By Brendan Rees
More than 1000 people have been screened for COVID-19 over the last four days at the Casey Hospital’s Fever Clinic in Berwick.
However there has been no confirmation from Monash Health as to whether anyone had tested positive to Coronavirus at this stage.
“So far the clinic’s wait times have been managed well by our dedicated teams,” the spokesperson said.
In recent days dozens of people have been seen queuing outside the clinic wearing face masks.
“There is no need to phone ahead. Wearing a face mask is encouraged, and we have a supply at the clinic for those who do not have their own,” the spokesperson said.
COVID-19 testing resources are limited at the clinic based at 7 Gibb Street Berwick to ensure staff use resources available for those most in need.
“While each individual will be screened and assessed, only people who meet strict criteria will actually be tested for COVID-19,” the spokesperson said.
Monash is also testing for coronavirus at clinics in Clayton and Dandenong.
Testing will only be conducted for those who:
• has a fever or acute respiratory infection and have recently travelled overseas,
• or you have been notified by the Department of Health and Human Services that you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
If you do not meet the criteria, you will not be tested. People should visit monashhealth.org for more information about the criteria.
On Wednesday 18 March, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a ban on all non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people.
This does not apply to essential activities such as public transportation facilities, medical and health care facilities, pharmacies, food markets, supermarkets and shopping centres, office buildings, and factories.
Settings like gyms, indoor fitness centres and swimming pools are not required to close at this time providing they meet these requirements for social distancing and hand hygiene.
The Prime Minister announced other measures including:
• Aged care: Limits of two people visiting residents of aged care homes per day, but restricted to a short visit
• Gatherings: Indoor gatherings of more than 100 people are banned, with exceptions
• Bulk purchasing: People not to bulk purchase of foods, medicines and other goods, and strongly discouraging panic buying of food and other supplies
• Outdoor gatherings: Fewer than 500 attendees may proceed but no more than one person per four square metres of ground space.
• Social distancing: People to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres between people in all social settings
• Schools: Shall remain open at this time.
• Travel: Advice to all Australians – regardless of their destination, age or health is not to travel overseas at this time.