Swingers party probed for breaching virus restrictions
A swingers party in Colac came under police investigation as the town was hit by a coronavirus outbreak.
Police have moved to dish out $1652 fines over the illegal gathering, held at a home in the southwest Victorian town late last month.
They say they did not become aware of the event until days afterwards.
Colac has been abuzz with talk of the seedy gathering. It is unclear whether there is any link between the activity of the participants and the later burst of cases in the town.
Hosting a swingers' event would be in clear breach of Chief Health Officer's rules aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.
It would be difficult to observe social distancing at such an event, and having others attend would infringe directives relating to visitors.
The Department of Health and Human Services is believed to have been made aware of the get-together.
There has been consternation in the town in recent weeks as word of the party filtered out.
Some locals are angry that the gathering would have been held when the community had worked hard to bring the virus under control after a previous outbreak.
There was a peak of more than 90 cases during the initial wave in early August, which was linked to a local abattoir.
It was driven down quickly but the second outbreak emerged later that month.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said: "Police did not attend the address on the day of the gathering, and only became aware of the potential breach of Chief Health Officer directions after they were alerted in the days following.
"Once the reports were received Victoria Police investigated and two fines for $1652 were issued to the homeowners," she said.
A DHHS spokeswoman would not comment on the specific case. "We respect the privacy of patients and we do not provide details about individual cases, unless it is necessary to do so in the interests of public health," she said.
"There are strict procedures in place to protect the public whenever someone tests positive to coronavirus."
There are now five active cases in Colac Otway shire.
Originally published as Colac swingers party probed for breaching virus restrictions