South West Healthcare's chief executive officer has assured residents the city's hospital was 'well equipped' in the event of a COVID outbreak, but said there were no plans for a second testing site despite wait times nearing two hours, as more than 1000 people have queued since 7am this morning.
It comes as South West Healthcare CEO Craig Fraser confirmed the COVID-19 case responsible for 33 exposure sites across the south-west was isolating at home in Corangamite Shire.
"There was only one case that we're aware of," he said.
"That person is at home isolating - they've come through Warrnambool and gone back home. It's great that person identified themselves, got tested, and immediately they isolated.
"They are fine as far as we know."
Mr Fraser could not confirm whether that individual was symptomatic while in Warrnambool but the risk for residents 'was there'.
"It's mainly Tier 2 sites in Warrnambool, but the risk is there," he said.
"The reason it is classified as Tier 2 is that it still presents and eminent risk. We don't know what that risk looks like and that's why we're saying to people 'please stop moving around if you don't need to'.
"Discretionary travel if you can stop it - that's great, and obviously, minimise where you're going and connecting with other people you wouldn't normally connect with."
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But he assured Warrnambool residents the hospital was prepared for an outbreak.
"The amount of planning we've done and re-done and scenario testing has been at the next level over the last few months," he said.
"So I can assure you that we are very, very well prepared like we were today to respond should there be a COVID outbreak. We've planned all our escalation processes and we have a separate ICU ready to go and we've also changed our flows through ED through recent days.
"Anyone entering our organisation - we're making sure they're safe and also the community and our staff are safe. From my point of view, this purely demonstrates the planning and the leadership of Sue who planned this to within an inch of it occurring to make sure that when she found out yesterday afternoon, this testing site was set up, allowing us to be here at 7am to start operating at 8am."
Mr Fraser also confirmed any COVID-positive person would likely be redirected, rather than be treated at SWH.
"At this point in time, there is a system where we would try and get them to Melbourne or Barwon Health, which are the receiving hospitals for COVID," he said.
"But we are ready to deal with different stages or in fact if it changes and we need to accept COVID patients - we'll be ready for that as well."
Meanwhile, the asymptomatic testing site setup at Friendly Societies' Park has seen more than 1000 residents queueing since it opened at 8am this morning, with estimated wait times up to two hours.
A few hundred had also attended Camperdown's Leura Oval site.
At this point, the main stream of communication will remain through SWH's Facebook page.
However, the Barwon Public Health Unit are responsible for contact tracing and exposure sites. As soon as they receive information, they will communicate that to SWH, who will update their Facebook page.
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