A couple from Melbourne has outraged a rural community for flouting coronavirus rules and travelling more than 350km to visit a tourist town.
The woman, from Glen Waverley, had been tested for coronavirus last week and visited the town of Orbost without knowing whether or not she had tested positive.
As a result, local businesses have been forced to shut and a police officer in Orbost is now self-quarantining.
State Member for East Gippsland Tim Bull slammed the woman on Facebook on Tuesday after it was confirmed the woman had since tested positive.
“As many will know, we had a very foolish person in the region on the weekend,” he said.
“A metropolitan person who was tested for COVID, then travelled to the Orbost region after that test and was subsequently found to be positive.
“By law, people who have been tested must self-isolate until the test outcome is received and this did not occur.”
Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire are currently in lockdown, due to the surge of coronavirus cases.
Speaking to Tom Elliot on 3AW, Mr Bull said the woman had travelled to the area with her partner and they had once lived in the area.
“Very disappointing and inexcusable behaviour,” Mr Bull said.
Mr Bull confirmed he had been in contact with the inspector of police on Tuesday morning who “confirmed the case” and the actions of the woman are now subject to a police investigation and a DHHS investigation.
“While I know people are angry, it cannot be undone and it is important we deal with this rationally and sensibly,” he said.
Businesses forced to shut, cop in quarantine
According to Mr Bull, the woman in questioned visited a number of places in the area, including Aldi in Lakes and Leon Palace Chinese Restaurant in Orbost on Friday evening, Marlo Hotel on both Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, and Snowy River Bait and Tackle and Orbost Foodworks on Monday.
Mr Bull said the businesses were “in no way responsible” and have now closed due to the confirmed case.
In addition to the businesses, a police officer is now quarantining after coming into contact with “a woman who had recently tested positive for coronavirus over the weekend”.
“However, if you frequented these businesses in this period or have been in close contact with someone that did and are showing symptoms, please get tested,” Mr Bull said.
“If tested, stay isolated for the few days until to get your results.”
East Gippsland Police Service Area said on Tuesday night the officer’s isolation was a “precautionary measure”.
“There has been no impact on the Orbost Police Station and associated service delivery,” the Facebook post said.
“A 25-year-old woman and 26 year-old man who had travelled from Glen Waverly to Orbost were issued infringement notices of $1,652 each for breaching the Chief Health Officer directions.”
In a later post on Tuesday, Mr Bull said contact tracing had begun and a testing facility would be set up on Wednesday at the Orbost Football Netball Club, but testing was only available for those who had been contacted by the DHHS.
He added if anyone was showing symptoms but had not been contacted to call Orbost Medical Clinic and arrange an appointment by booking in advance.
In the comments of Mr Bull’s post people were very critical of the woman for making the trip over the weekend and potentially infecting locals.
“I’m afraid I wouldn’t call it a mistake I’d call it a shocking disrespect for others peoples well being,” one woman said.
“This is just the sort of selfish behaviour by one individual that will see restrictions tightened and go on for months if not years,” another said.
Many others in the comments expressed sympathy for the businesses which have been impacted.
Over the summer, the East Gippsland region was severely impacted by the bushfires, including Orbost.
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