Richard Riordan MP - Colac is now the regional Victorian epicentre of COVID-19.

Colac has become the epicentre of Victoria’s regional COVID-19 concerns, with residents now taking it upon themselves to fight the spread of the deadly virus.


Colac has become the epicentre of Victoria’s regional COVID-19 concerns, with residents now taking it upon themselves to fight the spread of the deadly virus.


Shops have voluntarily closed, residents have been urged to wear masks at all times, and about 3000 people have placed themselves in self-quarantine amid extended waits for testing results, ­according to the region’s state MP.


The Australian Defence Force has also made its way into town to help control the spread of the virus.


Colac Otway Shire rocketed from five positive coronavirus cases to 48 over the past week, with all but one linked to an outbreak at the Australian Lamb Company.


An army medic works with road control and SES in setting up at Covid-19 testing station at Central Reserve in Colac. The army has been called in to help with the covid outbreak in Colac, and a number of shops have already been shut.


Residents’ concerns have been compounded by long waits for test results, and after abattoir workers were told they didn’t have to self-isolate in the early days of the outbreak.


Polwarth state Liberal MP Richard Riordan said Colac residents were “really scared” by the growing outbreak and long waits to receive testing results, and about 3000 people were currently self-isolating.


“The two main supermarkets are rapidly running out of staff because of the number of people quarantining in Colac,” Mr Riordan said.


“I’m getting bombarded with people at the moment, and they’re just really scared and they’re worried because they’re not hearing test results.


Few ventured out into the centre of Colac on Sunday. The army has been called in to help with the covid outbreak in Colac, and a number of shops have already been shut.


“The key to pulling this up is contact tracing and letting people know quickly.”

Many Colac residents claimed they had been waiting up to a week for results.

Mr Riordan said he expected to see numbers continue to rise in the area, with up to “six large businesses” notified of staff receiving positive tests.


At least four Colac businesses revealed staff had received positive tests at the weekend, including MG Trading and Colac Motor Group on Saturday, and AKD Softwoods and SLM Law on Sunday.


The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed ADF personnel had been sent to Colac.


“DHHS has set up a local incident control centre to manage the outbreak at Australian Lamb Company in Colac, leading the contact tracing effort, case management, public information and making sure people isolating or in quarantine have all the services they need,” a spokesperson said.


Apollo Seafood owner Sam Perisanidis said the community was quick to react to the abattoir cluster and was determined to do the right thing.


“I don’t think the government needs to do anything here because we are already doing it and if the government does, it shows we are dumbos and not being responsible,” he said.


Others were concerned for the elderly population of the town and would accept a ­lockdown to protect the ­community.


“I think if it needs to happen, then it needs to happen and it will be a way of looking after the town and getting the number right down again.” mother-of-three Ashley Blunden said.

Barista Jessica Wood said: “Everyone here is kinda doing their own lockdown anyway so I don’t think it would fuss too many people.”.


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