HEALTH experts are concerned Bendigo residents might be letting their guard down with COVID-19, as cases of the common cold rise.
At least 80 people tested at the COVID-19 screening clinic at Bendigo Health this week were positive to rhinovirus, the virus associated with the common cold.
Bendigo Health took to social media to express concern that the community might not be sticking to physical distancing and hand hygiene principles.
"If the common cold can spread quickly in the community, so can COVID-19," the statement said.
"If people are getting and spreading a common cold virus in Bendigo, they can also spread COVID-19," Bendigo Health told the Bendigo Advertiser.
"It is important we continue to be vigilant.
"COVID-19 is being spread by community transmission in Melbourne and now it is school holidays it is likely someone could bring the virus to Bendigo.
"Please stay at home, practice physical distancing, clean your hands, don't go to school or work if unwell and certainly not go shopping or socialise if you are unwell."
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Dr Ewa Piejko confirmed the Bendigo Respiratory Clinic, which she directs, was also detecting the spread of rhinovirus in the community.
About 20 per cent of the people who presented at the clinic in Spring Gully for COVID-19 tests were also being tested for influenza.
Rhinovirus results came through as part of that suite of testing.
The common cold and influenza viruses would be transmitting the same way as COVID-19, Dr Piejko said.
She urged people to remain vigilant, even though some COVID-19 restrictions had been relaxed.
"If they continue to get symptoms, they should be getting tested," Dr Piejko said.
Given a lot of rhinovirus cases were detected in children, she reminded parents and carers children also shouldn't be socialising if they were unwell.
Dr Piejko said more people were getting that message, with people who wouldn't normally see their doctor for a cold or flu presenting to the Bendigo Respiratory Clinic.
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Victorians have been urged to "do the right thing" and to get tested as the state experiences a spike in COVID-19 cases.
A total of 90 new cases were recorded, statewide, at the weekend.
Saturday saw 41 new cases in Victoria, followed by 49 on Sunday.
Mandatory testing for returned travellers was announced on Sunday.