Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Victoria coronavirus Permitted Worker Permit scheme template

The Victorian government is now introducing the need for Victorians to carry with them a permit to travel to and from work. The scheme is known as the Permitted Worker Scheme.

You need to carry the completed document with you to and from work and should carry photo identification.

The Permitted Worker Scheme template is available from the following site as a Microsoft Word document.

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

5km radius from your home/current location. Part of the new Victorian coronavirus stage 4 restrictions.

Now that Victoria has introduced stage 4 restrictions for coronavirus, one of those restrictions is you can only travel up to 5km, except for the reasons stated. So how far is 5 kilometres.

To make things easier, today I created the 5km Radius web app. Open your mobile phone and go to and you'll see a 5km circle around your current area.

Want to exercise with someone not in your family, remember the 5km restriction applies to each of you. Using the 5km Radius web app you can send each other your locations and then see where your two 5km regions overlap. That's where you can meet to exercise.

I hope this web app helps people in these unusual times.

Kelvin Eldridge

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Victorian map of coronavirus cases by postcode area.

I've been suggesting for quite a while the Victorian government should be releasing coronavirus cases down to the postcode area. Recently the Victorian government release the postcode data as at the 31st of July 2020.

The data only appears to have been released to the media and at this stage, does not appear to be available on a regular basis, which to me is a pity. Once you see the data at the postcode level you can get an insight into the things that may be happening in different areas. Data on the Local Government Area is far too broad.

The government appears to be concerned as to how people will use the data and I understand their concern. You can use any tool for good, but often that same tool can be used for malicious reasons. For me that data enables me to see the reality of what is happening around me, to better plan my activities.

One thing we do need to keep in mind though is the data is based on the residential location when the case was notified. Not where the case occurred and may not be where the case resides.

As an example in Doncaster East there's currently 21 active cases, yet from media reports and the information released daily from the Department of Health and Human Services, there appears to be no reported cases in the area. It's hard to reconcile what is going on in the area and this will apply to many areas. In other words the amount of data being provided is still not sufficient.

Hopefully by reviewing the information that appears in the media and the more recent postcode data people can get a feeling for what is happening in their area and hopefully in someway that helps. The following are the maps I currently produce.

A map showing the location of reported cases including a link to the news article or government site.

A map showing coronavirus cases in Victoria by postcode at at the 31st of July 2020.

I hope you find the information useful.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, July 27, 2020

Face mask or face shield.

It's actually quite hard to read information and know what is right and wrong. The government said for a long time we didn't need to wear masks and now in Victoria it's mandatory. So which is it, don't need them, or do need them.

First from what I've read N95 or equivalent masks can reduce up to 95% coronavirus particles getting into your nose or mouth. If you decide on a scarf homemade mask your protection could be reduce by half or more. The government is suggesting we can use any covering as a mask and that is acceptable. But is it the best approach for you.

The way I work is I look at increasing the probability of not getting the coronavirus infection. Each action you take could reduce or increase your chances of an infection. It's a matter of trying to find real information from scientific research to help you make the best decisions for yourself. There's still no guarantee you'll get infected, but hopefully you'll reduce your chances.

Currently my line of thought is if possible get an N95 or equivalent face mask from Bunnings or similar.

Now when it comes to a face shield those gaps around the face shield are a concern to me. Whilst people say coronavirus droplets are affected by gravity, I'd think very small aerosol droplets can easily be taken with winds and drafts. If an updraft can lift a glider then I'm sure it would have no problem with an aerosol sized droplet.

I won't however rule out face shields because  whilst my guess is they won't offer as much protection, it does act as a barrier. What's the research. I've not read any at this point that gives me the information to make a decision.

However there's one thing I haven't been doing and that is protecting my eyes as a source of entry for the virus. I'm no different to anyone else. I take time to do what I should and I really think it is time to start wearing some protective glasses.

Really I don't go out much now except for groceries and occasional shopping. At home there's very little exposure. Outside where there's many people such as when shopping, that's an exposure I need to take seriously.

With the eyes I recently read the following article. The one piece of information I thought was useful is it gave a figure of 1-3% risk of infection via the eyes. In other words your eyes are already more protected than your mouth and nose if wearing an N95 mask. That is the risk is low.

The following is, or soon will be my list of ways to protect myself. Do keep in mind I don't go out to work with others and you may not be in such a fortunate position.

Stay at home where possible.
If seeing anyone (for purposes of care) ask if they've seen anyone else, what activities and evaluate the risk.
Wash hands appropriately
Sanitise hands appropriately
Wear a mask when shopping or out in public.
Wear protective glasses when shopping or out in public - on my to do list
I don't currently use public transport
I don't currently visit clients (all work is remote)

One additional thing we've done is to use online ordering for our weekly groceries. As there's items I often need to get I use pick and collect, but before collecting I get my other items. I have to admit it is harder though to be organised.

One area of concern I have with my behaviour is the purchase of takeaway. In round one of stay at home I really didn't have takeaway. This time I have a bit more, but we cook more at home. I do however feel this is a point of exposure and will continue to ponder over this.

For my needs I feel a face mask plus protective glasses will give me better protection than a face shield.

Kelvin Eldridge

Al-Taqwa coronvirus outbreak

As you may or may not know, I use my Mapz site ( to detail public exposure locations in Victoria. One public exposure site that appeared out of nowhere was the Al-Taqwa College in Truganina.

The first time anything was reported from the government DHHS site or the media was on the 29th of June on the HeraldSun site and later in the day from the DHHS site. The next day two more cases were reported on the DHHS site. The next day another five. The next day on the 2nd of July one more cases. Then on the 11th of July 134 cases. Nothing was reported in the media that I found at the time. This was a staggering jump that simply didn't appear to get reported.

Now if I read the following article correctly, the doctor tested a student for coronavirus on the 25th of June. The test result came back negative. It appears at this time there was a suspected cluster the doctor had no idea about. No one in the community was kept informed. No one could take precautions.

The real problem with the Daniel Andrews government and approach is lack of transparency with information. The lack of timely information that is not being passed on.

I am amazed at how long information is taking to get out to the general public. The cases of coronavirus can and does grow exponentially. A delay of a few days is just not good enough.

A government that holds the information close to it's chest is not helping us at all.

If you hear of  one case of coronavirus you should assume there's more. You should immediately take action. Do what you can to protect yourself, your family, friends and the rest of the community.

Remember, the government is a slow moving bureaucracy. It uses broad reaching and blunt tools to achieve what it needs to achieve. You however can move far more quickly and respond almost instantly. Don't look to the government to solve this problem, look to yourself.

Kelvin Eldridge

PS. I should add at last count, there were 183 cases linked to Al-Taqwa. It's hard to believe early action and sharing of information couldn't have avoided at least some or many of these cases.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The message from Dan Andrews and the Victorian government about testing and isolation is poorly delivered to the community.

Today I read that 90% of people who have symptoms of coronavirus and get tested, didn't isolate between getting symptoms. In addition 53% of people didn't isolate after getting tested and before getting their results back.

Honestly, when I read this I am not surprised at all. I feel the message that Dan Andrews is giving to Victorians is confusing and it needs to be simplified, more direct. It's not people's fault if the message is not clear.

The government has said get tested. We're testing the community. Thanks for your help. There's nothing about isolating after the test. The government has and is failing in it's messages to the public.

Ultimately, whilst the government may fail, it is up to each of us to take full responsibility for our own actions. We know from media reports of people getting tested at Chadstone that half of the people who got tested either went into Chadstone Shopping Centre after being tested, or came out of Chadstone Shopping Centre to get tested. For goodness sake, who came up with the idea of testing people at shopping centres.

The message really is quite simple.
  • If you're sick then immediately self isolate to protect your family, friends and work colleagues.
  • Get tested as soon as possible.
  • Self isolate until you get the test results back. That includes isolating from your own family at home.
The government then has to do their part. After being tested far too many people haven't got their test results back, or got their results back in a timely manner (based on what I've read in the media and feedback from others). Results should be back within 48 hours. No one is going to wait around for test results because frankly, you may never hear anything.

The problem is the government has pushed hard to have a high number of people tested. Quantity has taken precedence of quality. That's pushed out the time taken to get test results back. That's exposed the community and continues to expose the community.

When a family member was tested one weekend because they were sick, they waited a few days and then went out to see family the following Friday. Nearly a week after getting tested. No message about results. The problem we had is we were then going to see the family member they had visited. Because we didn't know if the person was positive or not for coronavirus, we put our visit on hold. With a bit of internet searching I found the following number to call. The person was then able to call and with a bit of redirection got the result that they were negative for coronavirus.

Any system that needs to say "and have been waiting for more than 5 business days" is clearly not good enough. It's terrible. People need to know within 48 hours so they can take appropriate action.

Since the government is failing, if people end up being positive, those people can take action and help those around them. I get that people won't want to inform strangers, retailers, or organisations they may have visited, but just imagine if they did. We don't need government to speed up who knows. We just need to take action and that is in the hands of all of us.

I created a site which shows all the locations there's been coronavirus exposure across Victoria that I can find in the press online. I know it's not complete, but it's better than nothing. The government has all the data and could let us know all the public exposure locations people have been and keep us informed. They don't and to me that's a failure of the government. If there's a public location I can go to, I should know if there's been an exposure at that location and so should the community. We don't need to know people's private locations because if we know them, I'm sure they'll let us know if they're infected. Don't assume they'll tell you, You need to ask. Sadly that's just the way some people are.

The government is doing what they can and whilst I may not think it is enough, it's what they do. We can then add to what they do with our own actions. Together we can make a real difference.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, July 20, 2020

Victoria's top 5 coronavirus hotspots Moonee Valley, Melbourne, Wyndham, Hume and Brimbank

I produce the map for locations where's there been coronavirus in the community, but that's really half the picture. For privacy reasons data on where the people with coronavirus are located is limited to local government areas. It would be much better if the data was provided to postcode or suburb area, but at the moment's that's not the case.

Using the local government area (LGA) we can get a very rough idea of how many cases there have been around us. The data provided by the government is total number of infections and active cases. 

What I feel is important is the number of infections that have occurred over the last 14 days, but because that data isn't provided, we have to calculate the data ourselves. To make it easier to compare one area to another, we work out how many cases per hundred thousand people (CPHT). 

Now we can easily see which areas are the hotspots and which areas have had little or no cases reported over the last 14 days as at the 20th of July 2020.

Local Government Area People CPHT
Moonee Valley (C) 130,294 213
Melbourne (C) 178,955 160
Wyndham (C) 270,487 149
Hume (C) 233,471 149
Brimbank (C) 209,523 145
Yarra (C) 101,495 119
Maribyrnong (C) 93,448 111
Banyule (C) 131,631 102
Moreland (C) 185,767 100
Melton (C) 164,895 84
Whittlesea (C) 230,238 73
Hobsons Bay (C) 97,751 73
Colac-Otway (S) 21,564 56
Darebin (C) 164,184 55
Stonnington (C) 117,768 33
Manningham (C) 127,573 31
Port Phillip (C) 115,601 30
Whitehorse (C) 178,739 29
Mitchell (S) 46,082 28
Casey (C) 353,872 26
Greater Dandenong (C) 168,201 24
Boroondara (C) 183,199 23
Golden Plains (S) 23,722 21
Nillumbik (S) 65,094 20
Cardinia (S) 112,159 20
Monash (C) 202,847 18
Horsham (RC) 19,921 15
Loddon (S) 7,504 13
Kingston (C) (Vic.) 165,782 13
Bayside (C) 106,862 13
Glen Eira (C) 156,511 11
Glenelg (S) 19,674 10
South Gippsland (S) 29,914 10
Macedon Ranges (S) 50,231 10
Moorabool (S) 35,049 9
Knox (C) 164,538 9
Maroondah (C) 118,558 8
Frankston (C) 142,643 8
Ballarat (C) 109,505 8
Greater Geelong (C) 258,934 6
Baw Baw (S) 53,396 6
Bass Coast (S) 36,320 6
Mornington Peninsula (S) 167,636 5
Yarra Ranges (S) 159,462 5
Swan Hill (RC) 20,649 5
Latrobe (C) (Vic.) 75,561 4
Greater Bendigo (C) 118,093 3
Greater Shepparton (C) 66,498 3
Surf Coast (S) 33,456 3
Wellington (S) 44,380 2
Alpine (S) 12,814 0
Ararat (RC) 11,845 0
Benalla (RC) 14,037 0
Buloke (S) 6,124 0
Campaspe (S) 37,622 0
Central Goldfields (S) 13,186 0
Corangamite (S) 16,020 0
East Gippsland (S) 47,316 0
Gannawarra (S) 10,472 0
Hepburn (S) 15,975 0
Hindmarsh (S) 5,588 0
Indigo (S) 16,701 0
Mansfield (S) 9,176 0
Mildura (RC) 55,777 0
Moira (S) 29,925 0
Mount Alexander (S) 19,754 0
Moyne (S) 16,953 0
Murrindindi (S) 14,570 0
Northern Grampians (S) 11,402 0
Pyrenees (S) 7,472 0
Queenscliffe (B) 2,940 0
Southern Grampians (S) 16,100 0
Strathbogie (S) 10,781 0
Towong (S) 6,040 0
Wangaratta (RC) 29,187 0
Warrnambool (C) 35,181 0
West Wimmera (S) 3,841 0
Yarriambiack (S) 6,639 0
Wodonga (C) 42,083 -2

Analysing the data in this way does reveal that some regional local government areas have a higher number than would be desired since they are not locked down. A good thing to notice is there's also many local government areas that have no cases.

For me this data enables me to be aware of the risk whilst moving around in my own local area. I have to say, without knowing it the number of infections in my local area recently has grown quite a bit and that is a concern. A nudge to make sure I take the appropriate precautions.

Kelvin Eldridge

PS. For those eagle eyed amongst you, the result for Wodonga will most likely be because the figures were adjusted from an earlier period due to reassignment or duplication and hence the negative result.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Coronavirus infected people in apartments in Victoria allowed to use common areas.

The Victoria government seems to keep doing things wrong when it comes to coronavirus, so it's little wonder Victoria is experiencing the worst outbreaks in the country. When I read the following article I simply couldn't believe it. It appears that in Victoria if you live in an apartment complex and you're infected with coronavirus, you can leave your apartment and use communal areas. Those living in apartments aren't happy that this is not as strict as recommended by the Federal government.

It's understandable that infected people who are restricted to their apartments for 14 days would feel quite restricted. If you think about it, returned travellers have to stay in hotel quarantine for 14 days and can't leave their room even if they aren't infected. So it does appear Victoria's rules for infected apartment dwellers really aren't up to scratch. When you think about infections in public housing it now starts to make sense how others can get infected. From the media many people in public housing apartments were complaining about infected people leaving their apartments and it make made no sense why they were allowed to, until you understand the Victorian's guildelines.

The following in the article I thought was interesting.

Victoria's Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, said the public should not become carried away with the risk of contracting coronavirus from shared surfaces such as lift buttons or stairwells. "The virus can survive for a number of hours but it's almost over-emphasised in the sense that people don't understand that that 1.5-metre distance is the most critical thing you can do,' Professor Sutton said on Wednesday.

Interestingly is the following article on an outbreak in China, where the outbreak started from a single asymptomatic person who travelled in the building's lift, resulting in 71 people getting infected.

Irrespective of what the government tells us to do, we should all do the best by ourselves and those around us. It's your health so ultimately it's up to you to do the best you can.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Petrol price hike alert and update on Petrol Prices Melbourne site.

For some time I've been posting petrol price hike alerts as posts on this blog. From today the price hike information will appear on the Petrol Prices Melbourne site, as I feel that is possibly the best place for the information to appear.

On the Petrol Prices Melbourne page up until now, I've only published the current gate price (think wholesale price). This is to keep people aware of the gate price so when the retail price (pump price) gets close to the gate price, it's time to keep an eye on petrol prices. From now on when I notice the petrol price hike starts, I'll post the price petrol is hiking to and the date I noticed the petrol price hike start.

There's a couple of other things I'd like to share this month. The 7 Eleven fuel app has been updated so now only runs on Android mobiles with Android version 8 or above. Since my mobile runs Android version 7, I can no longer use or install that 7 Eleven fuel app. I can't justify updating my mobile as the cost of a new mobile would be a number of years petrol saving. The 7 Eleven fuel app is a good app to lock in the low price for another week. If you need to top up weekly this will give you a saving 12-13 times of year, which could add up to around a $200 saving (more if your household have multiple cars). For me that saving is less as I only top up every 2-3 weeks. With COVID-19 I can probably last from one price hike cycle to the next. In addition, with Woolworths' and Coles' discount vouchers, the price is nearly always cheaper at Coles Express or Woolworths Petrol than 7 Eleven.

The second change is Woolworths have updated their petrol app and all I can say is I don't like it at all. In fact I feel it's a waste of time. It's much harder to see the price of petrol around me and really, the PetrolSpy app can now do anything the Woolworths Petrol app can do plus a lot more.

The way I now use the PetrolSpy app is to help me see how the prices around me are looking. I open the app which is set on my currently location. I zoom out twice using the minus for the zoom. That gives me overview of a reasonably large area around me. Then I press what looks like the menu hamburger which shows me a list of petrol station prices starting with the lowest price first. To see how far the price hike has progressed I quickly scroll until the prices end (you'll see petrol stations with no prices). Then by scrolling back through the petrol stations with the hiked price, I can get an idea of what proportion of petrol stations have increased their price. As you scroll back further you'll see a big jump/drop to the current low price. As petrol stations all increase their prices the big jump/drop will go and prices will then all be around the new price. There will be a few cheaper priced petrol stations for a short while. Then as the petrol price cycle continues you'll see the price range will increase and that's where you can save perhaps 10 cent a litre by shopping around. As the petrol price cycle continues finally most of the petrol stations will have dropped their prices to the bottom (somewhere near the gate price) and we're ready for a new price hike to occur.

One other site I find useful to give an overview of how far the current price hike has progressed is the Motormouth site when used on a notebook computer. When I open Motormouth on the notebook and zoom out a couple of times I can see the proportion of red dots to green dots and that gives me a rough idea of how far the current price hike has progressed.

In summary, I no longer use the 7 Eleven fuel app, deleted the new Woolworths Petrol app and really only use the PetrolSpy app as required to check local prices and get an idea of prices further away. PetrolSpy often has poor data, but for 7 Eleven and Woolworths Petrol prices, these are usually good (can be a bit slow updating) as I feel this data is provided by the retailers and not by end users. For other petrol retailers the data can be missing, but if it's there, I'm cautious with trusting the data as often when I've tried to check out a cheap petrol price shown on PetrolSpy, the petrol station isn't that price at all.

That's about  all for this post. Because the petrol price hike information will be on the Petrol Prices Melbourne site I'll only write blog posts if something I feel may interest others.

Kelvin Eldridge

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Coronavirus: Melbourne public housing towers in Flemington and North Melbourne

The coronavirus cases rise in the public housing towers in Flemington and North Melbourne resulted in the Victorian government locking down 9 towers. I couldn't help at the time there could and should have been a better way.

The government knew where there were existing cases and where there had been no reported cases. To lock down all towers just felt like an overkill. You had to wonder if the government would do this with other towers that weren't public housing. Has there been cases in high density tower blocks that we don't know about. We don't know because this information isn't made public.

The problem really is whilst it may have been possible to have a rolling testing of towers and thus only lock down sections at a time doing so wouldn't have been fair. Who do you pick first? There's no real easy answer.

Now that testing is completed and the results are known, it's good that it's largely over. The following article was a good summary of the outcome of the testing.

Approximately 3,000 residents living in 1,345 units.
There were 2,515 tests completed, with 159 returning positive.

33 Alfred Street, North Melbourne: This tower will remain in lockdown for another 9 days. There were 53 cases.

9 Pampas Street and 159 Melrose Street, North Melbourne: No cases detected. Move to stage 3 restrictions.

12 Holland Court, 120 Racecourse, 126 Racecourse Road and 130 Racecourse Road in Flemington,
12 Sutton Street, 76 Canning Street in North Melbourne: Low level of cases. Move to stage 3 restrictions.

According to the following article there are 472 residents at 33 Alfred Street.

It really doesn't make sense why they'd leave so many people who aren't infected in a building with around 11% of other residents infected. I understand why infected people would rather stay in their own homes rather than into a hotel (as offered), where you don't know what level of facilities would be available. That's a pity because of the potential of people to infect others around them, or in their own family. There needs to be a better way.

 I do hope all ends well for the residents.

Kelvin Eldridge

Coronavirus: Current Victorian Travel restrictions for Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire

If you need to travel during the current lock down, it's important to know what is allowed and what isn't allowed. I expect just as we saw some people getting fined for doing things we'd expect they should be able to do, as occurred in lock down one, being informed is a good way to minimise the chances of being fined and doing what is being asked of us.

Victorian woman fined $1,652 for feeding her horse

Whilst not a fine the following is about a person going to work was told to go home. This is an example of where some form of documentation may come in handy.

The following page from the Victorian Government may be able to help. Keep in mind things change and what the police do doesn't always seem to correspond to what the government says.

One activity that was not previously allowed in lock down one was the ability to simply go for a drive. According to the above document this is now possible. My gut feeling however is whilst it is stated, if you're pulled over by police and they say, "go home", then you should obey all instructions from law enforcement personnel. Keep on eye on the page as it can also change at any time.

Can I get out of the house and just go for a drive?

Yes, however this can only be undertaken within metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, and should not involve leaving your vehicle for any purpose except for the four reasons (shopping for necessary goods or services, care, caregiving or compassionate reasons, exercise, and work or study).

Kelvin Eldridge

Update: 13 July 2020
Victoria police withdraw fine for woman feeding her horse.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Victoria's coronavirus restrictions from the 8th of July 2020.

From 11:59pm on the 8th of July 2020 Victoria has implemented Stage 3 restrictions. I thought I'd gather some information together to make it easier for people to find the information they need.

The following is from the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria and details Victoria's restriction levels. This site has a good map showing the area covered. Keep in mind the area is defined as the Greater Melbourne area plus the Mitchell Shire. Some may be surprised this covers all of the Mornington Peninsula.

I also find the Stay at Home (Restricted Areas) section to be particularly helpful as it helps people to know what they can and cannot do in Victoria.

Stay safe.

Kelvin Eldridge

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Victoria's coronavirus cases for Friday the 3rd is the second highest since coronavirus infections started

The latest figures for coronavirus cases for Friday the 3rd of July is 108 cases. The previous highest daily figure was 111 cases for the 27th of March (released on the 28th of March).

More of a concern is the increase in community transmission, which for the last few days has been 20 or above (31 on two days) and that's greater than at any previous time.

With the figures of 111 cases at least we knew most were from returned travellers and returned travellers could be quarantined. With 108 cases and the larger community transmission, where the source is not known, is now a greater issue than when we went into stage 3 restrictions.

It's hard to imagine if the situation doesn't improve, that we may have to go back into stage 3 lock down.

The one change that should be considered for Victoria is a split between regional and metropolitan. The number of infections in regional areas is very low, whereas most infections are in the metropolitan area. It doesn't make sense to treat regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne the same, when the situation is considerably different.

Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Traveller hotel quarantined in Melbourne, returns to work at Woolworths in Sydney and tests positive for coronavirus.

The following article perplexed me because of the situation. A person who was a traveller was kept in quarantine for 14 days. They then went to Sydney and worked in a Woolworths store and had symptoms. Tested returned a positive result.

This person was kept in hotel quarantine, did get tested, did everything requested, flew home to Sydney and returned to work. They did nothing wrong. They did however test positive.

The following is what perplexed me from the article.

"If you are symptom-free for 72 hours and it's been at least 10 days since your onset of your symptoms than you are deemed non-infectious," Dr Chant said.

If would be interesting to know if this is a false positive, and if not, it does mean people leaving hotel quarantine could still be infected.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Victoria's lock down postcodes versus Victoria's priority suburbs for coronavirus.

Yesterday the Victorian government released a list of postcodes that will go into lock down from midnight tonight (Wednesday July 1, 2020). To me this is a bit perplexing. The government went from LGA (local government areas), to suburbs (the 12 priority suburbs) and then flipped back to the broader area of postcodes. There's things here that don't really make sense.

The move from LGA to suburb makes sense. Some LGAs cover huge areas, one LGA hotspot for example is 52 kilometres at the longest points. In effect half way from Melbourne to Ballarat. Far to long to be useful.

Getting the information down to suburb is sensible. Yes, there's still some suburbs that are big, but suburbs are well defined. The suburbs in their list of priority suburbs were the following:

Keilor Downs
Sunshine West
Brunswick West
Keilor Downs 

Now we've gone to 10 postcodes. The postcodes and suburbs within those postcodes are:

3012 - Brooklyn, Kingsville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray
3021 - Albanvale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans
3032 - Ascot Vale, Highpoint City, Maribyrnong, Travancore
3038 - Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens
3042 - Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie, Niddrie North
3046 - Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park
3047 - Broadmeadows, Dallas , Jacana
3055 - Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West
3060 - Fawkner
3064 - Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickleham, Roxburgh Park, Kalkallo

The bolded suburbs in the first list are not in the postcode list. The bolded suburbs in the second list are the only suburbs mentioned in the first list.

You can see the postcodes cover many more suburbs and many of them were not mentioned as priority suburbs. Even more concerning is that one third of the priority suburbs are not even in the list of postcodes. I could see how perhaps one priority suburb can flip, but four! That's pretty hard to believe.

I can't help feeling that perhaps the government's reports are produced at postcode level and not suburb level. As a result postcodes are being used, whereas suburbs could be used. Perhaps I'm wrong. But to me there's a long distance between Mickleham and Donnybrook.

Perhaps it's just me. If the government released more data in a timely manner at the suburb level both of for the households and the locations of infections, we'd have better information we could make decisions on. New South Wales does have data available for the person's location to postcode level.

My main concern is the state government has somehow included four suburbs and now they're not included and there's no information as to why. The second concern is the government is going to lock down these suburbs, but allow people to go to work and school. If you look back through the recent cases many have been linked to work and school locations. If I read this situation correctly, the government is simply making the area sufficiently large and then squeezing it so as to slow down the spread of the virus. Yes it's possibly too large an area, and that will inconvenience many people, but larger is easier for the government.

Kelvin Eldridge

Update: 04/07/2020
The following article shows how postcodes are determined as to whether or not they will be locked down.


Saturday, June 27, 2020

A third of international travellers refusing COVID-19 testing in hotel quarantine. What's the impact?

When I first read the headline I thought to myself, "why are people refusing to be tested for coronavirus?" Then I started to think is it just a headline to grab attention (we all get annoyed by people not towing the line), or does it really matter.

I then thought, "the best thing to do is look at the numbers and then you can keep things in perspective". As of writing this post I've not yet looked at all the numbers so until I finish this post I won't really know myself.

First the numbers. From the following post on the ABC site we get that since hotel quarantine has come into place there's been 63,000 people who have been quarantined.

Interestingly there's been 81,000 people who have entered Australia which means around 18,000 people have not entered hotel quarantine or around 22% of the people. These people flight crew, international businesspeople and defence members as they operate under different rules.

The next interesting figure is 62% of cases were acquired overseas.

Next, how many cases of coronavirus have we had and that number as of today is 7,595. Of those cases if we say 62% were acquired from overseas if means there were 4,708 from overseas.

Next we need to keep in mind hotel quarantine started on the Saturday night of March 28. As of March 28 there were 3639 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Since hotel quarantine started there's now 7,595 and thus there's been 3,936.

We can't be sure how many of the people who didn't get hotel quarantine are infected, but let's simply assume the proportion is the same. That means we get 3,936 divided by 81,000, or around 4.8%.

If you're a returned traveller quarantined in a hotel there's roughly a 4.8% chance you've been infected. That's a reasonable percentage.

However, if you've been quarantined for 14 days that means even if you did catch COVID-19, there's over a 97% chance you're no longer infectious. Potentially that means there's a 0.14% chance a returned traveller will be infectious after 14 days. Further, for the 30% who don't get tested, it means we're now down to 0.04% that one of those people is infected. That's just 4 out or 10,000 people.

Now we're talking about very low numbers and if the person is infected, they or people around them will develop symptoms and at that point, if the person was infected that will become known.

So really if you look at the number, and hopefully I've got the numbers right, the fact that people who are hotel quarantined don't get tested, it's not something that should be a concern. It really is just the media getting a good headline.

Personally I'd be much more concerned about the people who do not enter quarantine because the general public have no idea of what rules apply to them when they enter Australia. A simple search of Google shows there have been reported cases of defence force and airline staff being infected.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Age - Contact tracing concerns raised by doctor with links to COVID-19 case

It's always interesting to read other people's opinions and to get inside information based on the experience of others. In the following article a doctor raises concerns about contact tracing in Victoria.

The situation is the doctor's wife carpools where driving is shared across two families. The doctor's wife drive's their son and two children from the other family. The father in the other family was tested positive for coronavirus.

So we have this situation
Father in first family tested positive for coronavirus
Wife and two children of the infected person are yet to be tested to see if they're infected.
Friend drives their son and the infected person's two children to or from school.
The doctor who is the husband of the friend (his wife) who drives the three children, considers their family a close contact of the infected person.

The doctor calls the health department concerned about potential transmission to find the wife of the infected person and their two children are yet to be tested. The doctor and his family don't need to get tested or go into isolation. Until the infected person's wife and two children are tested and the results come back, the doctor and his family are free to go about their lives as normal.

Sometimes what our government does simply makes no sense. Instead of asking the close contacts of an infected family to self isolate for a short period of time until test results are back, these people who could potentially be infected are told they can go about their normal activities. On the other hand the government calls entire local government areas hotspots, fines people for the most mundane relatively risk free activities. None of this makes sense.

It really does show that at the end of the day it is up to each of us to do what we think is best for ourselves, or family and our community. Just because the government says you can go about your normal activities, if you don't think that is the best thing to do, then that's your call.

Further the doctor was having a dinner with two other families when they received the call about their infected friend. To the credit of the doctor and the two other families, they decided to all self isolate until they heard back about the test results for the infected person's family.

Time and time again we see the government doings things too late or too little. Then using broad ranging control measures that are far too excessive. The government operates at the society level and the tools they use are broad and not very precise. We see it all the time in their decisions and how they restrict us as a population, not just during this pandemic. But the government isn't everything. We ultimately can decide what to do or not do and if we feel isolation is the the appropriate path, then that is what we should do.

You will be put under pressure from family and friends to see them, but if you don't quite feel things are right, listen to your gut feeling. Your gut feeling will keep you safe, or at least safer.

I think all of us would have thought all the close contacts of the infected person should have self quarantined until they knew the results of the testing. I'm thankful this doctor shared his story as otherwise I wouldn't have known what is really happening in terms of people self quarantining.

Kelvin Eldridge

Victorian hotspots for coronavirus. Is the use of Local Government Areas too broad?

The Victorian government has announced a number of local government areas as coronavirus hotspots. By the number of people getting tested this is obviously alarming people. But the questions becomes, is local government area far too broad?

I live in Manningham and if you measure the distance from one end of Manningham to the other it is a very large 21 kilometres. When something happens in Wonga Park, does it really impact those in Bulleen? Yes it could, but it's unlikely.

The following article details the hotspots.

The hotspots are the local government areas of:

Hume - 36 kilometres
Brimbank - 19 kilometres
Darebin - 11 kilometres
Moreland - 11 kilometres
Casey - 35 kilometres
Cardinia - 52 kilometres

The longest distance across each local government area is shown above and the distances covered even for the smallest local government area is considerable. Local Government Area is really far too large an area to be useful for most people.

The government really needs to start providing information at the postcode or suburb level. All the government is currently doing is needlessly scaring people. Only with the right level of information can we take the information seriously. With information we can be informed and act appropriately.

Early on I found the locations of infections was starting to overwhelm me. For my own sake I started to record where public exposure locations were occurring. The government isn't particularly forthcoming with information, is slow at making information available to the general public, but by using information available from the government and the media, I was able to get better information. The real pity is all this information is readily available from the government but it's not being made available. 

The New South Wales government for example is making the data available available at the postcode level.

Victorian GPs are also asking for more refined data to keep themselves and their clients safe. 

It makes sense. If we know something is happening around we will be more vigilant. If we're given useless data that has no meaning to us we'll either panic, or we'll start ignoring the information thinking it isn't relevant. The government creates problems either way by not being transparent or forthcoming with information.

You can find the information I collate from the Health Department and the general media available at I hope you find it useful.

Kelvin Eldridge

Update: 25/05/2020
The Victorian government has has now released the list of suburbs.
Keilor Downs
Sunshine West


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Hit FM, Stav, Abby and Matt talk to Assistant Commissioner Mike Keating on red light cameras also being speed cameras in Queensland.

I decided to check out the Hit FM interview with Assistant Commissioner Mike Keating on red light cameras in Queensland. The question that interested me was the response to the question, whether or not all red light cameras had been updated to include speed camera technology. The answers received were very informative.

Q: Did all red light cameras get changed to speed cameras?
A: Not at this stage.

"There's around 35 speed and red light cameras scattered throughout Queensland. There's sixty other systems we move between around 115 other sites.... and we're going to see an expansion of the speed and red light camera installations as new technology comes on board."

With regards to the flash which goes off some installations, "there have been some locations where we've had to actually put in an infrared light system because the light was going off that often, the inconvenience that was causing to  residents of that particular area...."

Abby also raised the question, "...are you allowed to go over like with all your wheels over when it's amber...". There was discussion of when the light goes off, the position of the wheels and the stop line.

I felt the answer wasn't particularly accurate and could mislead people. I understand the answer given is what needs to be given because it is far too complicated given the time the person has to explain. In another post I'll provide more details on how the red light cameras work based on what I've been able to find out so far.

The main point of the this blog is whether or not all red light cameras are now also speed cameras. The answer is only 35 red light cameras are also speed cameras. It was not made clear as to whether or not the 60 other cameras that are moved between 115 other sites are capable of being speed cameras, or if they're just red light cameras. That would lead me to think they are only red light cameras.

If it's mandatory in Queensland to have a speed camera warning sign was you approach a speed camera, if that sign doesn't exist for the camera location, it may be that the camera is only a red light camera.

It probably therefore best to simply assume every camera is a red light camera and a speed camera. If it isn't at the moment, there's a good chance it will be in the future.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, June 22, 2020

Red light camera / speed camera at Oxford Street and Crown Street, Darlinghurst speed limit changed.

Recently I read a person was caught by one of the Oxford Street / Crown Street in Darlinghurst red light camera/speed camera.

The person believes they may have been caught by the camera for going at 50 km/h and the speed limit may have changed to 40 km/h.

Checking recent YouTube videos and Google Maps (Street View and Satellite View) still have the speed limit at 50 km/h. The speed limits according to the person's GPS device was still stated as 50 km/h.

According to the Transport for NSW site there's a notice on the 28th of May 2020, the speed limit in Oxford Street from Flinders Street to College Street will change to 40 km/h from 50 km/h and take effect in the next two weeks once the signs have changed.

Credit: Google Maps 2020

In the past I have read and heard of people getting booked when they aren't aware of a speed limit change. There's usually quite a high extra revenue generated until people become aware of the new speed limit restriction.

In the past, if I recall correctly, I've read for Victoria there's 14 days noticed before people are fined. Victoria is particularly bad a sign posting speed limits, whereas from a Victorian's point of view NSW is much better. In the case of Oxford street you'll see speed limits painted on the road, speed signs and then before speed cameras you'll see a warning sign with the current speed limit. Of course that doesn't mean you'll see the information if there's heavy traffic and buses or trucks blocking your view.

Kelvin Eldridge