Countering Covid fears

A Covid testing kit. 208246_03
With the need for people to get tested greater than ever, and some people still hesitant to do so, the Gazette has debunked three common yet often confusing Covid theories.


Scammers in doorknockers’ clothing?

Over the coming days, residents in Pakenham can expect to see small armies of doorknockers in the community, providing information on Covid-19 and urging households to get tested.

These teams of health advisors will be accompanied by mobile testing squads, which will set up in nearby streets for residents to quickly get tested.

But rumours abound, particularly on Facebook, regarding scammers posing as doorknockers to gain access to property.

A common Facebook post states that scammers will offer homeowners a mask to put on, which is laced with a chemical that will put the wearer to sleep, allowing the scammers to rob the home while the owner is knocked out.

This particular rumour has been deemed false by multiple outlets, with Politifact stating: “There are no credible reports of people handing out masks doused with chemicals so they can rob passed-out victims”.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, doorknocking staff will be wearing a black jacket with “COVID-19 Public health team” printed on the front and “Feeling Sick? Get tested” printed on the back highlighted in purple, allowing for easy identification.

Staff can present ID if anyone has concerns, and will not ask for money or bank details.

On Tuesday 30 June, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said it was important that residents take the advice of the doorknockers.

“If someone comes to your doorstep and ask you to get tested, please say yes,” he said.

“It’s a simple process, it’s a quick process, it’s a massvie contribution to tracking and tracing and locking this virus down.”

Text message doubts

In addition, residents in Pakenham may receive a text message from the Chief Health Officer, with a link to additional information about how to get tested.

This text message is not a scam. Vic Emergency and the Department of Health and Human Services have both confirmed that residents in Covid-19 hotspots may receive the message.

Nasal probe perturbation

Many residents are hesitant to get the dreaded nose and throat swab done.

However, there is no need to be worried.

Those who have taken the test – including staff at Star News Group – report that while it is momentarily uncomfortable, it does not hurt.

The nose and throat swab test is more accurate than the recently developed saliva test which is now being rolled out.

The saliva test involves spitting into a container, with the saliva tested for the virus.

There are fixed testing sites across Cardinia and Casey, with a number of mobile testing sites also being introduced.

For more information, please visit the DHHS website.