Browsing: COVID-19

STAFF at vaccination centres at Rosebud and Seaford have returned the highest number of positive COVID-19 test results “since the start of the pandemic”. Dr Sally Shaw said tests at the centres recorded 11 positive cases of the virus over the past two weeks – including five on Wednesday and four on Thursday. She said no sites on the Mornington Peninsula had been added to the state government’s COVID-19 exposure site website website since 10 September, which meant possibly hundreds of exposure sites were not being listed. “We have been fairly sheltered so far on the peninsula and have all…

MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire has adopted a $2 million COVID-19 grant scheme as part of its $10 million recovery package adopted earlier this year. The offer of money aims to ease the pain of more than 200 days of lockdown resulting in ongoing financial stress and impacts on wellbeing.  The direct payments will be available from next month to eligible businesses, community groups, creatives (individuals and organisations), not for profits and environmental groups. “Council is seriously committed to helping our community recover from COVID-19,” the mayor Cr Despi O’Connor said. “These grants are just one of the many things we are…

MORE than a quarter of a million people have been tested at Peninsula Health’s COVID-19 screening clinics since the first swab was taken in the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula region 18 months ago. The milestone was reached on Thursday 2 September at the health service’s drive and walk through testing site, on the old tennis courts next to Frankston Hospital. Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula now have some of the highest testing rates in Victoria. Dozens of staff – including nurses, allied health, ward clerks, security guards and traffic controllers – have run permanent and temporary locations. The mobile team…

A SOLICITOR’S office in Suffolk Street, Rosebud, was declared a Tier 1 COVID-19 hot spot last week after being visited by a suspected active case. The Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton advised that anyone who attended Alpass & Associates, 10am-4.30pm, Thursday 26 August, immediately get tested and quarantine for 14 days. Meanwhile, Mornington Peninsula Shire is urging residents to “get the jab as soon as you can”. “Once 70 per cent of Victorians have had at least one vaccine dose the state government has said it will look at easing restrictions,” it said in a statement last week. Vaccination reportedly…

VICTORIA’S sixth COVID-19 lockdown is nearing its fourth week. The vaccination hub at Bayside Shopping Centre in Frankston was named a tier two exposure site last week after a positive COVID-19 case got the jab there. Anyone who visited the vaccination centre on 16 August between 11.30am and 12.45 pm must get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result. A statement on Peninsula Health’s Facebook page said that the positive case had no symptoms while at the hub. “The Frankston Community Vaccination Hub remains open and is safe for you to visit if you have a booking for…

MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council will cop a $1 million hit by waiving or reducing fees and charges in support of the business sector, community and the “most vulnerable” in the COVID-19 environment. The measures are part of a $10 million package of spending and support included in council’s 2021-22 budget aimed at helping peninsula businesses and organisations recover from the effects of the pandemic. It also includes $650,000 to re-establish outdoor dining during the warmer months; $2.2 million for a community grants program; $500,000 to fast track priority climate emergency actions and $490,000 for the Peninsula Trail shared path. Council…

100% Positive eBay feedback A FRIEND of mine sent me a text message asking if I’d had any adverse reaction to the vaccine. “I didn’t,” I typed. “But since getting it, I have been able to speak fluent Pirahã, which I’m told is the native language of a near-extinct tribe living in the Amazon basin”. In reply my friend sent me a “thumbs up”. He didn’t seem to think it odd that I had become instantly bilingual with an exotic language spoken by only a few hundred rainforest dwelling hunters in Brazil. That, it seems, was plausible. You see, in…

MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire mayor Cr Despi O’Connor teamed up with Frankston Council mayor Kris Bolam at the studios of radio station RPP FM to encourage everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19. “Getting vaccinated is a positive step in keeping our community protected, safe and open for business,” Cr O’Connor said. Cr Bolam said the opening of a vaccination hub in Frankston and the increase in vaccines being made available, meant it was easy for people to book an appointment and get vaccinated locally. The mayors’ message is airing across the peninsula on RPP FM. To check eligibility and book a…

THE Mornington Peninsula’s army of small building, renovation and construction businesses are breathing easier after the state government last week relaxed work restrictions. Despite the lockdown, the businesses were given the go ahead to do outdoor building and maintenance works on occupied homes, as opposed to those under construction. This work was not permitted under earlier, tougher lockdown rules. Master Builders Victoria CEO Rebecca Casson said the work covered the renovations by peninsula-based small businesses providing kitchen and bathroom redesign and replacement, pool installations, decking, painting, landscaping, solar panel installation, and garden maintenance. Ms Casson was speaking after the extension…

VISITORS and locals on the southern Mornington Peninsula appear to be taking a relaxed approach to the rules around COVID-19 safety. A Portsea resident complained that people there, and in Sorrento, were treating the area as a “get-out-of-jail-free card” by congregating in groups, chatting face-to-face, and ignoring mask rules. “All you need to do is drive and walk around and have a look,” he said. “It is an absolute joke with nobody wearing masks outdoors in any capacity, and gathering at the coffee shops every day, especially the one at Portsea pier from 8.45-10am. “Point Nepean National Park is being…

THREE Mornington Peninsula businesses have been added to the list of places visited by people confirmed to have COVID-19 while infectious. Visitors to all three premises who were there at the same time as the COVID positive person have been advised to get tested immediately and then quarantine for 14 days. The identification of the three sites and listing by the DHHS came as Greater Melbourne was plunged into a seven-day lockdown. The three businesses listed last week by the Department of Health and Human Services are the Enchanted Adventure Garden, Purves Road, Arthurs Seat; Peninsula Hot Springs (bathhouse reception…

THE state government has given Mornington Peninsula Shire money to hire 41 temporary staff as part of its Working for Victoria campaign. The new jobs are in volunteering, community houses, business liaison, health and wellbeing, events, seniors’ inclusion, township activation, community engagement, youth employment and creative industries. They come under a $500 million program which aims to help jobseekers find work and employers find workers. Economic and social impacts of the pandemic across the peninsula have been severe, with 2205 jobs lost at its peak in August, and pre-existing social and health issues worsening. The new roles include a creative…

PUBLIC sector aged care residents and staff on the Mornington Peninsula have started receiving their first doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Residents at Peninsula Health’s Carinya Aged Care Centre at Capel Sound rolled up their sleeves last week, as phase 1a of the vaccine rollout is expanded across the region after beginning with frontline healthcare staff at Frankston Hospital. Carinya nurse unit manager Michelle Paine says Carinya’s staff, residents and their families are keen to receive the first of their two vaccine doses, as they see the vaccine program as an important step towards protecting themselves and each other. “The last…

FRONTLINE workers at Frankston Hospital have begun to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Peninsula Health staff began to receive their first vaccine doses on 3 March. Nurse Vanessa Nolan said “it went absolutely fine, barely felt a thing.” “It was a really simple and seamless process. I sat in the chair, signed a consent form, got the vaccination, sat down for about 15 minutes or so and then back off to work,” she said. “I’ve seen the effects of the virus on people and their families. I’m just doing my part to get vaccinated, not just to protect myself and my…

CAMPERS were back on the road for home last Friday (12 February) ahead of the latest travel restrictions and closure of the Mornington Peninsula Shire-run foreshore reserves. Having avoided the peak-season hordes and setting up camp after the school holidays, the campers’ visions for a quiet break were brought to a sudden halt by the latest outbreaks of COVID-19 and Friday’s 11.59pm “circuit breaker restrictions”. Once home, the campers are limited to the same rules applying to all other Victorians, leaving home for just four reasons: permitted work/study, essential shopping (within five kilometres of home), care or caregiving and exercise…

COVID-19 is still lurking around the community and anyone with cold or flu like symptoms, however mild, should get tested. Medical authorities say every test helps the community stay safe and stay open. Symptoms can include fever, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, headache, muscle or joint pains, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, loss of sense of smell, altered sense of taste, loss of appetite and fatigue. Testing clinics on the Mornington Peninsula are at Eleanora House at the front of the Rosebud Hospital, in the clinic car park at Atticus Health Medical Clinic, Hastings, by appointment only, and at…

VISITORS to Mornington Peninsula cafes, shops and businesses are being urged to check in using QR codes or by jotting down their names and phone numbers. Checking in properly – even if only there for a coffee – allows contact tracers to more easily follow up in the event of a positive case of coronavirus. First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 9 February 2021

MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council is extending its range of community and business grants to “support our community in the recovery phase” of the COVID-19 pandemic. To be launched next week, the grants will be available to eligible business associations, bushland and foreshore friends groups, Landcare groups, not-for-profit organisations, community groups and “creatives” (individuals, organisations and groups). The grants follow help to peninsula businesses in which the shire offered rent relief, waived outdoor trading fees, launched a Funding Finder website and Support Local campaign, as well as extended outdoor dining areas for food businesses. “I encourage anyone in our community looking…

PENINSULA Health is saying thank you to its more than 6500 staff across the Frankston Mornington Peninsula as 2020 draws to a close. “We know that many people in our health service and in our community were impacted by the pandemic, in a multitude of complicated and difficult ways,” says Felicity Topp, Chief Executive Peninsula Health. “Each and every staff member at Peninsula Health went above and beyond to ensure we could provide outstanding care to our community. I’d like to give my heartfelt thanks to all of our people for their wonderful contribution this year.” As part of the…

THE 100,000 swab tests conducted by Peninsula Health for COVID-19 are being described as a “significant milestone for everyone involved”. The “milestone” patient visited the drive-through screening clinic at the Frankston Hospital campus, corner of Hastings Road and Yuille Street, last week. “Thank you to every single person who has come forward and done the right thing – getting that test at the earliest sign of any COVID-19 symptom,” the operations director of Peninsula Health’s Screening Clinics Jodi Foley said. “We’ve come a long way since March. As the coronavirus situation evolved in Victoria over these past eight months, so…

NOT one to do things by halves, Sorrento restaurateur Julian Gerner is leading what’s been described as a “novel” and “bold” High Court bid to force a relaxation of Victoria’s tough COVID-19 lockdown rules. The proprietor of Morgan’s bar and restaurant and former owner of The Continental hotel will argue that the five-kilometre rule and essential worker permits are a disproportionate response in the fight against the virus. Mr Gerner will contend that the restrictions go against citizens’ implied rights of freedom of movement within the states to take part in personal, family, recreational and commercial activities – in short,…

MORNINGTON Peninsula travel agents held a zoom meeting with Flinders MP Greg Hunt last week to discuss their struggles under the pandemic and to seek tailored financial support. The “gathering of the troops” was arranged by Mornington Travel principal Lee Midson, Thursday 24 September. The 30 agents – all members of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents – are seeking federal and state government support for a $125 million travel agent support package “given the travel downturn and refund backlog”. They briefed Mr Hunt on the “critical” need for financial aid for their businesses, which “are all locally owned and…

POLICE say they are ramping up patrols to prevent out-of-towners flocking to holiday hotspots on the Mornington Peninsula. The aim is to ensure that only peninsula residents or others travelling with a permitted purpose arrive in the area. Police say they will have a “highly visible” presence at checkpoints on arterial roads, mobile vehicle checkpoints and ongoing patrols as part of Operation Sentinel. A note on the police Eyewatch social media page said anyone pulled over at a vehicle checkpoint could expect to have their licence and work permit checked by police and their residential address confirmed. “Police will also…

TIME is a relative concept. Probably a second cousin twice removed. Or an uncle you see twice a year and who mumbles a lot and monopolises the cabana at family functions. (Come to think of it, that uncle may well be me.) But I’ll admit the news that our stage four lockdown would be heading into extra time, if not a penalty shoot out, was something of a blow. Not just a swift clip behind the ears, either, but a full-booted kick to the solar plexus. I’d been looking forward to a change. If I’m being honest, I was looking…

RESTAURATEUR Michelle Loielo hopes to set a legal precedent preventing state premiers from having the powers to declare a curfew like the one Victorians are under during the COVID-19 restrictions. Her decision to challenge the power of the Premier Daniel Andrews in the Supreme Court has led to widespread support, and condemnation. Ms Loielo’s legal team last Monday (14 September) filed a motion in the Supreme Court against Michelle Giles, who is Victoria’s Deputy Public Health Commander, for the curfew to be declared “unlawful and invalid”. A further Directions Hearing was scheduled for Monday (21 September) this week. Ms Loielo,…

BUSINESSES are pitching in to help Victorians cope with the stresses and strains of dealing with restrictions imposed in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While regional Victoria is feeling the benefits of restrictions being eased, the Mornington Peninsula and Melbourne remain under stage four restrictions. Charlie Ryan, of Red Hill, who started design agency Five Creative with James Baker in 2009, said they launched their V for Victoria campaign in the hope of “spreading a unifying message of love, hope and solidarity across the country”. The stylised hand forming a peace sign has been reproduced on posters…

RESIDENTS and staff at the Village Glen Aged Care Residences, Mornington are this week expecting to be tested for COVID-19. If the Department of Health and Human Services does arrive, it will be for the “fourth or fifth time” since five deaths and 37 positive cases were recorded at the home in August. Chief operating officer Peter Nilsson said on Saturday (12 September) that while five residents had died “with COVID-19”, the home had been virus-free for 23 days. He said DHHS had been told that it was wrong to keep saying there were still active cases. He expected DHHS…

THINGS seem a little lighter this week, with the reopening of children’s playgrounds, exercise times being extended to two hours and a later curfew (9pm-5am). On the Mornington Peninsula active cases of COVID-19 have dropped from 18 on Monday 7 September to four on Sunday 13 September. In Frankston, the drop has not been so dramatic, falling from 20 to 13 over seven days. Frankston Hospital was on Sunday reporting six active cases from a total 90 positive cases among staff and patients. Mornington Peninsula Shire has issued a reminder to parents that maternal and child health and immunisation services…

Active cases of coronavirus on the Mornington Peninsula have dropped to just 10 cases. The dramatic slide has active cases on the peninsula at their lowest levels since 21 July. Just one week ago, there were 37 active cases on the Mornington Peninsula, and two weeks ago there were 52 active cases on the Mornington Peninsula. The low numbers will add weight to calls for the Mornington Peninsula to be excluded from the current metropolitan Stage Four lockdown. Local lobby group, Committee for the Mornington Peninsula, expressed “dismay” at Sunday’s announcement by the Premier that the peninsula would continue to…

WASTEWATER being used on the Mornington Peninsula and pumped in-to the sea at the south-eastern outfall, near Gunnamatta is being checked and treated for the coronavirus. The Eastern Treatment Plant at Bangholme is one of the sampling sites established across Victoria as part of the ColoSSoS (Collaboration on Sewage Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2) research project. The Department of Health and Human Services says New Zealand, the Netherlands, Canada, Turkey and other countries also test wastewater as part of their coronavirus surveillance. There are 25 sampling sites across state including the sewage treatment plant in Craigie Road, Mount Martha. The DHHS says…