A massive testing response to the listing of exposure sites in Wodonga has been lauded by Albury Wodonga Health.
To cater for demand, a third testing site has opened at Wodonga racecourse, running until 6pm and operating again on Sunday.
AWH is asking those people who haven't been at the exposure sites in the specified times, and are not symptomatic to wait to be tested.
Those who present the highest risk are being prioritised.
Here is the breakdown of cases and their exposure sites:
Young woman who returned from Melbourne
Returned to Wodonga from Melbourne on Wednesday. She was staying in Motel 24 Wodonga originally, resulting in the exposure listings for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
The young woman, who was not an authorised worker, had her test result returned positive late on Friday and contact tracers immediately began working on publishing exposures:
Wednesday (22nd of September):
- Woolworths Wodonga Central: 5.30pm to 7pm (tier two - test and isolate until negative)
- Mann Central Coles: 7pm to 8pm (tier two)
- Mann Central Kmart: 7pm to 7.45pm (tier two)
Thursday (23rd of September):
- Wodonga Plaza Cotton On: 2pm to 5pm (tier one - test and isolate for 14 days)
- Wodonga Plaza Ally Fashion: 2pm to 5pm (tier one - test and isolate for 14 days)
- Wodonga Plaza Chemist Warehouse: 2pm to 5pm (tier one - test and isolate for 14 days)
- Wodonga Plaza Rivers: 2pm to 5pm (tier two)
- Wodonga Plaza Coles: 2pm to 5pm (tier two)
- Wodonga Plaza Target: 2pm to 5pm (tier two)
- Mann Central Coles: 6pm to 7pm
- Mann Central Kmart: 6pm to 7pm
QR Code check-ins were not done for all stores.
See the Victorian health department website for the most up-to-date information about exposures.
While both Wodonga Plaza and Mann Central will remain listed as exposure sites in their entirety, contact tracers have today been updating risks for individual stores, deeming Cotton On a 'tier one' meaning those at the store must isolate for 14 days.
AWH Local Public Health Unit executive director Lucie Shanahan said positively, some primary close contacts of the young woman had tested negative.
"All primary close contacts have been contacted, and have been tested and are awaiting their test results," she said.
"We know that of the primary close contacts that we've tested, they have returned to negative results, and those are the people who have been in most contact with this young person.
"Not all, but certainly those of most concern (have tested negative)."
Ms Shanahan said it was "absolutely possible" they may then turn positive during their 14-day isolation.
"(But) one of the things that we are seeing with the Delta variant is that people are returning positive results within the 24 hour period of having contact, so we know it's far more contagious and virulent," she said.
Wodonga Plaza Centre Management had reported on social media "that due to the case being less than co-operative, this is being treated as high risk and as such Tier categories are not yet known".
However, Ms Shanahan said the young woman and her primary close contacts "were unbelievably, highly cooperative".
"Their level of engagement with the contact tracing team has been one of the key reasons why we've been able to identify the case, the locations and the exposure sites and get the information that we need so quickly," she said.
"Those sites were listed really quickly by the Department yesterday, which was great to see, and has certainly contributed to the response that we've seen from the community today.
"I've got no doubt there's a lot of anxiety across the community - to see so many exposure sites pop up on the Department of Health website so quickly in one day."
There appeared to be a flood of exposure sites because exposures for three separate cases, unrelated to the young woman, were also being published yesterday:
Truck driver and two household contacts (reported Friday)
The three Wodonga cases that were reported on Friday involve a truck driver who returned to the city after travelling in NSW and two household contacts.
As reported yesterday, they are in one household but were infectious in the community. Potential exposures related to those cases are:
White Box Rise Woolworths: Sunday (19th) from 11.29am to 11.45am and Tuesday (21st) from 10.25 am to 11.45am
Wilson Street Store: Tuesday (21st) from 5pm to 6.15pm
"Primary close contact tracing for that case is complete, and to date we haven't had any further positive results come from that household or any of the primary close contracts," Ms Shanahan said.
"There will be some repeat testing for some people who are considered to be of the most concern in the next couple of days.
"We have certainly seen a really strong testing response from the community and we're really thankful for people for coming out.
"Those who have been at the exposure sites during the specified times, and/or people who are symptomatic is our focus today.
"As people are aware, they're very public sites - there's a lot of public traffic and foot traffic through those sites, so it is the best, cautious approach that we can take, and hopefully, as many people as possible who were there at those times can come forward and get tested.
"The testing is the piece that really helps us understand if there's been any community transmission across the community."
AWH using surge staff for testing
The walk-in clinic will be open until demand ceases today, and the Wodonga Racecourse clinic will be open until 6pm and again tomorrow.
Significant wait times were being experienced today - four hours and longer.
Ms Shanahan said she was not aware of people being turned away for testing but acknowledged some staff may have advised those who hadn't been at exposure sites and were't symptomatic to return another day.
"We've been able to source Albury Wodonga Health staff to come and provide a surge response," she said.
"We're conscious though, that with a large number of sites that we're likely to need a higher than usual service demand over the next few days - so we're certainly talking with the Department and with neighboring health services around support."
Wangaratta is "not out of the woods" but no further cases have been returned.
"We are aware that they've done about 1800 tests in the last three days," Ms Shanahan said.
"Again, I don't think we're entirely out of the woods yet, but promising signs so far."