Just as Ballarat entered lockdown on Wednesday night, Shepparton came out of it after an outbreak which saw more than 100 active cases and 20,000 people in isolation over the course of three weeks.
With almost a third of the city's population in quarantine due to visiting an exposure site, Shepparton mayor Kim O'Keeffe identified testing as the key to stopping the outbreak and implored Ballarat to follow the example.
If Ballarat were to have an outbreak the same size as Shepparton, it would see more than 200 active cases and more than 30,000 people in isolation at its peak.
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Cr O'Keeffe said the Shepparton community came out in droves to get tested.
"We had convoys of people lining up, getting tested and that really targeted where the cases were and then we could then put those people into isolation which managed the virus and that's exactly what needs to happen," she said.
"If people don't get tested, we don't know where the virus is and the virus continues to stay within the community, so that was a big thing obviously to really, really knock out the virus within our community."
Cr O'Keeffe said it was extraordinary to see her community come together in the face of adversity, but it was not being complacent with 38 cases still active.
"I think we really lobbied together and it was really incredible to see just the community spirit and the care for each other, we're very proud of that and it absolutely brought the best out in people," she said.
"Try and really rope it in before it gets away and the only way it's going to get away is if people don't take it seriously and they don't acknowledge that they may have symptoms, as mild as it might be. We had cases where people said they literally just had a slightly runny nose and they had COVID.
"It's not a big thing that's apparent, this Delta is extraordinary and it spreads like confetti, so they need to just stop now and do what Shepparton did and go and get tested and follow the right processes so we can get a good result in the end."
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