Five new Ballarat COVID cases overnight

September 20, 2021 BY

Still open: The pop-up COVID-19 testing site in Victoria Park remains open with authorities calling on people to come forward to get tested. Photo: ALISTAIR FINLAY

BALLARAT has recorded five new COVID-19 cases in the twenty-four hours to midday today.

Four of the cases were linked to the household of Sunday’s new detection while the fifth is connected to an outbreak in Melbourne.

While the new cases numbers were the highest in days, Ballarat Health Services and Grampians Public Health Unit infectious diseases expert Dr Aaron Bloch said there was some good news in the numbers.

“At the moment we don’t have confirmed community transmission within Ballarat,” he said. “We aren’t seeing random infections being passed on at the supermarket and those sort of interactions.

“We’re probably seeing a couple of things in action.

“First of all… is the really high attack rate of the delta variant. Once it get’s into a household we see the whole household infected.

“The second thing, which I think is a real positive, is if you look at the pattern over the outbreak through Ballarat, we’ve had really effective contract tracing, testing, and isolation.”

With the five new cases, BHS acting CEO Melanie Robertson said further exposure sites were expected.

“Those five additional cases will generate, or have generated, exposure sites,” she said.

“We’re urging people to check those exposure sites. The more information that we receive, the more tests that we do… allows us to paint that picture of knowledge that will allow us to get out of lockdown sooner rather than later.”

But as to when the city might get out of lockdown, with the new cases, and still no second testing results from the Ballarat North wastewater testing site, Dr Bloch was unwilling to make a prediction.

“The short answer is it’s not a decision made on one metric such as testing numbers,” he said.

“The Department [of Health and Human Services] is looking at our situation daily and weighing up whole range of factors.

“All I can say is, from my perspective, the number of tests we have is never enough. So let’s get our testing rates higher.”

While the cases of COVID-19 in the city grow, the pop-up testing site at Federation University has been closed indefinitely.

Visit our ongoing and constantly updated COVID-19 in Ballarat story for a list of exposure sites, testing location locations and information.

 

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