Ballarat Health Services has just released a statement confirming that one of its staff members has tested positive for COVID-19.
The staff member had behaved "responsibly and cautiously" the statement said. They had not been at work when they were ill.
The care home is the Bill Crawford Lodge on Dana Street.
Here is the BHS statement in full:
We can confirm that a staff member of Ballarat Aged Care has tested positive to COVID-19.
The person has acted responsibly and cautiously. They did not work whilst symptomatic and have been in isolation since symptoms presented on Tuesday this week. They have not required treatment in hospital.
Prior to being symptomatic, this person worked at the Bill Crawford Lodge. Contact tracing with staff and residents is underway. All Bill Crawford Lodge residents will be tested as a precaution and staff members who have interacted with the staff member have been sent home for isolation and are being tested.
Bill Crawford Lodge is in lockdown and has undergone a complete and thorough cleaning process. We are currently working through staffing details to ensure residents are being cared for. All residents are immediately being tested and their next of kin are being informed.
Statement from Jodie Cranham, Executive Director, Ballarat Aged Care:
"Our primary focus is the health and wellbeing of our residents and our staff. The staff member is self-isolating at home, residents have been tested and staff who have had contact are self-isolating and being tested as a precaution. We wish the staff member a speedy recovery and thank them for following all required precautions and processes."
Statement from Dale Fraser, CEO Ballarat Health Services:
"We are all very concerned about the presence of this virus, we know how contagious it is, and we also know how dangerous it can be. I do call out to all people in our community, please do the right thing.
"Earlier this week, we tightened visitor restrictions across our sites for this very reason. Coming into the weekend it is really important that we all practice those things we know make a difference - we all physically distance, practice good hygiene and only go out if we have to.
"We have been preparing a response to active cases across our region and our actions have been guided by this work. Our continued focus is to ensure that we care for the most vulnerable and sick people within our communities.
"Testing is one of the best tools we can use as a defence, and we are glad that UFS has increased its testing capacity and Ballarat Community Health will be opening an additional testing facility today."
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