A Chief Health Officer alert was issued on 27 October 2023 regarding increased community transmission of COVID across Victoria.
The LMPHU continues to monitor the situation and assist in managing COVID outbreaks in residential aged care facilities and healthcare facilities in the region.
We advise that people continue to follow the standard COVID precautions:
Bendigo Health has ceased operating COVID vaccination clinics.
COVID Vaccination Eligibility (Updated with 1 September 2023 ATAGI advice)
ATAGI has updated its recommendations for an additional 2023 booster dose of the COVID vaccine if 6 months have passed since the last dose. The updated recommendations are:
The table below outlines recommendations from ATAGI.
Refer to the blue columns if you have not had a booster in 2023. Refer to the green columns if you have had a booster in 2023 and it has been at least 6 months since then.
Our testing site closed on December 31, 2022.
From January 1, 2023 Bendigo Health will not be distributing RATs. The City of Greater Bendigo will be providing free RATs from their Customer Service Centres in Bendigo and Heathcote and Goldfields Libraries in Bendigo, Eaglehawk and Kangaroo Flat. For more information call 1300 002 642.
PCR tests can be arranged via your local GP or respiratory clinic.
Rapid Antigen Tests
Rapid antigen tests (RATs) are the preferred means of testing for COVID for most Victorians.
They are quick and accurate, particularly if you have symptoms or if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID.
You should take a rapid antigen test:
If you return a negative rapid antigen test
If you have COVID symptoms and you return a negative rapid antigen test you should stay home until your symptoms go away. Repeat rapid antigen testing over the next several days.
Rapid antigen tests are better able to detect COVID when repeated over successive days but will not detect other respiratory viruses, such as influenza.
If you return a positive rapid antigen test
If you have tested positive for COVID, you should stay at home for at least five days and until you no longer have symptoms. You should also speak to your GP to check if you are eligible for COVID antiviral medicines.
When PCR testing is available
If you have COVID symptoms, you should take a rapid antigen test. PCR tests can be arranged via your local GP or respiratory clinic.
Most people who get infected with Covid-19 have symptoms similar to a cold or the flu and they feel better after a few days or a couple of weeks.
Since the pandemic started though, we are hearing more and more about people who are not getting better as quickly and continue to experience symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, body aches, brain fog, and many other types of symptoms.
With a new condition such as Covid-19, we are continually learning new things about it. It is now widely recognised that the above phenomenon is describing Long Covid (officially known as Post Covid-19). This is still a relatively new area and we are learning more about it.
If you are continuing to feel symptoms from your Covid-19 infection over a month after having the infection, you might be experiencing Long Covid. This can be a difficult and frustrating diagnosis as we are still learning more about the condition and so doctors may not be able to answer all your questions right now especially since different people seem to experience Long Covid differently and there is also variation between countries.
At LMPHU, we are committed to sharing information to help those in our community who may be affected. If you believe you are affected with Long Covid, we encourage you to see your regular doctor who may refer you to a specialist if they think it is needed.
What do we know now?
The best way to protect yourself from Long Covid is to avoid infection with Covid-19.
More information on how to manage and protect yourself from COVID can be found here.