caffeine Extraction at Mildura Mall on July 13 between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., and Kaffenio at Mildura on July 12 between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Downtown Commercial Mildura has been classified as a level 2 site on July 13 between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Daniel Andrews questioned the anticipated end of the regional area closure, saying the Mildura case had shown how quickly the virus could spread.

“This is not the day for us to announce that parts of the Victoria region will come out of this lockdown … that just confirms, I think for all of us, if we need any, that this is moving fast and that a problem anywhere is it becomes a problem everywhere, “he said.

“I know it is incredibly frustrating for people who are far away from Melbourne, but that virus can get to you, as we can see with this case of Mildura … From a virus point of view, the state is much smaller than he. it may seem. ”

Phillip Island local Faye Redmond said Sunday there was an unsettling feeling in the city. On Saturday, men dressed in hazmat suits wandered in and out of shops on Cowes’ main street as traffic stopped for miles and locals waited to be examined.

“It’s kind of scary,” Ms. Redmond said. “I have been feeling perfectly fine so far. Yesterday I had a little nervous, it has become a little real.

“So far we haven’t seen any cases, but we think those people will probably be considered to have been here for several days… Hopefully we won’t have an outbreak, but that’s obviously everyone’s concern. . “

The 65-year-old, who has lived on the island for 25 years, has a compromised immune system and lives alone. She said that she had been encouraged by the support she had received from the community.

A walk-in testing clinic has been established in Cowes on Phillip Island.

A walk-in testing clinic has been established in Cowes on Phillip Island. Credit:Wayne taylor

Geoff Moed, owner of the A Maze’N Things amusement park on Phillip Island, said the community was nervous.

“There has been a stark contrast: A Maze’N Things’s two-week school vacation was the best July school vacation we’ve ever had. We received great local support and a lot of people came, ”he said.

“From that perspective, it was a positive perspective, but when this is included, it is particularly difficult for business owners and staff. Every time we are locked in, the feeling of despondency deepens a little bit. “

Barwon Heads Elementary School, on the Bellarine Peninsula, closed several days ago after a teacher tested positive. Forty-nine staff members and 527 students at the school have been identified as primary or secondary close contacts.

Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said Sunday the situation was different compared to the most recent shutdown because there were active cases in the region and exposure sites at Barwon Heads and Waurn Ponds.

“The next few days will be critical for our region,” he said. “The best case scenario is that the outbreak is controlled across the state, including Melbourne, and we can all get out of the lockdown together.”

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