Peninsula’s COVID-19 cases climb to 36

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THE first release of data showing COVID-19 cases in local government areas shows there are 36 confirmed cases of coronavirus on the Mornington Peninsula.

The surprising high number puts the peninsula second highest in Victoria, behind to Stonnington which has 57 cases.

Frankston has 11 cases and Casey 16.

The mayor of the Mornington Peninsula, Sam Hearn, said to The News tonight:

“The thoughts and compassion of our whole community is with those people and their families. These figures make it more clear than ever that street by street we need to do the right thing by each other at this time through observing hygiene measures and staying home as much as we possibly can.”

The peninsula figures may be even higher as people in metro and suburban Melbourne heading to their peninsula holiday homes to spend their 14-day isolation period.

If a person tests positive in Melbourne, and decides to spend their time “isolating” on the peninsula, it is probable that they would be counted in their own municipality rather than where they are “isolating”.

Bruce Billson, Committee for Mornington Peninsula president, has asked Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton, to prevent positively diagnosed COVID-19 cases travelling to the peninsula.

“Your latest COVID-19 incident report notes the Mornington Peninsula has the second highest number of confirmed cases of municipalities in Victoria,” Mr Billson said.

“Reports today also identify that infected people and returning travellers are choosing to travel to our region to be ‘isolated’, potentially placing huge pressure on local health resources.

“Holiday homes and AirBnB properties are reportedly popular ‘isolation’ destinations for people whose primary place of residence is in metropolitan Melbourne.

“Is it not preferable to have confirmed and ‘isolated’ people stay in their principle place of residence where the medical services and infrastructure is better matched to the permanent population, than adding to the health capacity challenges in a region like the Mornington Peninsula?

“On behalf of the Committee for Mornington Peninsula, I urge you to consider this dimension when determining ‘isolation’ requirements for our state and the best use and matching of health resources to needs.”

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