COVID-19 Update – 23 September

COVID-19 UPDATE 23-9-21 – Comments from Chief Executive, Rohan Fitzgerald.

COVID-19 emerges in the most unpredictable ways. In the last few days, it has been encouraging to see the negative test results coming through for people who attended Tier 1 and 2 exposure sites in Hamilton, but we must not let our guard down. Initially two painters who were in Hamilton on the 14th to 16th September tested positive to COVID-19, the third painter in the group has subsequently returned a positive result. Viral fragments were also detected in Hamilton wastewater on Monday. Based on the advice we have received, wastewater takes no more than 24 hours to move through the sewer network. This makes it highly unlikely these fragments are related to the three painters. As a result of this detection, daily testing has commenced at the local wastewater facility. Contact tracing is continuing and no further exposure sites have been added today. It’s a critical time, and we need to be vigilant to the risks of COVID-19 potentially circulating in our community.

If you have even minor symptoms, have visited an exposure site, or are at all concerned about your exposure to the virus, please get tested immediately. This Grand Final weekend, we ask that you be extra cautious and find new ways to share the excitement of the game with friends and family. Virtual gatherings are a great way to keep in touch, and importantly keep your distance.I know many people are feeling fatigued by COVID-19, but it’s not the time to become complacent. Encouragingly, all 12 of the initial COVID test results from the primary close contacts at the Pedrina Park Pavilion Construction site have come back negative. Test results for the eight Tier 2 exposure sites including KFC, McDonalds, Coles, LJ’s Pizza, Great Western Pizza, Hamilton Townhouse Motel, BP Lonsdale Street and Bunnings are still being returned, but have also been negative so far.

The mass testing clinic opened at the Showgrounds this morning, with cars queuing at the gate on King St well before 7am. Since the exposure sites were announced, WDHS has tested over 600 people, 393 at the mass-testing clinic today. To reduce wait times, four teams kicked off the mass testing, which was super-efficient, and we were able to get everyone through with minimum wait times. Planning for a mass testing clinic has been taking place in the background for several months, and the recent exposure site listing and positive wastewater results have provided an ideal opportunity to stress test our systems. I’d like to express my appreciation to the WDHS team, who have all pulled together to support the opening of this mass-testing facility. A big thank you to the community for being responsive and coming out in droves to get tested.

It’s been a difficult week for many people in Hamilton, not least of all the individuals and businesses affected. The community has come together, with messages of encouragement and kindness, in support of one another. Let’s continue to keep this community spirit alive and well in the Southern Grampians Shire.

The mass testing clinic at the Hamilton Showgrounds is open this Friday 24th and Saturday 25th September from 9am to 12pm. From Monday it is expected the testing clinic will return to the Hamilton Base Hospital, although this is subject to change if the need arises.


*Please note the KFC & McDonalds drive-thru exposure sites listed below are Tier 2 for all staff on shift during the exposure periods (as the person who has since tested positive remained in their vehicle during the listed exposure times).

📅 14/09/2021 5.30pm to 6.30pm📍 Great Western Pizza, 120 Thompson St, Hamilton VIC 3300 (Tier 2)

📅 14/09/2021 5.45pm to 6.15pm📍 KFC Hamilton (drive-thru) 91 Cox St, Hamilton VIC 3300 (Tier 2 staff only*)

📅 15/09/2021 07.15am to 07.45am📍 McDonalds (drive-thru) 118 Brown St, Hamilton VIC 3300 (Tier 2 staff only*)

📅 15/09/2021 11.30am to 12.20pm 📍 Bunnings Hamilton, 335 Henty Highway, Hamilton VIC 3300 (Tier 2)

📅 15/09/2021 12.25pm to 1.00pm📍 KFC Hamilton (drive-thru) 91 Cox St, Hamilton VIC 3300 (Tier 2 staff only*)

📅 15/09/2021 4.15pm to 5.10pm 📍 Coles, Hamilton, 179-193 Gray St, Hamilton VIC 3300 (Tier 2)

📅 15/09/2021 5.25pm to 6.25pm 📍 LJ’s Pizza and Takeaway Food, 236 Gray St, Hamilton VIC 3300 (Tier 2)

📅 15/09/2021 4.40pm to 5.15pm 📍 BP Hamilton, Cnr Thompson & Lonsdale Street, Hamilton VIC 3300 (Tier 2)

📅 14/09/2021 – 16/9/21 From 3.30pm 14/9 to 8.30am 16/9 (inclusive of 15/9) 📍 Hamilton Townhouse Motel, 27 Shakespeare Street, Hamilton (Tier 2)

📅 15/09/2021 – 7.00am to 5.30pm📍 Pedrina Park Pavilion construction site, Hamilton (Tier 1)

📅 16/09/2021 – 7.00am to 5.30pm📍 Pedrina Park Pavilion construction site, Hamilton (Tier 1)

Please continue to monitor exposure sites via the Department of Health website:

Case alerts – public exposure sites | Coronavirus Victoria

Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or has been to an exposure site should get tested, and follow the Department of Health’s instructions. It’s also an important step to get vaccinated if you are eligible and want to help protect the community, while also staying informed on outbreaks and exposure sites as the situation develops.

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