AN uptick in COVID-19 cases has surfaced following the Koroit Irish Festival and May Racing Carnival.
South West Healthcare said there were four COVID-19 patients being treated in the hospital's wards on Wednesday.
In the 24 hours leading to Wednesday, there were 166 new COVID-19 cases in the Warrnambool Local Government Area, bringing the total to 610 active cases, with a further 160 new cases recorded in the 24 hours leading to Tuesday.
It brings the total number of cases in the Warrnambool LGA across the pandemic to 7850, more than double the number of cases it had in February, when 1-in-10 people had had COVID-19.
In Moyne, there were 34 active cases in the 24 hours leading up to Tuesday, bringing the total active cases to 200, a total of 2969 across the pandemic.
SWH said following the busy racing week, it understood there would be an increase in COVID-19 cases over the coming seven to 10 days, including among its staff.
Chief executive Craig Fraser said it was great to see the region hosting large events last week and people being able to come together and celebrate.
"We know that with these large gatherings it's inevitable that we will see a spread of COVID-19," he said.
"The best protection for our communities against this scenario is ensuring that you're up to date with your vaccines and that you continue to practice COVID-19 safe principles like hand washing, mask wearing and testing.
"We expect impacts to SWH's staff to ease earlier next week as people finish their seven days of isolation."
Mr Fraser said there had not been an increase in hospital admissions related to COVID-19. "Which is positive, however we are also aware with an increase in cases, an increase in people needing hospital care is more likely," he said.
SWH said it expected longer wait times at the emergency department. "Please be patient with our staff while they do their very best to keep us safe and well, and triage cases so that those needing care more urgently can be attended to as quickly as possible," SWH said.
Meanwhile, police praised the behaviour of racegoers during the carnival, with Warrnambool police acting sergeant Andrew King saying it went "without a hitch".
"The public behaved quite well considering it was the first time crowds were allowed back in to a full capacity since COVID-19," he said. "During the nights out on the streets, everyone was well behaved so there were no issues for us." Victoria Police set up a booze bus on Raglan Parade where police arrested one person, one person was caught drink driving and one was caught driving under the influence of drugs.
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