Hume council calls for more specific virus data


By Jessica Micallef

Hume council is requesting specific information from the state government about the municipality’s active coronavirus cases.

The council agreed to write to Health Minister Jenny Mikakos, to seek more “detailed” information on the COVID-19 cases in Hume.

Deputy mayor Jack Medcraft said more information and clarity on the cases across Hume would better help the council support the community through the pandemic.

“If the active cases are about our younger community then we can work with our youth and our schools,” he said.

“If the active cases are more about a particular cohort or community group, then we can work with the leaders of this group and put more messages out in those specific languages and again be really specific about the actions we can take.

“We have been supporting the Department of Health and Human Services through testing and we as council know we can further assist the government to stop the spread by getting key messages out to the groups most impacted.

“We understand the message is clear – no person is immune to this terrible virus.

“But if the active cases show a trend of pattern then this understanding will only assist us to take more specific action and an action plan to try and stop it [the virus].”

Cr Ann Potter said while she agreed having localised information was “extremely important”, she feared residents could become complacent if they knew what areas across Hume did not have as many infections.

“We just cannot allow that to happen,” she said.

“I still think the major thing we need to get out is to follow those four rules and one of the most important rules is to stay at home.

“Unless we stay at home, unless we follow those four basic rules, the six weeks could turn into eight weeks, it could turn into 12 weeks.

“I still urge our community to follow those four basic rules … so we can get through this together.”

Cr Joseph Haweil said every resident, regardless of what suburb they lived in, needed to follow the stay-at-home orders that have been issued by the state government.

“If the purpose of the information is for us to better tailor our approach, then that is fine,” he said.

“Anything we can do to get the message our further is something I support, but really, what it is about is everyone, regardless of what suburb, hotzone or not, should be following the stay-at-home orders that have been issued.”

Hume has recorded the most coronavirus cases across Victoria. As of Monday, there were 595 confirmed cases of the virus. The municipality has 286 active cases.

The Macedon Ranges has five active cases, and has recorded 14 cases since the pandemic began.