Ballarat is proving high levels of compliance with COVID rules lead to lower case numbers and quicker exit from lockdown.
But experts also believe this is being achieved with a rare level of community cohesion and spirit.
Over the course of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ballarat had just 78 breaches of the Chief Health Officer's orders per 100,000 people.
That rate ranks among the lowest in regional Victoria, beating out both Bendigo (92) and Geelong (82).
The police statistics from the first lockdown are reflected in the low new coronavirus case numbers, now at zero, and continually better than its neighbouring regional cities.
Police and health services have applauded this concerted effort and Ballarat's ability to do it with a minimum of division.
Federation University psychologist Ashley Humphrey believes this could be a result of Ballarat's sense of community spirit, as members of the public continued to look out for each other and wanted to do the right thing for each other during the pandemic.
"It's an interesting finding. I think Ballarat seems to have more community spirit than a city like Melbourne," he said.
"People in smaller cities are, culturally speaking, take a more community-orientated approach."
Dr Humphrey said from what he has seen, the way the Ballarat community has come together during this time was very different to what he has experienced in Melbourne.
"Even reading articles in The Courier on how Ballarat is faring and the community narrative," he said.
"Melbourne seems to have no semblance of this community working together, it's more 'do the right thing or you'll get in trouble'.
"As someone who is living in Melbourne, there is an interesting dichotomy to Ballarat, where there is a 'we are in this together; attitude compared to an individual focus in Melbourne.
"Ballarat is not a small community by any means, but there are echoes of being a community as opposed to Melbourne, which likely lost this a long time ago."
Dr Humphrey was not the only person pushing this stance, with Ballarat's top police member echoing similar experiences the past six months.
Ballarat Police Superintendent Jenny Wilson said the close relationships people have within the Ballarat community are a big reason why the rate of COVID-19 breaches have been so low throughout the region.
"My observation of Ballarat is that we have more cohesive communities here," she said.
"People have become more connected throughout this pandemic process. Because of those relationships and because of the care we have for each other and our businesses, I think that most people have embarrassed the CHOs directions and that may account for lower rates.
"You see those compassionate gestures all over the place... I think that all fits in with people wanting to move through this and get beyond COVID-19."
Another aspect of the current COVID-landscape the entire state has been performing well in surrounds the 'ring of steel' around metropolitan Melbourne.
Fewer and fewer fines have been recorded across the state despite upwards of 20,000 cars being checked on most days.
Over the past seven days, police have handed out an average of one fine for every 3,295 cars passing through the checkpoint.
That is a stark improvement over the average for the two weeks prior, where one out of every 1,159 cars traveling through the checkpoints received a fine.
While those numbers are only available for all of regional Victoria, Superintendent Wilson said it's been pleasing to see the vast majority of people doing the right thing at the checkpoints.
"There are a lot of people who travel through that checkpoint everyday to come to the region to work, and they've done the right thing by getting a permit," she said.
"As well as that, I think Melbourne has seen things improve to a point where people might be more prepared to wait until travel opens back up.
"Our police have also been using description and going through an education process with people who may have simply made a mistake, rather than a blatant breach... we have zero tolerance for a blatant breach of the restrictions."
Victoria Police continue to push the message that anyone found to be blatantly and deliberately breaching the CHO's directions and travelling from metro Melbourne to regional Victoria without a lawful reason will be issued with a $4957 fine.
Ballarat Health Services chief Dale Fraser said while the community has done well in banding together so far, it was imperative they stayed the course going forward.
"We encourage our community to stay the course and remember the key things that help us combat the pandemic," he said.
"If you have even the slightest of symptoms of COVID-19 please go home, book in for a COVID-19 test and self-isolate until you receive your results... If we all continue to collectively do the right thing and stop the spread."
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