Northern Grampians Shire looks set to avoid any lockdown, despite the Halls Gap outbreak expected to grow.
Speaking to media, Grampian Public Health Unit's Dr Aaron Bloch cited high vaccination rates and testing levels as "shielding" the region from lockdowns.
"It would be extremely unlikely for a lockdown in Halls Gap or Stawell," Dr Bloch said.
Six Tier 1 exposure sites in Halls Gap have been identified, but Dr Bloch it was too early to tell the extent of any possible community spread in Halls Gap and the surrounding region.
"We've had one person who was infectious (in the area) for a number of days last week," Dr Bloch said, noting that due to it being a single confirmed case, personal details would not be released out of respect to the person's privacy.
The Times-News understands the person was a tourist staying in Halls Gap, and not a resident.
"There are no active cases right now, but we have some significant and high risk exposure sites," Dr Bloch said.
"If any cases were picked up as a result of those exposures, we'll expect to find that out in the next 24 to 48 hours.
"But we have to expect that probability is that yes, there will be cases of community transmission."
However, Dr Bloch noted that the Northern Grampians high vaccination rates may prevent a large scale outbreak.
"I think that's a real positive... each of the vaccination rates in these communities are really high," he said.
"Each of those vaccinations is a brick in the wall that can prevent spreading these kinds of situations."
Stawell Regional Health chief executive Kate Pryde praised the community's response to the outbreak.
"You can't fault it... the community has responded incredibly well," she said.
"Everyone's stepping up the table, which is exactly what we need."
Dr Bloch commended the businesses that closed as a precaution, before receiving any DHHS advice.
"To see everyone banding together and doing the right thing in terms of shutting down exposure sites and getting tested is really, really fantastic," he said.
According to Ms Pryde, Stawell Regional Health administered 138 tests on Wednesday, with more than 140 tests administered before 3pm on Thursday.
Ms Pryde said that the testing numbers present in Stawell were high enough that a pop-up testing site in Halls Gap was unnecessary.
The logistical advantages of having a testing site near Stawell Hospital, and the number of tests already completed on Halls Gap residents outweighed the advantages of setting up a site in Halls Gap, Ms Pryde said.
However Ms Pryde said Stawell Regional Health would continue to monitor the situation.
Chris n Dis Bakery in Stawell is the latest business to be caught by COVID-19, with the bakery's Main St store closed for at least two days.
"(The) shop is closed today and tomorrow due to a positive COVID-19 case who was in our store on Friday 8 October 2.00-2.15pm," the store said in a statement on social media.
"We are a tier 2 exposure site. Staff have been tested and are awaiting their results.
"If staff tests all come back negative the shop hopefully should be open Monday. Our highway shop is open normal hours. Stay safe Stawell."
The guidelines for a Tier 2 site are as follows:
The listing does not appear on the Victorian government's COVID-19 exposure site list, however earlier in October, the Victorian government announced it would be progressively listing less Tier 2 COVID-19 exposure sites.
The change was made as Victoria's vaccination targets were met.
Close contacts are Tier 2 sites will still be notified.
Earlier: Stawell Regional Health have commenced drive through testing at Stawell Tennis Club from 10am, after a number of businesses across the region were listed as tier one exposure sites.
On Thursday, Stawell Regional Health has announced it would conduct drive through testing at the hospital site on Friday morning until 10am on Thursday, before moving to the Stawell Tennis Club site.
Halls Gap General Store has become the latest business to close as a precaution awaiting DHHS instructions.
"We have not been contacted by (the) Department of Health. Once they contact us we'll follow official instructions," they said.
"At this stage all our staff are getting tested and will isolate until their results are known.
"We will update our trading hours once we know more."
"Stay safe and be kind to each other, we are all in this together!"
The General Store is not currently listed as an exposure site, however on Thursday, it was announced that a number of businesses across Stawell and Halls Gap have been identified as tier one exposure sites.
A tier one exposure site means anyone who was in attendance at any of the sites must get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result.
08/10/21 - Industry & Co Barbering and Hairdressing, 112 Main Street, Stawell Vic 2-3.30pm.
08/10/21 - Spirit of Punjab 161-163 Grampians Road Halls Gap, Vic 6.30-7.30pm
08/10/21 - Paper Scissors Rock Brew Co 119 Grampians Road Halls Gap, Vic 7.30-8pm
09/10/21 - Live fast cafe 97 Grampians Road Halls Gap, Vic 11-11.30am
09/10/21 - Flame Brother's Restaurant & Bar ,10/97 Grampians Rd Halls Gap 6.40-8.30pm
10/10/21 - Grampians Adventure Golf Café MOCO Gallery (Café only) 475 - 481 Grampians Road Halls Gap 11.15am - 1pm.
Businesses that had closed as a precautionary measure following unofficial advice a positive case had visited the region and their businesses include Flame Brothers, Grampians Helicopters, the Halls Gap Post Office and Livefast Cafe.
The businesses that have temporarily closed all noted it was done out as a precaution to keep the community safe.
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