More news on the Covid-19 case at Mt Buller this week

Photo credit: Mt Buller media.

Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Resort Management Board released more information this evening about the staff member who tested positive yesterday for coronavirus and current resort precautions.

The staff member, who lives in the Mansfield Shire, became unwell on Thursday, 23 July, was tested that day, was announced positive yesterday and remains in isolation off the mountain.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) advises that anyone who has close contact with a confirmed case in the 48 hours prior to them becoming unwell must isolate for 14 days, and that they can only come out of isolation after receiving a negative result to a coronavirus (COVID-19) test taken on the 11th day. A close contact is defined as somebody who has had face-to-face contact for more than 15 minutes, or shared a closed space for more than two hours.

The staff member had dinner at the Merrijig Motor Inn the night before they became unwell. Through traceability data, a total of 4 close contacts have been identified within the Resort Management Board (RMB) team, as well as a further four members of the public who had dinner at the Merrijig Motor Inn on Wednesday, 22 July.

All of these people have been tested and are in isolation in accordance with the RMB’s COVID Safe Plan. While not required by DHHS, the RMB has also traced secondary contacts, being people who had subsequent interaction with a “close contact”.

These 7 staff members have all been tested and will remain in isolation until they’ve received a negative result. The Merrijig Motor Inn has also taken this step with its staff and as a precaution has decided to voluntarily close while it completed a deep clean today and until all staff member tests have returned negative.

Covid testing in the Mansfield Shire and Mt Buller have roughly doubled in the past two days. The Chief Health Officer did not report any new cases within the Mansfield Shire or Mt Buller today. The Mansfield Hospital, Mansfield medical clinics and the RMB are meeting daily to monitor the situation.

Mt Buller and Mt Stirling remain open to visitors from regional Victoria, and the RMB is continuing to provide its normal range of services. This includes conducting temperature checks at Resort Entry and asking people where they have come from and why they are coming to the resorts.

People from Melbourne and Mitchell Shire are reminded that Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions apply and travel to Mt Buller & Mt Stirling is not permitted. People breaching these rules could be liable for significant fines from Victoria Police.

DHHS has confirmed that face masks are not compulsory for people in regional Victoria, but are recommended for anyone who cannot maintain social distancing of 1.5m.

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.