News State Victoria News Ballarat COVID case found in traveller who completed hotel quarantine interstate

Ballarat COVID case found in traveller who completed hotel quarantine interstate

Without the vaccine, hotel quarantine needs to be fixed, epidemiologists warn. Photo: ABC/Dominic Cansdale
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The positive COVID-19 test result of a returned overseas traveller is being re-examined after they presented at the Ballarat Base Hospital last night.

A Ballarat Health Services (BHS) spokesperson said the traveller had completed hotel quarantine interstate before returning to Ballarat and recording a subsequent positive test result.

“Their COVID test result is currently under investigation,” the spokesperson said.

“Initial investigations suggest that this may be an historic case.

“Further testing is being carried out.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the individual and their close contacts are isolating, including any staff and patients who are required to do so.”

Contact tracing is underway and the traveller is at home and being monitored by health authorities.

The BHS spokesperson said the Ballarat Base Hospital and its emergency department “remain safe for staff, patients, clients and residents”.

“Ballarat Health Services has planned and prepared for situations like this, and this has not impacted our day-to-day operations across the Base Hospital or for those who have emergency needs,” the spokesperson said.

They urged Ballarat residents to continue checking the list of exposure sites, to get tested if they have even the mildest symptoms, and to isolate until they receive their results.

The latest coronavirus outbreak in Melbourne has created a “significant increase in people seeking the vaccine” at Ballarat’s mass vaccination clinic, the spokesperson said.

BHS CEO Dale Fraser said it was a “rapidly evolving situation”.

“This serves as a timely reminder to our community that the pandemic is well from being over and we need to remain vigilant and cautious,” he said.

“The Ballarat community is reminded to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by following the restrictions put in place by the Victorian government, and to visit the Ballarat Health Services website and the Department of Health website for current and accurate information.”