Updated 31/5/2021 2pm
Another day in lockdown
DAY FOUR of Victoria’s May circuit-breaker lockdown and we have seen the outbreak grow by about five cases per day, every day.
But a new case at an aged care facility in Maidstone has seen this figure jump to 11 new cases for today, bringing the total to 51 in this outbreak, note earlier today Vic Health reported 5 additional cases, but between then and the 12:15pm press conference, 6 additional cases were identified and added to the daily figure.
Testing and vaccination continue to be very high, with the Sunday/Monday reporting period logging 43,874 tests and 16,752 doses of vaccine administered.
Worryingly, the list of exposure sites continues to grow with the list of 300 exposure sites (at time of writing).
Although the list contains shopping centres, supermarkets, and public transport, there is still no sites near Warrandyte.
Given our previous experience with lockdowns, and with 51 active cases in this outbreak and hundreds of exposure sites, it is hard to imagine we only have three more days of lockdown to go.
However, lockdown brings familiar scenes back to Warrandyte with quiet roads, and ovals and parklands brimming with families and individuals who are — mostly — respecting the social distancing and mask wearing rules.
While we must all feel for those businesses who are not able to operate at the moment, on Sunday, the State Government announced its support package which will hopefully lessen the burden, you can read the story here.
Local exposure site added to list
United Service Station, Doncaster East has been added as a Tier 3 exposure site.
Tier 3 means monitor for symptoms and get tested if any arise.
So, anyone who visited the servo between 4:50pm and 5:30pm on Saturday, May 15 please monitor for symptoms.
Five reasons to leave home
Current restrictions include:
- Five-kilometre radius
- Schools shift to remote learning
- Limits on weddings and funerals
- Playcentres, gyms, entertainment venues, hair and beauty and tourism closed.
- Community sport cancelled
- Restaurants and cafes restricted to take away service
- Visitor restrictions on care facilities and hospitals
There are now five reasons to leave home; essential shopping, exercise (two hours maximum per day with one other person), care and caregiving, authorised work, and vaccination.
The Epping cluster may feel like it is a long way away from Warrandyte, but everyone is impacted by the restrictions, local supermarket owner Julie Quinton spoke to the Dairy about the reintroduction of restrictions earlier this week, and asked customers to respect the rules, to protect her staff and the larger community.
“We ask that customers please follow the government guidelines and also wear masks when shopping at Quintons, so we may all help protect one another.
“We also ask that people check in with the QR code when entering our store, as well as sanitising their hands, observing the electronic customer counter at our door, social distancing and following our one-way aisles, to best enable social distancing,” she said.
There has also been a resurgence of panic-buying, with Quinton’s having to reintroduce limits on some purchases, such as toilet paper.
The other corner stone of the Warrandyte community, The Grand Hotel, had it tough during 2020s lockdown, but has been able to maximise its new beer garden to full effect over summer.
General Manager, Peter Appleby, spoke to the Diary about the challenges of lockdown and compliance.
“It’s been a horrible 12 months.
“When we locked down last year, we had already started work [on the beer garden] and we stopped work on that under lockdown rules, and as we learnt more about post COVID we were hearing outdoor spaces would be a factor in getting open with a larger capacity.
“So we picked up the tools again and we reopened about three weeks after you were allowed to, and got the beer garden not quite finished but in a workable state.
“That was great for us because the rules were 10 people per room, maximum two rooms — we were never going to open for that it was simply not viable,” he said.
But with an outdoor space, the pub could have 50 people outside which was much more workable.
“Opening up at the end of October, the weather was fantastic, and it certainly worked for us and we’re pretty proud of what we have achieved, it looks great.”
Peter went on to talk about the support they have had from the community and about the challenges of adapting to COVID rules – such as masks and QR codes.
“The support from the community has been amazing, it has been really well received.
“One of my sayings last year was ‘control the controllable’, get told to wear a mask, we wear a mask, we have to ask our customers to respect that.
“Our staff are trying to do the right thing, we don’t want to shut down again,” he said.
On Wednesday, Acting Premier James Merlino said, “these new cases underscore the importance of people coming forward for testing”.
A message the public responded to, as testing numbers and waiting times at COVID-19 testing sites saw a significant increase.
State Government also replenished pleas for all those who are eligible for Coronavirus vaccination to get vaccinated, which now includes those aged 40–49 — but those eligible must use the coronavirus hotline to book their vaccination appointment, which saw the hotline crash on Thursday, May 27, after 77,000 people tried to call the hotline in 15 minutes.
The lockdown also means some council run facilities and services are closed or working in a remote setting.
Manningham and Nillumbik council have provided the Diary with a run-down of what is and is not open.
Aged and Disability Services
Service remains open, including meal delivery service.
Homecare including personal care will continue.
Social Support Programs will continue online and over the telephone.
Arts and Venues
Arts and venues are closed as well as venue hire.
Business, events and grants
Holding events on Council land and busking.
Please call us on 03 9840 9333 if you have any queries.
Early Childhood Services
Playgroups and toy libraries.
Find a childcare service.
Find a kindergarten or pre-school.
Parenting seminar series – open through new online format.
Service remains open.
You must book a session to attend and observe public health directions.
Maternal and Child Health services
All services are open.
Parks / Recreation
OPEN PENDING CLARIFICATION FROM DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Public Tennis Courts.
Public open space/ovals.
Outdoor gym equipment.
Parks and playspaces.
Sports Clubs and Pavilions.
All casual bookings for use of facilities (built and open space) are cancelled.
Social and Community Services
Manningham youth services.
L2P learner driver mentor program – still taking referrals.
Waste and recycling services.
Garden waste centre – permanently decommissioned
The Roving Performance in Eltham as part of our Arts and Culture Strategy consultation on Saturday, May 29 has been cancelled.
Art Bus Tour
The Art Bus Tour on Saturday, June 5 will be postponed.
All ticket holders will be contacted with next steps shortly.
Celebrating the Platypus in the Diamond Creek
The Celebrating the Platypus in the Diamond Creek event on Sunday, May 30 at Edendale Community Environment Farm has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 4.
Further details will be available on Council’s and Edendale’s social media pages, and at https://nillumbik.vic.gov.au/platypus
Domestic Animal Management Plan (DAMP) pop-up consultation
Planned to take place on Tuesday, June 1 at Eltham Lower Park, this pop-up has been rescheduled to the same location on Tuesday, June 15 from 2:30pm–5:30pm.
Friends of Edendale community planting day
Planned as part of the Celebrating the platypus in the Diamond Creek event on Sunday May 30, the community planting for platypus will also be postponed.
“Meet and greet” with local deer controllers and businesses
This event, which was due to take place at the Hurstbridge Community Hub on Sunday, May 30, will be rescheduled soon.
Nillumbik ‘Unmuted’ Business Breakfast
The Nillumbik ‘Unmuted’ Business Breakfast in Yarrambat scheduled for Wednesday, June 2 has been postponed.
A new date is yet to be confirmed.
Wiser Driver program
The upcoming Wiser Driver program, which was due to hold its first session on Monday, May 31, is postponed until further notice.
Registered attendees will be contacted.
Lisa May and Emine Charlwood exhibitions
These exhibitions at the Eltham Library Community Gallery are closed until at least June 4.
The exhibitions will reopen in line with DHHS requirements.
The Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art
This exhibition at Montsalvat is closed until at least June 4.
The exhibition will reopen in line with DHHS requirements.
A developing situation
The Diary will continue to update this story as more details emerge.
As the cluster grows more exposure sites are added to the list.
Visit the website below for the latest exposure sites:
If you need to get a COVID-19 test, visit the Vic Health website for the latest testing sites and approximate waiting times.
For a full list of what businesses can and cannot operate from midnight tonight, see the attached pdf.