The rapid rise in COVID cases in Australia is a cause for concern for authorities particularly when the daily number in just two states has crossed 60,000. This is the onset of Omicron wave in Australia.
Victoria has recorded 21, 728 cases which when added to NSW’s 38, 625 tops 60, 000 in a single day. Ever since the COVID pandemic started in late (December) 2019 numbers of this kind were meant for other countries.
In an attempt to deal with the rising numbers as a result of Omicron wave, from today, Victorians who test positive on a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) will be asked just nine easy questions to quickly access the medical support they need as part of the transformation of Victoria’s response to coronavirus.
Anyone who tests positive on a RAT is now considered a probable case and must immediately isolate for seven days and notify their contacts – just like those who test positive on a PCR.
It is now mandatory to report the result of a positive RAT to the Department of Health through an online form or by phone.
“Returning a positive RAT is the same as testing positive on a PCR – you are required to isolate, tell your contacts, and to log your positive result so we can ensure you have the care, information and support you need” Acting Premier Jacinta Allan said.
“The best thing you can do to protect yourself and the community from coronavirus is to get your third dose vaccination, bookings can be made with GP, pharmacies and at state-run vaccination centres” Ms Allan added.
The new system means fewer Victorians will have to wait on the results of a PCR test before receiving the care and information they need, including monitoring for worsening symptoms and financial support for isolation.
It also means Victorians who test negative on a RAT and are not a household contact will be able to resume their lives straight away instead of quarantining while they wait for a negative result – meaning less disruptions for everyone including for work, school, childcare, and social lives.
A new webform will be available today for positive cases to report their result to the Department of Health. As well as basic personal details such as name, gender, and date of birth, cases will be asked the following questions to determine their level of risk and what support they might need:
- Have you been told you have recently been in contact with someone who has COVID-19?
- Have you been recently unwell with COVID-19 symptoms?
- Do you need any support to stay home?
- Have you received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine?
- How many doses of the vaccine have you received, if any?
- Have you had any symptoms in the past five days?
- If you have symptoms how sick do you feel?
- Do you have the following conditions (including currently pregnant or cancer treatment, blood disorder, psychiatric condition or lung, heart, kidney, or liver disease)?
- Are you happy to contact your GP for your clinical care?
People who answer no to both question one and two are recommended to get a PCR test to confirm their positive RAT result.
Positive RAT results can also be reported using the Coronavirus Hotline where translators are available for cases who wish to make their report in a language other than English.
For more information on Omicron wave numbers and to log your positive RAT result online at coronavirus.vic.gov.au or via the Coronavirus Hotline 1800 675 398.