A Moorabool councillor has contacted local State MPs, the Health Minister and the Premier, asking for more COVID19 testing to be made available in Bacchus Marsh, as the number of cases in neighbouring Melton climbs by another seven.

It comes as the City of Melton chalked up a total of 71 cases – 19 of them active – as of today (2 July). All up Moorabool has recorded three – and none of them are active.

The nearest drive-through clinic is in Barries Rd Melton, but Tonia Dudzik says the queue this week has been several hundred metres long.

“People need to know that they can get tested at Bacchus Marsh Medical Centre in Darley. I’m not sure a lot of people know about this,” the East ward councillor said.

“It’s not the same as the drive-through, but it means you don’t have to go into Melton. It’s bulk-billed for pensioners and concession holders and its open during business hours on weekdays.”

Cr Dudzik said she appreciated that the pandemic was difficult to to manage but Bacchus Marsh locals had contacted her, expressing fears about heading into Melton and feeling panicked by seeing uniformed soldiers at testing clinics.

“’You know things are really bad when the Army comes in’ – that’s what one person told me,” she said.

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“People in the Marsh deserve the same rights as Melton. They want a dedicated testing clinic re-opened in Bacchus Marsh before it’s too late.

“Some people are also worried about family members and others in Bacchus Marsh who may not be able to get to Barries Rd for testing.”

However Djerriwarrh Chief Executive Belinda Scott said the health service was once of the first in Victoria to set up a drive-through clinic and more than 12,500 tests had been carried out by staff to date.

“The drive-through testing clinic in Melton is a safe and risk-free way for the community to be tested, without having to leave the comfort of their own cars,” she said.

“While this important work has occurred in Melton, the Bacchus Marsh Hospital has been meeting the continued, significant health needs of the communities we serve with maternity care, elective surgeries, urgent care and other specialist services.

“This cohesive, systematic approach has worked well.

“I’m proud of the work of all our people. They’ve done an outstanding job and I’m certain they will continue to rise to this challenge, in this effective, safe and professional way.”

RELATED STORY:  Melton Specialist School closed due to COVID19 case

Meanwhile Moorabool Shire remains on Queensland Health’s declared list of COVID19 ‘hotspots’ – and now the City of Melton, Wyndham City, City of Greater Geelong and Macedon Ranges Shire have been added.

People traveling between ‘hotspots’ and the Queensland border must self-isolate for 14-days or face a $13,300 fine.

All up, Victoria currently has 415 active COVID19 cases.

Do you think Bacchus Marsh needs a Drive Through Testing Station similar to Melton? Answer with our POLL here.

RELATED STORY: Bizarre Queensland COVID19 decision could see Moorabool locals fined $13,300

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Main Image: Djerriwarrh Health Services

Gabrielle Hodson
Author: Gabrielle Hodson

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