Due to poor communication from the Victorian Department of Health, several Melbourne venue owners became frustrated and concerned after coronavirus cases were linked to their premises

A bar owner in southeast Melbourne said Sunday afternoon he hadn’t heard from the department and closed his venue after an employee tested positive

John Tei, owner of the Grape & Grain Bar in Moorabbin, said a staff member informed him on Friday that his partner and his partner’s father would be arriving on Jan. Had dinner at the Thai restaurant Smile Buffalo in Black Rock December and have tested positive for COVID since -19

Smile Buffalo Thai Restaurant on Beach Road in Black Rock, which is linked to a COVID-19 clusterCredit: Penny Stephens

The employee informed his employer that he had therefore been informed by the health department that he was a close contact person

“From then on, I shut everything down and we all got tested and luckily some came back negative,” said Tei

The employee returned a positive test Sunday morning Mr. Tei said late Sunday afternoon that he had not heard from the Department of Health and Human Services

“Nothing Not a word I contacted the employee and he found out this morning that he is positive,” said Mr. Tei. “The health of employees and customers is a priority and we will do the right thing I would love to be with DHHS get in touch because I need instructions here. I’m not sure what else to do and I don’t want to endanger anything “

The bar was added to the official list of exposure sites shortly before 9 p.m. on Sunday

Anyone who visits the venue on Jan. December between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m., on 22 December between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., on 24 December between 1 p.m. and 10 p.m. and on 28 Visited December between 8 p.m. 5 p.m. and 8 a.m., 4 p.m. and 29 December between 12 noon and 4 p.m. it is recommended to get tested immediately and to quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure

In a statement, DHHS said the interview on the positive case was “nearing completion” early Sunday evening Once this was done, the department would contact relevant close contacts and public exposure sites and indicate what action was required

It said the priority was to get all relevant information from the cases to ensure that next steps can be taken quickly, including self-isolation, and that interviews with cases can take up to five hours to complete all movements and document contacts of cases previous days and weeks

The website will be updated as soon as the information is confirmed with the case, the department said

Mr Tei’s concern comes after Australian Venue Co chief executive Paul Waterson found out through the media on Saturday afternoon that his European beer cafe on Exhibition Street in Melbourne’s CBD following a confirmed case last week was visited, a site of exposure was

“We saw it on The Age website that was the first time we heard about it,” he said

“We knew that the government obviously wanted the contact register first, so we checked our messages on the reservation system, wondering if we had received the message, but we hadn’t””

The health department originally announced the 21st December was given as the exposure date so that all employees who worked that day were instructed to isolate themselves and perform a test

The date was then changed to 28 December Changed Employees who worked on that date are being tested and some have had negative results

Mr Waterson contacted Melbourne GP Vyom Sharma on Twitter and the doctor was able to put him in touch with DHHS which was a “great relief”

“After some back and forth, they contacted me at 8am, last night at 30pm,” he said

“As a sector that has been pretty badly hit by the shutdown, we are all incredibly sensitive to what we as an industry need to do to make sure people are safe during outbreaks So we were overly sensitive to making sure people were affected”Get information as soon as possible”

He said he was considering calling patrons himself before he could reach the health department

“I understand the argument that some companies are on vacation and unable to get to people, but I would have thought companies should be given the very first opportunity to provide a contact register so DHHS can contact those affected immediately, rather than read it through the media “

Anyone who visits the café on March 28th Visited December between 8 p.m. and 9.30 a.m. must be tested immediately and quarantined until a negative result is obtained

Mr. Waterson requested better system integration so that contact tracing teams at venues can be easily accessed by contact tracing teams

“Everywhere I go I see that everyone is doing their best to keep good contact registers, maintain social distance, and use IT systems for online orders

“Nobody in the industry wants to go through what we were through the last time and there really is a sense of vigilance and care to ensure we provide a safe environment for our customers”

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Simone is a crime reporter for The Age Most recently she covered breaking news for The Age and before that for The Australian in Melbourne

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World News – AU – ‘We Read About It In The Age’: Concerns Of Virus-Related Venue Owners Over Health Department Delay

Source: https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/not-a-word-covid-linked-venue-owners-hit-out-at-health-department-s-silence-20210103-p56rgo.html