COVID-19 Daily Updates

ballarat coronavirus covid COVID-19 Testing
Friday 19 November 2021

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

Please see an update below from Ballarat Health Services’ Grampians Public Health Unit. 

In line with Victorian Government guidelines, visiting is still heavily restricted. From Friday 19 November, some restrictions for visitors have eased across the Base and QEC sites. 

Families, friends and carers are encouraged to coordinate their visits with each other to ensure they are adhering to restrictions, and to contact the Ward if they are unclear on what to do. 

Not every patient can have visitors. 

There is a limit to the number of visits permitted each day. 

All visits must be pre-arranged with the Ward – visits are by appointment only. 

At the entrance to the hospital, visitors will be required to: 

  • Check-in with QR Code 
  • Answer questions asked by the entrance screeners 
  • Confirm that you have a pre-booked appointment 
  • Have your temperature taken by the entrance screeners 
  • Show your vaccination certificate – if you are not vaccinated you must: 
  • wear an N95 mask (which will be supplied) 
  • wear eye protection - either face shield or goggles (which will be supplied) 
  • If you do not consent to wearing this additional PPE you will not be permitted to visit the patient 


No visitors are permitted into health care settings, except if they meet the following requirements: 

General wards (except 2GP): 

  • A patient can only have 1 visiting session per 24hrs, and a maximum of 2 (two) visitors during that session    
  • Visitors must be aged 16 years or older  
  • HOWEVER visitors are only permitted if: 
    • you are the parent, guardian or carer of a child who is a patient in hospital.  
    • you are providing support that is necessary for the patient's emotional or physical wellbeing (including mental health support and support for people living with dementia).   
    • you are a nominated person under the Mental Health Act  
    • you are providing interpreter or informal language support to enable the delivery of care by the care team  
    • you are learning to support the patient's care upon discharge.   
    • you are the carer of a patient with a disability.  
    • A patient whose medical condition is life threatening can have visitors.     
    • A patient attending an emergency department or outpatient clinic can have someone accompany them if it is necessary for them to do so.   


End of life  

A patient who is dying and/or receiving end-of-life care can have visitors.   

All visits must be pre-arranged with the Ward – by appointment only. 


Maternity / Labour / Special Care Nursery            

Maternity, Antenatal and Postnatal patients are permitted: 

  • One (1) support person who is also their labour support person 

Patients on the labour ward are permitted: 

  • One (1) support person, and there is no time limit on the length of the labour support person’s visit.  

Special Care Nursery and Cotton On Children's Ward 

  • Visitors can be the two (2) parents OR one (1) parent and one (1) support person. An additional visitor is permitted during visiting hours, with no more than two persons at any time. The support person must be over the age of 18 years. 


No visitors are permitted to 2GP  

  • Patients in our COVID and SCOVID wards are not permitted to have visitors for any reason.     
  • All patients will be assisted to communicate with family.  

Click here for more information on current visitor restrictions.


Updated 12 November:

Walk-ins for COVID vaccines at The Mercure 

From Sunday 14 November, walk-ins will be accepted for all vaccines at the Community Vaccination Clinic at The Mercure including: 

  • Pfizer for people aged 12 and older;
  • Moderna for peopleaged 12 and older; and 
  • AstraZeneca for people aged 18 and older.

Walk-ins will be accepted for first dose, second dose and third/booster vaccines. 

Appointments will still be accepted for all vaccines and doses, and can be made online or by calling 1800 675 398. 


COVID-19 vaccination pop-up - Sunday 14 November 

Ballarat Health Services’ Grampians Public Health Unit is again partnering with the Department of Health for another pop-up clinic for COVID-19 vaccinations at Ballarat Community Health on Sunday 14 November from 9am to 3pm. Community members can walk in for their first or second Pfizer dose and also their third/booster vaccine at 256 Vickers Street, Sebastopol. Bookings are not required, but supply is limited.


Booster vaccines 

Booster vaccines are now available for all residents at the Community Vaccination Clinic at The Mercure. In order to be eligible for a booster vaccine, you must be aged 18 years or older and have completed your initial course (two doses) of COVID-19 vaccinations more than six months ago. 

People attending the Community Vaccination Clinic for a booster dose must bring proof of date of their second dose, which is also the ‘valid from’ date on their digital COVID-19 certificate. 

Community members are recommended to check the date of their second dose, and set a reminder in their calendar for six months from that date for their booster dose. 

Booster doses are recommended to maintain immunity against COVID-19 and help protect you, your loved ones and the community. 

Pfizer is the vaccine recommended for a COVID-19 booster dose, regardless of which vaccine you had for your first two doses. You can also have AstraZeneca if you can’t have the Pfizer vaccine for medical reasons, or have had two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine previously.


Third doses 

Third doses of vaccine are recommended for those in our community who are severely immunocompromised to provide the best protection possible. People who are severely immunocompromised can receive a third dose of vaccine two to four months following their second dose. An mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) is recommended for the third dose. 

Third doses can be administered at the Community Vaccination Clinic at the Mercure; please bring proof of eligibility from your GP or Specialist. 

For instructions on how to download your COVID digital certificate visit here. 

Hayfever and COVID 

During hayfever season it can be hard to tell the difference between symptoms of hayfever and COVID-19. A runny nose, headache, tiredness, shortness of breath, cough and an itchy throat can be symptoms of both COVID-19 and hayfever. 

COVID-19 is in our community and will be for a long time to come, even if in low numbers. The way to keep numbers low is to stop the spread before it starts.  

Please do not assume that your symptoms are hayfever. If you usually get hayfever, and have those symptoms at any time, please take your usual hayfever medication. If you still have symptoms after an hour, please get tested. 

Please visit here for testing site information. 



Updated 4 October 2021

Ballarat currently has 14 active cases. 

New cases identified over the weekend are linked, and new exposure sites were generated.  

As we move toward living with COVID-19 in our community, there will be an increase in cases.  This is why it is so important for everyone aged 12+ to get vaccinated as soon as possible. 

In many situations, new local cases will not be announced publicly, and no new exposure sites will be listed.  This is because the risk of transmission to the community has been managed by tremendous work of the contact tracing teams.   The contact tracers are often able to identify all close contacts of a positive case. 

The community can keep track of local case numbers on the State Government coronavirus website, but the most essential information to monitor is exposure site listings 

The purpose of exposure site listings is to alert the community when they may have been exposed to the virus. 

We encourage all in our community to remain vigilant and to continue COVIDsafe practices when out in the community including checking in with QR codes.  

Using QR codes greatly assists our contact tracing team when investigating cases, allowing them to get on top of cases quicker, and slow the spread of the virus sooner. 

There have been new exposure sites listed for Ballarat in the past 24 hours and we encourage our community to regularly check Ballarat Health Services’ Facebook page for new sites. 

Anyone who has been to an exposure site at the dates and times listed should come forward for testing, and anyone with even the mildest of symptoms – regardless of where they have been – should also get tested.   

Checking exposure sites, and getting vaccinated is our key to protecting our community, driving down cases, and returning to normal.   

Thank you to those who have already rolled up their sleeve, with the Ballarat COVID vaccination tracker showing 83.6% of residents (aged 15+) having received their first vaccination, while 53.5% of residents (aged 15+) were fully vaccinated. 



Updated 2 October 2021


Thank you to the community for coming out in force and getting tested. 

A new testing site will be in operation in Bacchus Marsh from tomorrow, Sunday 3 October: 

Bacchus Marsh Public Hall (walk in), Main Street, Bacchus Marsh: 10am - 5pm Sunday, then 9am - 5pm daily   

Nearby testing locations include three sites in Melton, three sites in Ballarat and other sites in Daylesford, Deer Park, Gisborne, St Albans, Sunbury and Sunshine. 

For more details and times for testing sites, please visit  

Moorabool Shire snap lockdown information: 


Updated 27 September 2021

As of today, there are two new cases in the Grampians region – one in Ballarat which is linked to an existing case and has been in quarantine during their infectious period, and one in Ballan with a suspected link to a Melbourne exposure site.  

  • We have 17 active positive cases within the Grampians Region 
  • 13 active cases in City of Ballarat  
  • 2 in Moorabool Shire 
  • 2 In Yarriambiack Shire  

There are new Tier 2 exposure sites in Daylesford and Ballan, no new sites in Ballarat. 

We remind the community that if you have attended a Tie2 exposure site, you need get a test and isolate until you return a negative result, so it’s very important to actively check the list of exposure sites and act accordingly if you have been at a listed site at the time and date of exposure. 

On the BHS Facebook page we have pinned a post to the top of the page where we are listing local exposure sites as they are identified.  The most recent sites may not yet be on the state exposure site listing.  Please continue to check the state exposure site for full details and instructions on what to do.   

Finally, it’s important to note that there are some sites across Ballarat that may have more than one date of exposure, so please be extra vigilant and check them daily in case there are any updates. 


[Update from 26 September 2021]

Several new COVID exposure sites have been listed for Ballarat, stemming from one new household, which currently includes two positive cases of unknown acquisition, and one positive case who travelled to Ballarat from metropolitan Melbourne for permitted reasons. 

The Ballarat community knows the drill, and it is essential that we all do the right thing. 

Please check the Department of Health’s website frequently and if you have been to one of the sites listed – at the date and time of exposure – you must immediately get tested and isolate, and then follow the instructions for that site.   

  • Tier 1: Test and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result  
  • Tier 2: Test and isolate until you receive a negative result  

Please visit here for testing sites 

Do not wait to be contacted – you may not receive a text message – instead, be proactive and help keep our community safe. 

These two new positive COVID cases today (Sunday 26 September), bring the total number of active cases in the city to 21.   

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.  


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

“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. 


[Update from 24 September 2021]

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

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:  

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:  

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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