UPDATE: Confirmed coronavirus case presented to LRH emergency department

Staff writers

The first case of coronavirus has been reported in the Latrobe Valley.

Latrobe Regional Hospital confirmed to The Express this afternoon that the person who tested positive for COVID-19 presented to the emergency department on Friday, March 13 and was not admitted.

The Express understands the person is currently in self-isolation at home.

The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed regional cases of COVID-19 in the local government areas of Greater Geelong (three cases), Latrobe Valley and Ballarat.

It comes after Latrobe City confirmed this afternoon the team member from the Moe-Newborough Leisure Centre, tested for coronavirus on Monday, returned a negative result.

“Now the process is that we have to figure out when we can open Latrobe Leisure Moe-Newborough again,” the spokesperson said.

Twenty nine new cases were reported in Victoria, bringing the total number of cases across the state to 150.

Victoria’s chief health officer Professor Brett Sutton said we will continue to see more cases of COVID-19 across the state.

“We are reviewing this rapidly evolving situation daily and continue to provide up-to-date information to the community. We are all focused on doing whatever is necessary to minimise the spread of infection and keep Victorians safe,” Professor Sutton said.

“For the virus to spread, extended close personal contact is most likely required. Close personal contact is at least 15 minutes face-to-face or more than two hours in the same room.

“At the moment, we urge the public to be mindful and take steps to minimise the risk of COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in protecting yourself and your family. Hands should be washed regularly with soap and water. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you are ill, stay at home.”

Close contacts of the confirmed cases are notified and monitored by the Department of Health and Human Services and any public exposure sites are contacted and provided with advice about the transmission risks and any cleaning that may be required.

All close contacts must self-isolate for 14 days.

All people arriving from any international destination must also self-isolate for 14 days as per Commonwealth Government direction.

Extensive testing has shown that people who have passed through places where there was a confirmed case have an extremely low risk of transmission and are not currently recommended for testing.

This will help to ensure hospitals, assessment centres and general practitioners can prioritise testing for those most at risk.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has a hotline for public information on COVID-19 which is 1800 675 398.

Further information is also available at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus