Wimmera Health Care Group has praised the initiative of people from New South Wales currently visiting the Grampians and other Wimmera centres.

Numbers at WHCG’s COVID testing clinic have spiked considerably in the past few days because people in the Grampians who visited NSW hotspots have taken the initiative to get tested.

WHCG acting CEO Maree Woodhouse said a number of people had been identified as Grampians and Horsham visitors from the NSW red zone.

“They have come in for testing and are now self-isolating,” Ms Woodhouse said.

“We are really appreciative of them taking the initiative and following the rules to make sure everyone stays safe.”

WHCG’s Infection Control team has released advice for anyone in the region who has visited the NSW red zone or hot zone. The message is: “All visitors who have visited the Hot zone (currently Northern Beaches) or Red zone (currently Greater Sydney and Central Coast) from December 11, will not be allowed to visit WHCG for 14 days after leaving a hot zone or red zone. This applies even if you crossed the border before requirements to self-isolate commenced.”

In a statement posted to WHCG’s Facebook page, the Infection Control team said it was being cautious and asked that we respect their priority to protect the vulnerable people who rely on WHCG services. They also pleaded with the public to consider alternatives for keeping in touch with loved ones over the festive season.

Ms Woodhouse said while there was no need for concern at this stage, her team were ready for any possible changes over the Christmas holiday period.

“We are currently working with the Grampians region’s Public Health Unit and meeting with the appropriate teams on a daily basis,” she said.

“This is to make sure the entire health service is ready to respond should we have a public outbreak.”

Horsham’s COVID Clinic tested 44 people on Monday and 29 yesterday which was a sharp rise from what had been a steady average of 9-10.

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