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 aus.gov.au/whatsapp 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.
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
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
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