A family of five say they are desperate to leave their home but are forced to stay inside due to a series of contact tracing bungles.
A family of five say they are desperate to leave their home but are forced to stay inside due to a series of contact tracing bungles.

Contact tracing bungles trap family in their home

A family of five say they remain stuck days after they should have been allowed back into the community due to a series of contact tracing bungles.

Despite being repeatedly called and interviewed, only to be twice visited by the ADF claiming they hadn't provided the correct phone number, the family say they are desperate to leave their Malvern home.

But 19 days after first experiencing minor symptoms and 17 days after testing positive for coronavirus, the family's father says he cannot get through to Department of Health and Human Services staff for permission to leave.

"We are supposed to be out, we are supposed to have a clearance certificate, but we haven't been called by the department," the father, who asked not to be identified, said.

"I need to go to the supermarket, we sort of need to be able to live. We understand they are under some trying circumstances, but they don't seem to have any consistent information in their database."

Victoria’s contact tracing team has struggled to cope with surging cases of COVID-19. Picture: David Crosling
Victoria’s contact tracing team has struggled to cope with surging cases of COVID-19. Picture: David Crosling

As revealed by the Herald Sun on July 7, Victoria's contact tracing team has struggled to cope with surging cases, leading to long delays in contacting some positive cases and their close contacts.

Over recent weeks the Andrews government has drafted more workers, however the Malvern father fears the handling of his family's case underlines a lack of data collection.

Two days after being notified of their positive tests, the father said all five members were called and contact traced separately - only to be called by DHHS days later to again undergo contact tracing.

When they were again asked to undergo contact tracing by a Queensland tracer helping the Victorian effort, the father became concerned the details were not being placed in the data system. "We have done 10 different lots (of contact tracing) because they just keep calling up. The Defence Force turned up on the door and said 'are you aware that you have tested positive? The Department of Health don't have your contact number because you put the wrong number on your test'.

"I said "well I didn't, because they have already called me and told me I am positive' - now we have had that a couple of times for a couple of us."

The Herald Sun provided family's details to DHHS late on Thursday but they were not able to examine the case or comment prior to publication.

grant.mccarthur@news.com.au

Originally published as Contact tracing bungles trap family in their home



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