Melbourne woman isolates herself in tent and car amid Covid housing crisis


A woman forced to isolate herself in a tent in her family’s backyard says she is not the only Victorian without adequate emergency accommodation.

A Melbourne woman who tested positive for Covid-19 and who secluded in a tent in her family’s backyard claimed she was not the only Victorian without adequate quarantine accommodation, as cases in the ‘State are approaching maximum levels.

Georgia Millsom, who tested positive for the virus last week, said she was forced to self-isolate in her car and in a tent due to limited emergency accommodation options and not wanting to put his family in danger.

Langwarrin’s wife called the accommodation hotline, but was told no quarantine accommodation would be available due to high demand.

She said she chose to stay in her car before her mother set up a tent in the family yard.

“It’s cold and lonely, but it’s way better than the car,” Ms. Millsom told NCA NewsWire.

“It’s really cold in here – my cough seems to be getting worse.”

Emergency accommodation is available for people in Victoria who need help quarantining or self-isolating safely, but the government says it should be used as a last resort.

It has been prioritized for people who are or live with someone at a higher risk of severe Covid, who are at higher risk of transmitting Covid in a high density environment, or those who work in a frontline profession.

Accommodation places in health hotels are limited and places are offered according to criteria.

There are currently 1,420 people isolated in quarantine hotels or healthcare hotels, with around 180 local “community” cases included.

The service has reportedly been inundated with requests, as cases in Victoria well exceed 1,000 every day.

Ms Millsom said she was told there was “no guarantee of accommodation” as the service was “overwhelmed”, despite being marked as a high priority case.

She said she made the decision to withdraw her application once she spoke to others in her situation, who she said needed it more.

“I spoke to the Integrated Intake Assessment and Triage Service (IIATS) about segregating other people in their cars and was told they were aware of it,” she said.

“I hope that by highlighting this, our state can provide more accommodation quickly to help others who cannot safely isolate themselves at home, so that others do not need to stay away from home. isolate in their car or in tents. “

It is estimated that around 100,000 Victorians positive for Covid and their close contacts are currently in isolation.

Over 50,000 are primary and secondary contacts, and tens of thousands more are isolated until they test negative.

The government’s handling of hotel quarantine and contact tracing has come under scrutiny in recent months, with critics drawing attention to the backlog in the public list of exhibition sites compared to when people first get a positive result.

A new pilot program is also monitoring those who are isolated, where people receive random phone calls and have to send a selfie to an app that tracks a person’s location and identity.

Opposition health spokeswoman Georgie Crozier said there were still problems with the state’s quarantine systems.

“The government has completely botched the management of Covid – it’s a mess,” Ms Crozier said.

“If they had rolled out rapid tests and implemented common sense measures, healthcare facilities such as hospitals and general practitioners would not have had so many staff on leave, putting so much pressure on our system. health.”

The Ministry of Health is requested for comments.

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