Health | July 21, 2020

Kealy calls for greater detail on COVID-19 cases

Member for Lowan Emma Kealy has urged the Premier to make critical changes to the way COVID-19 case data is reported in Victoria to help allay community angst and confusion.
Ms Kealy said the current system of reporting a confirmed COVID-19 case by local government area alone – based on a person’s residential address, rather than their current location – was misleading.
“Last week, our electorate recorded confirmed cases for the first time in months. Community members are deeply concerned about whether these people were residing in our area or outside of it at the time of testing positive,” she said. 
“Our community also has no way of knowing how or where these cases of COVID-19 were acquired and whether they are related. This lack of detail is driving uncertainty, fear and rumours, none of which are helpful as we work to stop the spread of this virus.”
Ms Kealy, who has written to the Premier and the Minister for Health seeking urgent changes to data reporting, said the government needed to understand that reporting cases by local government area alone was particularly problematic in rural and regional communities. 
“Unlike in metropolitan areas, our local government areas comprise large communities separated by much smaller townships and vast amounts of farmland. Local people understand why the current data is therefore far from comprehensive enough to offer a true picture of where cases are, and hence the risk of exposure for others; it’s time the government recognised this too,” she said.
“It would be far more beneficial for the government to report positive cases by postcode of the address the person resided at for the two weeks prior to testing positive, rather than the council area of their listed residential address.
“Locals have noted the informative and detailed public reporting of positive cases provided by the NSW Government. It is vital our communities are provided with a similar level of detail.”
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