Premier urges Echuca community to get tested for COVID-19

By Anna McGuinness

VICTORIAN Premier Daniel Andrews has urged Echuca residents to get tested for COVID-19 after a mystery case was identified in the community.

Yesterday, an Echuca man in his 60s was found to be positive for COVID-19, after being tested at Echuca Regional Health on Tuesday, September 8.

ERH chief executive Nick Bush said the man would be re-tested today following negative results from his family members.

“The Public Health Unit Bendigo will do contact tracing and investigate the source of infection,” he said.

“Once we get the source we’ll know more.”

Mr Bush said the man was otherwise well and self-isolating at home and said he didn’t believe the man had been to Melbourne.

In a press conference this morning, Victoria’s deputy chief health officer professor Allen Cheng said there were features of the case that were “a little bit odd”, as there was no recent cases in the area or known contact between the person with any other case.

“We’re setting up an expert committee to look at the details of that case a bit more closely,” he said.

“I understand we’ve also been talking to our colleagues in Albury and the local health district in New South Wales to stand up testing on the Moama side of the border as well.”

Mr Andrews said the case would be investigated as thoroughly as possible, and urged the community to come forward for testing.

“I’ll be grateful to everyone in the Echuca community if you’ve got any symptoms please come and get tested, that will give us a really clear sense of what we’re up against there and it’s too early for us to say,” he said.

Mr Andrews said regional Victoria was still on track to move to the next step on the roadmap to recovery with 4.7 average cases per day.

“I want regional Victoria to take not just one step but if the numbers allow, two steps, and we’re doing a power of work to be ready for that, that can occur next week,” he said.

“Let's get to the bottom of that Echuca matter, and hopefully next week we can have good news for regional Victoria.”

The Loddon Mallee rapid response testing team is in place on the corner of Leichardt and Francis Sts today and on Saturday from 10am to 4.30pm.

Anyone with even the mildest of symptoms or concerns is urged to get tested.

Test results are being returned in about 24 to 48 hours. People who get tested need to self-isolate.