A NEW drive-through COVID-19 testing station in Mernda will help boost the City of Whittlesea’s screening numbers as cases of the disease continue to rise in the municipality.
The testing station at Woodland Waters Reserve on Waterview Drive, Mernda, began operating on Saturday and will test residents from 9.30am to 4.30pm every day for at least three weeks. Bookings are not required in order to be tested.
The number of active cases in Whittlesea rose from 42 on Friday to 64 by yesterday afternoon, as Victoria’s total number of active cases soared to 1612.
State Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green pleaded with people to wear facemasks and practice social distancing in a social media post on Sunday.
Ms Green said she had empathy for parents who were struggling to explain the pandemic to young children.
“Try and enjoy this extra week of term break – take a walk with the kids, tell them you love them and that we together will get through this,” she said.
“Point out the local birds and other wildlife and explain how the virus doesn’t harm them.
“Maybe plant some veggies or herbs and say that by time they’re grown and ripe, things will be better and plus there’ll be something yum to eat.”
Ms Green encouraged people to use the drive-through testing site in Mernda, as well as another new site at Diamond Valley Stadium in Greensborough.
She also posted links to videos from Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton demonstrating how to wear a mask correctly for protection, and suggesting parents should encourage children to tell them if their mask was not on straight.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said everyone in the state’s lockdown area – which includes Whittlesea – should wear a mask when leaving their house.
“The chief health officer has now given us the clear advice that wearing facemasks makes a tangible difference when it comes to reducing the transmission of coronavirus within the community – and that is why we are issuing this new recommendation,” he said.
“Staying at home if you feel unwell is still the best way to slow the spread of coronavirus but wearing a cloth mask provides an additional physical barrier, adding one more layer of protection for you and those around you.”