Return of the COVID
This week saw the unwelcome return of a local COVID case to Mansfield Shire
MANSFIELD and the rest of regional Victoria were plunged into strict lockdown again over the weekend, following outbreaks in Shepparton.
The shire wasn’t spared either, with a patient from Mansfield testing positive to the Delta strain of COVID, being linked to the Shepparton outbreak.
The patient was initially cared for at Northeast Health Wangaratta’s (NHW) Emergency Department (ED), but NHW chief executive officer, Fiona Shanks, said the patient arrived in the early hours of Sunday morning and was already transferred to a Melbourne hospital for ongoing care.
“The patient came to us from Mansfield and all the necessary COVID protocols from the transfer to their care here have been followed,” Ms Shanks said.
“The patient, who was in reasonable spirits, was kept in isolation according to COVID-19 procedures in line with the Department of Health.
“Staff identified as close personal contacts have been tested and isolated as a precaution, the Emergency Department is being deep cleaned and any secondary contacts (patients and staff ) have been relocated to reduce the impact on the remainder of the health service.”
Ms Shanks said protocols impacted the availability of some of the hospital workforce and there may be some service disruption over the next couple of days.
The shire and Mount Buller now face another hefty lockdown, expected to come at great cost to local business, but Mayor Mark Holcombe said Mansfield has the right stuff to endure.
“We have been through this before and we will get through this again as a community,” he said.
“I know many plans have been upended since the Victorian Government announced increased restrictions for regional Victoria on Saturday.
“I know that these changes represent challenges to our community that have farreaching consequences.
“Our can-do spirit has been demonstrated by the teams working tirelessly to ensure great community systems, such as our testing facility.
“We are grateful for our partnership with Mansfield District Hospital, which has ensured our community have access to efficient testing and vaccinations.
“We wish the community member that tested positive to coronavirus a speedy recovery.
“We know that it’s hard for businesses during this time and when it’s hard for business, our community suffers too.
“As we move through these increased challenges to our economic wellbeing we need now, more than ever, to support local business wherever we can.
“I know we will continue to support each other, our community and our local business as we get through this current set of restrictions.”
The mayor also wanted to assure residents that financial support is available for business and for those in isolation.
“We encourage you to seek financial and other support by calling the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398,” Cr Holcombe said.