Staying safe in this COVID surge
This information is brought to our community by Bass Coast Health and Bass Coast Shire Council.
Prepare, Manage, Isolate.
Like many places across the state, Bass Coast is experiencing the rapid spread of COVID-19, since the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Bass Coast Health and Bass Coast Shire Council have joined together to provide information to help the community prepare for isolation, to manage COVID-19 if infected and how to have the best chance of avoiding the virus.
Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Michael Whelan said it is important to be prepared, in case you need to isolate.
“Ensure you have a week’s worth of supplies and food. If that’s not possible, arrange for someone to shop for you, or get your groceries home delivered,” Cr Whelan said.
“Alternatively, pre-cook hearty and healthy meals and freeze these, especially if you live by yourself.
“If you are unable to have food delivered, please contact the Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 (and select Option 5) to enquire about emergency relief packages.
“Alternatively, you can search for food charities in your area through Ask Izzy, a free and anonymous website, using your postcode or suburb name www.askizzy.org.au/food.
“Be sure to have a week’s worth of paracetamol on hand, which helps manage the symptoms of COVID. Also consider tissues, disposable face masks and hand sanitiser.”
Create a room in your household where an infected person can isolate, which if possible, includes a separate toilet, shower and sink. It’s also important to have separate toilet paper, towels and face washers for the person in isolation.
“Prepare entertainment for your isolation period, such as books, movies, a creative project - whatever appeals. This is particularly important for children,” Cr Whelan said.
“Think of who you can call on during isolation, such as family, friends or neighbours.”
Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child said that there is an increased likelihood that you or someone you know will be infected with COVID-19.
“If you do develop symptoms, or if you are a contact of someone with COVID-19 you will need to get tested and isolate,” Ms Child said.
“In most cases people will experience mild to severe cold symptoms and will be able to recover at home. Treat it like a cold – drink ample fluids, have paracetamol regularly and get plenty of rest.
“You need to monitor your physical condition and call an ambulance if your situation deteriorates severely.”
Ms Child said it’s also really important for everyone in the household to wear a disposable face mask, including the infected person, to reduce the risk of COVID spreading.
“Good ventilation is important, so open windows and external doors to allow fresh air to circulate through your house,” Ms Child said.
If you receive a positive result from a PCR test or register a positive Rapid Antigen Test you will get a text, survey and/or call from the Gippsland Region Public Health Unit. Follow the instructions that you receive from the Department of Health.
“Some people will be monitored over the phone or via Telehealth via their General Practitioner (GP) if they cannot self-manage every few days,” Ms Child said.
“Other people, such as those with other health conditions, will be contacted by someone from the COVID Positive Pathways program run by Bass Coast Health to monitor symptoms and will be contacted regularly throughout isolation.”
Cr Whelan said that If you are worried you will lose pay while you isolate, or are awaiting a test result, you may be eligible for a worker support payment.
“To find out more, go to www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/support,” Cr Whelan said.
Of course, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to continue to take measures to avoid COVID-19.
“Continue to wear a face mask when out and about, sanitise your hands often, stay 1.5m apart from others and avoid crowds and gather outside where possible,” Ms Child said.
“It’s also important to familiarise yourself with the symptoms of COVID-19, which include a cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, fever, chills or sweats, headache, muscle pain, and loss of taste and smell.”
For the full list of symptoms, go to www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/symptoms-and-risks.
If it’s been four months since you received your second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, please get your third dose (booster) at the Community Vaccination Clinic at the Wonthaggi Town Hall, a pharmacy or a GP.
Testing and isolating requirements are subject to change, just as the COVID-19 situation does. For the latest information visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au.