Coronavirus testing numbers in south-west Victoria are growing as the number of primary close contacts expand across the state and into regional areas.
About a third of the state's primary close contacts are located outside of metropolitan Melbourne.
South West Healthcare tested 476 people from Friday to Tuesday in comparison to 409 last week. 43,674 tests were recorded across the state on Wednesday.
It comes after residents from eight south-west postcodes were revealed to be isolating after being identified as primary close contacts of coronavirus cases.
They include 3280 (Warrnambool), 3282 (Koroit), 3265 (Terang district), 3260 (Camperdown), 3250 (Colac), 3301 (Hamilton district), 3289 (Penshurst) and 3300 (Hamilton).
This means there are residents isolating in their homes within those postcodes who have either had face-to-face contact or spent time in the same vicinity as someone who has COVID-19 while they were infectious.
26 new coronavirus cases were recorded in the past 24 hours and of them 24 were already isolating.
On Thursday it was also revealed there was a positive case recorded in Bendigo.
How to know if you're a primary close contact
There are a number of ways people in the community may learn they are a close contact.
They may be contacted directly by the Department of Health, or by members of the Barwon South West Public Health Unit contact tracing team.
Alternatively, people may become aware after checking the list of exposure sites on the Department of Health website.
If you have attended a tier 1 exposure site, you must notify the department by calling 1300 651 160 and self-isolate at home.
If you think you may have had close contact with a person with COVID-19, you should contact the Victorian coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
You should isolate at home until the Department of Health determines whether you are a close contact or not.
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What happens if you're identified as a primary close contact
If you're a primary close contact, you need to immediately isolate, get tested, and quarantine for 14 days following your exposure.
The two weeks timeframe is the incubation period of the virus. You will have to get a test on days one, three, 11 and 13.
If you test positive on day 13, then you must isolate for a further 14 days.
You will only be allowed to leave home to get medical care or medical supplies, to get tested, in an emergency, or if you or your children are at risk of harm or violence.
If you are at risk of harm, you should call safe steps' 24 hour service on 1800 015 188.
If you require urgent medical treatment, call 000 and notify the operator you are a close contact in quarantine.
For non-urgent medical treatment contact your GP, notify them you are a close contact in quarantine and they can arrange a telehealth appointment.
You must not allow anyone else to enter your home unless they live with you, are quarantining with you or they need to deliver emergency medical services or care for disabilities or chronic conditions.
The Department of Health will contact you regularly to check in on your wellbeing by either text message or phone call.
Police will also conduct random spot checks to ensure people who are in quarantine are complying with directions by staying at home.
What to do if you're a secondary close contact
A secondary close contact is someone who has had face-to-face contact with a primary close contact at least 24 hours after that person was exposed to COVID-19.
If this is the case, you need to immediately isolate, get tested, and quarantine following your exposure. This will likely be shorter than 14 days, including if your primary close contact gets a negative test result.
The Department of Health will assess whether and when you can be cleared, depending on the circumstances. They will also tell you when you can leave quarantine.
What support will be on offer
Emergency relief packages containing food staples and personal care items are available if needed. Each package is designed to provide support for a family of four for about two weeks.
To be eligible, those isolating need to be residing in Victoria, including residents, international students and people on working visas who live in the state.
If you require this support, you should call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398. Deliveries should arrive within 24 to 48 hours of your phone call.
If you require nappies, baby formula, sanitary items or pet food then you should request this over the phone.
If you require other forms of practical support, including dog-walking, call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 and select option four.
What happens if you break quarantine
Victoria Police can issue on the spot fines of up to $1,652.
A fine of $4,957 can be issued to a person who has breached quarantine a second or further time.
Fines of up to $20,000 for individuals are also possible through the court system.
Where to get vaccinated
- Warrnambool Vaccination Centre: Bayside City Plaza at 184 Merri Street
- Camperdown Vaccination Clinic: Camperdown Killara Centre, 210 Manifold Street
- Great South Coast Respiratory Clinic: 133 Fairy Street, Warrnambool
- Middle Island Medical Clinic: 43 Fairy Street, Warrnambool
- WRAD Medical Service - Handbury Medical Suites: 172 Merri Street, Warrnambool
- Cambourne Clinic: 196a Liebig Street, Warrnambool
- Hopkins Medical Centr: e301 Timor Street, Warrnambool
- Warrnambool Medical Clinic: Target Branch, 154 Koroit Street, Warrnambool
- Port Fairy Medical Clinic 28 Villiers Street, Port Fairy
- Heywood Medical Services: 21 Barclay Street, Bolwarra
- Coleraine Casterton Medical: 65 Russell Street, Casterton
- Hamilton Family Practice: 130 Lonsdale Street, Hamilton
- Hamilton Medical Group: 20 Foster Street, Hamilton
- Seaport Medical Centre: 6 Fern Street, Portland
- Active Health Portland: 148-150 Percy Street, Portland
- Terang Medical Clinic: 156 High Street, Terang
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