On Friday, Mildura entered another snap lockdown, after more cases of COVID-19 were recorded. Today, another 18 cases were recorded in Mildura, bringing the total number of active cases to 55.
Case numbers across Mildura have escalated in the space of a week, with no tier 1 exposure sites published by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
Member for Mallee, Dr Anne Webster, on Sunday wrote to the Premier to request that this be addressed as a matter of urgency and ensure that the exposure sites are published immediately.
“The lack of published exposure sites can only be explained by one of two things: either contract tracing is not occurring, or known sites at not being published by DHHS,” Dr Webster said.
“If the contact tracing has not taken place, then the Victorian Government needs to be honest with the community without delay.
“The community is at greater risk when they don’t have the live information they need to stay safe.
“Mildura residents are currently left in the dark. People want to do the right thing; they want to ensure that they are following all the necessary rules and protocols. We know that contact tracing and case isolation are two of the most crucial measures to prevent community transmission,” Dr Webster said.
“Mildura residents need reassurance that we have not been abandoned by the health department as we experience our biggest outbreak yet.
“Changing the goal posts for residents is confusing. It makes it difficult for people to follow the rules. For 18 months people have valiantly and persistently been doing their best to keep in step with the updated health orders.
“This week the partner of one close contact has been given conflicting instructions from DHHS. Initially she was told to isolate with the close contact, but only two days later this direction was revoked and told she was no longer required to do so.
She is concerned that her partner may yet become positive and she may become a risk to the children at her workplace.
“I have had phone calls from local residents stating that they have visited a local business at the same time as a positive case. They have not been informed by DHHS to isolate, but rather the business has taken the responsibility to notify this patron because they know her. This is not equitable.
Dr Webster said this is a highly stressful time for the community as people are doing their best to get a handle on the real version of events in the outbreak.
“We need transparency from the Victorian Government as we face one of our biggest challenges yet. If the goal posts for reporting and publishing tier one exposure sites have changed, then Mildura deserves to know” Dr Webster said.
“Over the border in New South Wales there have been live updates for exposure sites for cases in Dareton and Buronga. Victorians deserve the same level of communication and support.