Although not compulsory in regional areas, Ballarat residents of all ages have taken to wearing masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19 through the community.
More than half of shoppers in some supermarkets donned bought or home made masks while increasing numbers of students at government schools have also chosen to wear masks at school.
Woodman's Hill Secondary College principal Stephan Fields said five to 10 per cent of students had chosen to wear masks at school on Monday, far more than were covering up last week.
"Before the weekend there was maybe a handful but now we starting to see, especially among senior students, more students wearing them.
"It will be interesting to see what it looks like by Friday, how the community responds to the data coming out."
Once your face covering is on it is important that you do not touch it. Before putting it on or taking it off remember to make sure that you have thoroughly washed (and dried) or sanitised your hands.— VicGovDHHS (@VicGovDHHS) July 26, 2020
Find out more about wearing a mask safely: https://t.co/nFUVb4hTHy#COVIDvicpic.twitter.com/MaOw7nAjGe
Mr Fields recognised there might be some students who wanted to wear masks but had been unable to source them and the school will run lunchtime classes this week for any students who want to make their own reusable cloth masks.
The school has ordered masks online but is not expecting to receive their order until September.
"While masks are not mandatory and we have been given guidelines for regional Victoria, we understood and recognised there was some anxiety around whether you can or can't wear masks at school ... so we have said to families it is an individual choice for them to make and it's not an issue for students to come to school wearing a mask.
"And we have said to families to ease some of the uncertainty that later in the week we will run a couple of lunchtime sessions for students to make their own masks ... to make sure availability doesn't become a barrier for students staying safe at Woodman's Hill."
It comes amid uproar over several Melbourne incidents in which people deliberately breached the regulations around face coverings and posted their disputes online.
"Thankfully this selfish behaviour is an exception and the vast majority of people are doing the right thing to protect the health and safety of our community," said Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner, Regional Operations, Rick Nugent.
"However, the behaviour of those who blatantly choose to disregard the rules on the insistence their human rights being breached is alarming.
"Worse yet, it seems these people are more interested in notoriety and getting likes on social media than the health and wellbeing of their fellow Victorians.
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"My message to anyone planning to break the rules is simple: no one has a human right to infect other people and place the entire Victoria community at risk.
"In fact, this type of behaviour is childish and is completely unacceptable when police are working incredibly hard to keep the community safe."
Mr Nugent said police would continue to use the powers available to them under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 to enforce the Chief Health Officer directions and would not hesitate to issue fines to people who were obviously and blatantly failing to wear a face covering without a valid reason, such as a medical condition.
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