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NEWS DESK

Get set to dive into water safety MEN are being urged to get their heads around water safety in the lead up to the summer swimming season. This is because statistics show men are four times more likely to drown than women – especially in the case of men aged 25-44 years who made up more than a quarter of all drowning deaths in 2019-20. The Victorian Drowning Report 2019-20, released as part of Water Safety Week (30 November-6 December), lists 34 drownings and 100 non-fatal drowning incidents last financial year. Life Saving Victoria’s principal research associate Dr Bernadette Matthews also said drownings among those aged 15-24 had jumped 22 per cent on the 10 year average. “Part of the problem is that drinking alcohol around water remains a high-risk activity for all age groups and should be avoided,” she said. Drownings in the past six months have jumped to 18 from 1 July-11 November. “This is six more than the five-year average and seven more than the 10-year average,” Dr Matthews said. “Behind all these numbers, what we’re really talking about is life-changing tragedy for many Victorian families.” Dr Matthews said many swimmers this year have had limited or no exposure to waterways and aquatic recreation, so it’s crucial to be prepared before a day out on the water. She advised swimmers to check the beachsafe.org. au website to find a patrolled beach and to be aware of their abilities. They should be prepared for the weather and the conditions. “Once you’re there, read the safety signs, swim between the red and yellow flags and always supervise young children near water.” LSV’s Virtual Reality resources, launched last week, invites viewers to explore at-risk aquatic environments while learning about key water safety messages designed to keep them safe. “The inaugural National Water Safety Day (1 December) is a reminder to us all to play it extra safe while enjoying the water this summer,” Dr Matthews said.

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Southern Peninsula News

9 December 2020

It’s a milestone: Peninsula Health staff Yvonne Santvoort and Jodi Foley with cupcakes representing 100,000 COVID-19 tests. Other staff are holding the 100,000th sign. Picture: Gary Sissons

Peninsula Health swab test ‘milestone’ THE 100,000 swab tests conducted by Peninsula Health for COVID-19 are being described as a “significant milestone for everyone involved”. The “milestone” patient visited the drive-through screening clinic at the Frankston Hospital campus, corner of Hastings Road and Yuille Street, last week. “Thank you to every single person who has come forward and done the right thing – getting that test at the earliest sign of any COVID-19 symptom,” the operations director of Peninsula Health’s Screening Clinics Jodi Foley said. “We’ve come a long way since March. As the coronavirus situation evolved in Victoria over these past eight months, so have we, continually adapting our service to give more residents the opportuni-

ty to get a test quickly and locally,” Ms Foley said. “I want to pay tribute to our extraordinary team who have dedicated themselves to this purpose since we opened the first testing clinic at Frankston Hospital on 13 March. “Our staff have been available through rain, hail and shine to help stop the spread of this insidious virus, and I am so proud to work alongside them every day.” As well as the hospital-based clinics and drive-through site, Peninsula Health’s mobile screening clinic has been “popping-up” at temporary sites, covering thousands of kilometres back and forth from Portsea to Bonbeach. Ms Foley thanks partners the Australian Defence Force, Department of Health and Human

Services, Monash University, Frankston City Council, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, Scouts Victoria, Frankston and District Basketball Association, YNA Agency and St John Ambulance. “Our local GPs and primary care providers have also been invaluable in supporting our efforts to keep our community safe and well,” she said. “Whether it is access to community venues or the provision of additional staffing, the collective support has allowed our healthcare teams to provide an invaluable level of assurance for our community, during an uncertain time.” While Victoria is free of known active coronavirus cases, Ms Foley says the steps towards COVID “normal” do not mean the com-

munity should be any less alert. “Even though positive detections have been at zero for more than a month, it’s not over yet – please get tested if you have any symptoms.” “The test is quick, safe and free. No matter how slight your symptoms are – be it a cough, runny nose, temperature for example – please attend one of our locations immediately. “You must self-isolate until you return a negative result. In most cases we can get this result back to you within 24 hours.” For the locations of Peninsula Health-run screening clinics, including opening hours, visit peninsulahealth.org.au/covid19screeningclinics

Profile for Mornington Peninsula News Group

Southern Peninsula News 8 December 2020  

Southern Peninsula News 8 December 2020

Southern Peninsula News 8 December 2020  

Southern Peninsula News 8 December 2020

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