COVID-19 update - Thursday 27 May
Investigations into a person who was found to have a weak positive COVID-19 test have confirmed that they are negative for COVID-19.
A returned traveller from overseas who stayed in Hotel Quarantine interstate presented to BHS in the early hours of Wednesday morning, and returned a weak positive result on their initial COVID-19 test.
Following further investigations, Ballarat Health Services can confirm that this person was negative and did not pose a risk of transmission for BHS staff or the Ballarat community.
Out of an abundance of caution, the individual and their close contacts were directed isolating, including any staff and patients who are required to do so. All due processes were followed with staff and the individual.
In accordance with our standard procedure, this case was treated as positive, and as a result the Grampians Public Health Unit commenced contact tracing for this case.
Ballarat Health Services staff acted promptly and followed standard precautions with regards to the use of personal protective equipment and other processes relating to suspected COVID cases.
Given the COVID-safe precautions that remain in place across Ballarat Health Services sites, the Base Hospital and ED remain safe for staff, patients, clients and residents. Ballarat Health Services has planned and prepared for situations like this, and this did not impact our day-to-day operations across the Base Hospital or for those with emergency needs.
Based on advice from the Department of Health, visitor restrictions have changed in line with the statewide lockdown. For more information, visit bhs.org.au/covid-19
The latest COVID outbreak has prompted a significant increase in people seeking the vaccine at the Ballarat Health Services Vaccination Clinic (located at the Mercure, 618 Main Road, Ballarat). It is great to see the community rolling up their sleeve – vaccination provides significant protection against the virus and is Australia’s ticket out of COVID-19 and a return to normal.
As announced by the Acting Premier today, people aged between 40 and 49 will be eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccination by appointment at the Ballarat vaccination clinic. Eligible people aged under 50 years must make an appointment to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Appointment bookings can be made by calling 1800 675 398 (select options 1, 1, 1).
People aged 50 years and over attending the clinic without a booking are likely to experience wait times. The current wait time can be checked at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccination-centres.
Given the growing number of cases in Melbourne, members of the Ballarat community are urged to regularly check the list of COVID-19 exposure sites, and to follow the directions laid out by DHHS if they have attended one of the sites at the date and time listed. We will continue to enforce strict infection prevention and control measures, along with visitor restrictions and screening at all Ballarat Health Services sites. For more information, visit: http://bhs.org.au/covid-19
It remains extremely important that anyone with even the mildest of symptoms be tested for COVID-19, and stay home until they can be tested, and until they receive their results.
Appointments can be made at UFS Respiratory clinic (15 Errard Street North) on 03 4311 1571. Drive in testing is available without appointment at 4Cyte Pathology Ballarat COVID-19 Collections (630 Skipton Street, Redan). Anyone showing symptoms must self-isolate until they receive their test results, and until their symptoms resolve.