News and updates


From the Victorian Government

There are currently ten people in Surf Coast Shire who have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

View the latest information about active cases
View the full interactive report with active COVID-19 cases listed by council area.

(Please note: Council only has the numbers as published by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which reports based on municipality. For privacy reasons, the department does not provide us with specific details of each case.)

The Department of Health and Human Services remains the lead Victorian agency dealing with the coronavirus disease, so we encourage you to stay informed directly through:

From the Commonwealth Government

  • “Coronavirus Australia” app, available on Apple and Android devices
  • WhatsApp channel, which you can access by entering into your internet browser.
  • Head to Health website (how to maintain good mental health during the coronavirus pandemic)

Other information sources

Feeling unwell?  Get tested

Anyone experiencing symptoms, however mild, should be tested for COVID-19.
The symptoms are:

  • Fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell, headache, muscle soreness. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may also be considered.

For more advice or to find out where to get tested:

Local testing locations: 

  • Torquay Community Health Centre (open 9.00am - 5.30pm seven days a week).
    Address: 100 Surfcoast Hwy, Torquay
    Phone Number: (03) 4215 7800
  • Lorne Community Hospital (open for testing between 9am – 4pm daily, by appointment only).
    Address: Albert Street, Lorne
    Phone Number: (03) 5289 4300
  • Colac Hospital (Emergency Department is open 24 hours/7 days a week):
    Address: 2-28 Connor St, Colac
    Phone Number: (03) 5232 5100
  • Barwon Health (Emergency Department is open 24 hours/7 days a week):
    Address: Bellerine Street, Geelong
    Phone Number: (03) 4215 0000
  • At Home testing is now available for vulnerable Victorians.

Children 0-5 years of age will need to attend a screening at a hospital testing station. 

Reporting wrong-doing

Victoria Police are out in force keeping Victorians safe. To report people violating directives of the Chief Health Officer, please call 131 444.

Latest news from Surf Coast Shire Council

Sam's COVID story

 Sam Martin

COVID-19 is not an old person’s disease.  

That’s the message from otherwise healthy 26-year-old Sam Martin, who grew up in Bellbrae and lives in Melbourne, where he is still sick with COVID-19, more than a month on from diagnosis.

After developing a runny nose one afternoon (and initially thinking it was due to the cold weather), Sam got tested and went home.

The next day he got the call to say he was positive.  Sam doesn’t know how he contracted it.

“Over the next 24 hours I started developing flu-like symptoms – aches, pains and chills - and deteriorated from there.”

Sam’s symptoms worsened over the next few days.  His temperature shot up to almost 40 degrees and he started to experience shortness of breath.

Six days from diagnosis, he was hospitalised, where he received oxygen therapy. 

As Sam lay in hospital, his partner Sarah Robson was also diagnosed with COVID-19 and hospitalised a few days later.

“I had to isolate from Sarah while at home and then I was sent to hospital where I couldn’t see her or any members of my family.”

Both Sam and Sarah work as nurses/midwives, although Sam was not working in a clinical role at the time so wasn’t seeing patients. 

“When you test positive, you’re on your own.  My medical background helped me to understand my condition and allay my fears, but I feel so bad for other people who have to lay in hospital all alone not knowing what’s going to happen.”

Sam still hasn’t recovered and is taking things day by day.  He gets breathless if he’s talking on the phone for too long and can only stand for short periods.

Sarah also isn’t well.  Despite feeling better at one point, she then deteriorated and was close to being hospitalised again.

“This disease affects all ages, fitness levels and health conditions.  You’re never going to know which person is going to become really unwell.  It’s only a matter of time before we have people in their 20s dying from this,” Sam warns.

“As a young person, you might be one of the lucky ones, who is asymptomatic, but if you’re doing the wrong thing by coming into close contact with others, regardless of how old or healthy they are, the effects could be devastating.  That’s why the restrictions are in place.”

“Please do the right thing and abide by all the rules. People get complacent – that’s what happened in Melbourne - but you can’t afford to be.” 

Sam’s final piece of advice: “When they say get tested if you have any symptoms, no matter how mild, they really, really mean it.  And when you do get tested, go straight home.”

Watch the latest video message from Surf Coast Shire Council Mayor, Cr Rose Hodge:


Watch Dr Rob Gordon, a clinical psychologist who has spent the past 30 years working with people affected by emergencies and disasters, explain the value of community leaders in the COVID-19  pandemic:

COVID-19-related media releases from Council

6 August, 2020: Sam's COVID story

17 July, 2020: Council urges caution and compassion during latest phase of COVID-19 pandemic

16 July, 2020: Council's PORTAL Postcards project spreads its wings

30 June, 2020: Winchelsea’s Globe Theatre repurposed for COVID-19 testing blitz

24 June, 2020: Council establishes COVID-19 Recovery Assistance Grants Program

4 June, 2020: New program a win-win for local businesses  

27 May, 2020: COVID-19 Recovery Assistance Guidelines adopted

26 May, 2020: Playgrounds, skate parks back in action – with restrictions

22 May, 2020: Australian National Surfing Museum now running virtual tours for schools

19 May, 2020: Isolation CD hits the right note for youth

12 May, 2020: Council reopening recreation spaces with gathering and hygiene restrictions

11 May, 2020: Jan Juc outdoor performance space designs complete

11 May, 2020: Olympic gold medallist to speak at National Volunteer Week webinar event

8 May, 2020: Local road upgrades get underway 

8 May, 2020: Council and medical professionals encourage COVID-19 testing

5 May, 2020: All in this together: help is available

28 April, 2020: A community focus - draft budget adopted

28 April, 2020: COVID-19 support package adopted

27 April, 2020: Taking the lead: youth leadership program launches

24 April, 2020: COVID-19 support package a key feature of Council’s draft Budget 2020-21

23 April, 2020: Council postpones new waste system  

23 April, 2020: First-Time Parent Groups go online  

23 April, 2020: Special Council meeting 

22 April, 2020: Council and Surfing Victoria unite on ANZAC weekend message: spread out to stop the spread

9 April, 2020: Surf Coast Arts Trail to take a new format this year  

8 April, 2020: Council's Easter message: Stay home to stay safe

1 April, 2020: Changes to beach car park and access road changes

31 March, 2020: Buy Surf Coast website makes it easy to support local businesses

30 March, 2020: Beach, road, car park closures seek people to stay at home

26 March, 2020: Council seeks people to stay home

25 March 2020: Council targeting accommodation pandemic risk

24 March, 2020: Council suspends kindergarten terms  

17 March, 2020: Cash-free transfer stations to target infection risks

17 March, 2020: Council meeting cancelled and further changes in services

16 March, 2020: Supporting our community

13 March, 2020: Surf Coast Shire Council initial actions on COVID-19 advance