COVID-19 Daily Updates

ballarat coronavirus covid COVID-19 Testing
Friday 24 September 2021

The COVID situation is changing rapidly. Please check this page for community updates as they come to hand.

Ballarat has recorded one new positive COVID case today (Friday 24 September), bringing the total number of active cases in the city to 20.  

There are currently no COVID positive patients at Ballarat Base Hospital but we continue to monitor patients in the community remotely through BHS at Home. 

No new COVID exposure sites have been listed for Ballarat this morning, however, we encourage all in our community to continue to check the Department of Health’s website. 

Today’s new case explains some, but not all, of the unexpected wastewater detection announced yesterday and discussed with our community in a COVID Online Community Forum last night.  

The Grampians Public Health Unit has received reports this morning of new detections in the northern part of the Ballarat South Treatment Plant catchment covering Redan, Ballarat Central, Buninyong, Mt Helen, Mt Clear, Canadian, Golden Point, Ballarat East, Warrenheip, Brown Hill, Black Hill, Ballarat North, Invermay Park, Lake Wendouree and Wendouree. 

Repeat detections in locations identified for the first time only in the past few days across both the Ballarat North Treatment Plant and Ballarat South Treatment Plant catchments in the suburbs of Lake Gardens, Alfredton, Delacombe, Ascot, Bald Hills, Ballarat North, Blowhard, Cabbage Tree, Cardigan, Creswick, Invermay, Invermay Park, Learmonth, Miners Rest, Mitchell Park, Mount Rowan, Sulky, Wendouree and Windermere. 

On-going detections (having occurred regularly for the past fortnight or so) in Alfredton, Bakery Hill, Ballarat Central, Ballarat East, Ballarat North, Black Hill, Bonshaw, Brown Hill, Buninyong, Canadian, Cardigan, Delacombe, Eureka, Golden Point, Invermay Park, Lake Gardens, Lake Wendouree, Lucas, Mount Clear, Mount Helen, Mount Pleasant, Nerrina, Newington, Redan, Sebastopol, Smythes Creek, Soldiers Hill, Warrenheip and Wendouree. 

As usual, repeat sampling is always done when new wastewater detections are identified. 

Quotes attributed to Grampians Public Health Unit, Medical Director, Associate Professor Rosemary Aldrich. 

“Given that the new case today explains only some of the wastewater detection, we are asking those residents who live or have visited or worked in any of the suburbs listed above, and have or have had even the slightest of symptoms, no matter for how short or how long, to get tested as soon as possible.   

“COVID can be very mild. It is possible that you could have had COVID without realising. If you have had symptoms recently but think your symptoms are gone now please still get tested to make sure it was not COVID. Please do not delay – COVID might be mild in you but could have a severe impact on someone close to you.” 

There have been changes to some of the testing sites in Ballarat for this long weekend. Please visit Ballarat Health Services’ website for location and times. 

Thank you to the community for joining us last night for our second COVID Online Community Forum. This forum provided the community with an update on the current COVID situation in Ballarat and an opportunity to have questions answered by a panel including Ballarat Health Services, Acting CEO, Melanie Robertson; Ballarat Health Services, Disability Liaison Officer, Nikki Stiefel; Medical Director Grampians Public Health Unit Associate Professor Rosemary Aldrich; City of Ballarat, CEO, Evan King; and Department of Health, Rapid Response Engagement Manager, Hugh Varley.  

For those who couldn’t watch the live Community Forum, a recording is available on Ballarat Health Services’ Facebook page 

We remind everyone in the community to remain vigilant and to continue to adhere to COVID-Safe practices over the long weekend. 

   

[Update from 17 Sept] 

To help keep our local community informed on the current COVID situation, Ballarat Health Services, in partnership with the Victorian Department of Health and City of Ballarat, will host an online community information session tonight (Friday 17 September) from 7pm to 8pm.

The discussion will include

  • Ballarat Health Services Acting CEO, Melanie Robertson;
  • Victoria’s COVID Commander, Jeroen Weimar;
  • City of Ballarat CEO, Evan King;
  • City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Daniel Moloney; and
  • Grampians Public Health Unit Medical Director, Associate Professor Rosemary Aldrich.

We invite all in the community to join us tonight at 7pm live on Ballarat Health Services’ Facebook page, or watch the recording below.


[Update from 16 Sept]

More testing sites have also been established in Ballarat, check the BHS website for testing site locations and opening hours. 

New sites starting today: 

  • Victoria Park (drive through): 9:00am – 8:00pm 
  • Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre (walk in): 10:00am – 5:30pm 
  • Ballarat Sports and Events Centre: 4:00pm – 8:00pm 

Stay safe, stay home. Get tested, get vaccinated.  

Thank you Ballarat. 

 

Victoria Park 

Military Dr, Newington VIC 3350 

Drive Through 

Commencing Thursday 16/9 (09:00am -08:00pm) 

From Friday 17/9 (08:00am -08:00pm) 

Ballarat Aquatic & Lifestyle Centre 

Prince of Wales Recreation Reserve - Pt, Gillies St N, Lake Gardens VIC 3350 

Walk in 

Commencing Thursday 16/9 

10:00 am -5:30pm 

The Ballarat Sports Events Centre (Car Park) 

989 Norman St, Wendouree VIC 3355 

Drive through 

Commencing Thursday 16/9 

04:00pm -08:00pm 


[Update from 15 Sept]

In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 across our community, the City of Ballarat will go in to a seven-day lockdown from 11:59pm tonight. 

There are additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ballarat, which includes two household contacts of the case announced yesterday and concerning wastewater detection that indicates over a week of likely transmission across our community.  

We remind everyone in the community to remain vigilant and to continue to adhere to COVID-Safe practices.  

For the community in Ballarat, for the next seven days, there will be only five reasons to leave home: shopping for necessary goods and services, authorised work and study, caregiving or compassionate reasons, exercise, and getting vaccinated. 

Exercise and shopping will be limited to 5km from your home. If there are no shops in your 5km radius, you can travel to the ones closest to you. Masks will be mandatory indoors and outdoors – and there will still be no visitors allowed to the home.  

Exercise will be limited to just you and one other person, plus dependants if they can’t be left at home. Playgrounds will remain open for children under 12 but with only one parent or carer, and adults should not remove their masks to eat or drink. Playgrounds must have QR codes. 

Within Ballarat Health Services, strict visitor restrictions have been in place for some time.  With the current outbreak, we have further restricted visiting to some areas to protect the most vulnerable in our care. Please visit our website at bhs.org.au/covid

Due to this current outbreak, there is significant pressure on the City’s COVID testing clinics.  Additional resources are being deployed from across the state, and we thank Victoria for this support. 

At this stage we are asking that only the following members of our community step forward for testing: 

  • People who have attended a Tier 1 or Tier 2 exposure site at the dates and times listed on the exposure site webpageor if you have been directed to get tested by the Grampians Public Health Unit.     
     
    If you attended an exposure site at a date or time that is NOT listed on this webpage, you do not need to get tested, unless you have COVID symptoms. 
     
  • People who have COVID symptoms. 

    Symptoms can be very mild. They can include a headache, fever, sore throat, and/or loss of small or taste. 

If you need to leave home to get tested, and are attending a drive-through clinic, you may experience long wait times. It would be a good idea to take food, water, and entertainment with you.   

If you do not have any symptoms and you have not attended a Tier 1 or 2 exposure site at the dates and times listed, you do not need to get tested at this stage. 

“I would like to thank – and echo – City of Ballarat CEO Evan King’s words from yesterday.  As a city, we are well prepared for a COVID-19 outbreak, and as a city we need to remain calm. As the public health service, I can assure the community that we are well prepared, and we need everyone to follow the advice that will continue to keep us safe.   

Getting vaccinated as soon as possible is a priority. We need Ballarat to reach 80% first and second doses so we can end these lockdowns. While you’re at home make your vaccination booking - if you’re due for your second dose don’t put it off.   

We need everyone to watch out for development of symptoms.  Please take care of yourself by getting tested if you have any symptoms.  The news yesterday that a young man in Melbourne died at home from COVID-19 is simply tragic. Getting tested is free.  It doesn’t hurt, and it triggers measures of support for you and your family, if you are positive.  

Testing and getting vaccinated helps us get on top of the spread of this deadly virus.   

 It helps us care for you.”  Melanie Robertson, Acting CEO 

As we have seen before, the current COVID-19 situation may change rapidly. 

Please regularly check the exposure site webpage: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/case-alerts-public-exposure-sites  

If you attended a site at the dates and times listed then you need to follow the rules on that site listing. 

If you have any questions about you or a family member visiting an exposure site, use this form on the Department of Health website – it is quick and easy to determine what you will need to do, based on where you have been: www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/what-to-do-if-you-have-been-exposed-to-covid-19  

Finally, we ask the community to care for each other during this time, within the permitted restrictions.  Please telephone or text your family, friends, colleagues, and neighbours.  Check in to see if they need anything, or just to ensure they have had contact with someone else.   

This situation is manageable, but it is also stressful. There are people in our community who will be experiencing anxiety and distress at today’s news.  

If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, please reach out to your GP, or call HeadtoHelp on 1800 595 212. 

HeadtoHelp services have been scaling-up around Victoria to support Victorians' mental health and wellbeing, and they support Victorians of all ages. If your mental health is suffering because of the pandemic, call HeadtoHelp now on 1800 595 212.  

Additionally, for 24-hour assistance phone Grampians Area Mental Health Service on 1300 247 647.  

In an emergency please contact 000. 

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