The Border's "good run" in avoiding COVID-19 has ended, but the announcement of four new cases has not been deemed a "setback".
All three cases in Wodonga are in one household, giving Albury Wodonga Health confidence, but contact tracing was still happening this afternoon and businesses beat the Department of Health to listing potential exposures.
Wilson Street Store owner Steve McLennan, who put the tier-two exposure alert out after receiving a call from AWH, said the COVID-positive person did the right thing and checked in when they visited his store a 5.30pm on Tuesday.
AWH Local Public Health Unit executive director Lucie Shanahan referenced QR codes in reassuring the community.
"We're quite aware that this is an anxiety-provoking period for the community - the key thing to know is that if you have checked in using the QR code at any of the sites, you will have received a text message from the Department, either late yesterday or today," she said.
The primary case was returning home to Wodonga from NSW and it hadn't yet been confirmed where in the northern state the virus was acquired.
"Our local public health unit and our contact tracing team became aware of the first case yesterday, and then the two subsequent cases late yesterday," Ms Shanahan said.
Wodonga's situation was described as "under control" by Victoria's Chief Health officer, but with an additional case in Albury too, it was put to Ms Shanahan the cases might be a "setback".
"I don't think it's a setback," she said.
"I don't think it's surprising, actually, when you look at the level of virus that we've got sitting across both states at the moment," Ms Shanahan replied.
"We've been really fortunate - I'm going to say we've had a good run - but we can't be complacent."
Woolworths confirmed its White Box Rise store was a tier-two exposure for 15 minutes from 11.30am on Sunday three hours before it was listed by DHHS at 3pm, and after social media reports surfaced on Thursday night.
Ms Shanahan said the exposure listing process was involved and included the Victorian Department of Health.
"We need a lot of information to help us understand ... whether there is any risk to the public or whether the site needs to be publicly listed, or if in fact there is no risk to the public," she said.
"Once that is all confirmed, that will go up on the Department of Health website.
"We've been talking to the community for well over a week now about the concerns that we've had existing across the region."
Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the health system was "still within capacity" for contact tracing but not every exposure site would be listed - only those with risk.
Professor Sutton was asked at the daily briefing if all of regional Victoria would go back into lockdown, or only local government areas going forward.
"Every day that passes, with more and more regional Victorians getting vaccinated, is a great defense," he said.
"There'll be LGAs that get to that high vaccination coverage, where, if one or two cases occur, we will have greater confidence that they can be managed through the contact tracing process ... a few cases in some regional areas will not necessarily require a lockdown."
There were no details of an acquisition source or exposure sites linked to a new Albury case, which AWH chief executive Michael Kalimnios addressed.
"We've also had some interaction with Murrumbidgee Local Health District about Albury; there's four positive COVID cases in Albury that are being managed currently," he said.
"Murrumbidgee will do all of that work (around contact tracing).
"Our role in Albury is to look after positive COVID patients and make sure they're being treated and are safe."
To account for increased testing demands, Albury Wodonga Health's drive-through clinic on Vermont Street will open 8am to 4pm on Saturday and from 8.30am until demand ceases on Sunday.
The household contact of a Wangaratta case linked to 11 exposure alerts was "doing all the right things".
It was a new case for the city listed, and is in Wangaratta but does not represent a high risk.
Albury Wodonga Health's Lucie Shanahan said they had been isolating at home since the first case was detected.
"We're not particularly concerned about any other public exposure risk that may arise over the last couple of days from that (household contact) case - that person's been doing all the right things," she said.
"Over the next 24 to 48 hours, we'll start to get a much better sense as to any impact that there may be specifically for the Wangaratta community.
"Just like Northeast Health are keeping a close eye on things, we're also keeping a close eye on things."
With AFL Grand Final spirits high, Ms Shanahan encouraged the community to "keep doing the right thing".
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"The response from the community and people being vigilant and taking all the right measures - making sure that people are wearing masks, they're socially distancing, that we're not having large gatherings ... that's what's kept our community relatively COVID-free for a very long period of time," she said.
"So, a huge thanks goes to everyone but ... keep doing the right thing."