Published: 23 March 2020
Over the weekend and into today, state and federal governments made several announcements introducing greater restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus.
This is a good thing, because the virus spreads fast and people can be contagious before they display symptoms. Last week there were 249 reported cases of coronavirus in Australia and today there are over 1,500. So far, sadly seven people have died.
New government measures
1. Indoor gatherings of under 100 people need to allow 4 square metres per person.
Care apartment residents will experience a change of seating arrangement and number of residents able to use our dining room at a time.
2. Closures of places of social gathering
The following facilities will temporarily close from midday local time Monday 23 March.
The government will review this monthly, but is likely to be in place for at least 6 months.
- Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops)
- Hotels (only accommodation will remain open)
- Gyms and indoor sporting venues
- Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
- Religious gatherings, places of worship and funerals (limited to very small groups)
3. Domestic travel
Federal government advice is to stay at home unless travel is ‘essential’.
You can think of ‘essential’ as things like going to the Doctor, getting groceries and medication and items you need to live your daily life, as well as visits for compassionate reasons.
South Australia, has joined Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Western Australia with stronger border controls requiring all people entering the state to self-isolate for 14-days from their arrival.
It is likely that New South Wales, Qld and Victoria will do something similar.
Your role in stopping the spread of coronavirus
Social distancing and self-isolation are our greatest weapon in fighting the virus. Limiting contact with others reduces the chance of spreading the virus.
- Social distancing is something we all need to do.
- Limiting face-to-face interactions with people, especially those who don’t live with you in your home.
- Keeping a healthy distance of 1.5 metres between you and others wherever possible.
- Postponing any non-essential visits, outings and travel.
- Self-isolation is a type of temporary quarantine.
You need to self-isolate if:
- You have been in contact someone with coronavirus.
- You have the symptoms of coronavirus.
- You have returned from overseas, or a cruise ship.
- Some states and territories now also require that you self-isolate if you travel interstate.
Self-isolation means that for 14 days you:
- Stay in your home.
- Not visit your neighbours or the community centre or go out in public.
- Not go to the shops.
- Only have visitors if it is absolutely necessary. You should wear a mask and keep a healthy distance of at least 1.5metres from others.
If you are required to self-isolate (self-quarantine) by the authorities, it is important that you follow their guidance.
We cannot risk the virus spreading in our communities – where so many people are at risk of serious infection due to their age and existing health conditions.
If residents are self-isolating and need support, food or medication, please call family, friends or your Village Manager,
State governments will start to monitor and enforce these measures to slow the spread of the virus.
If your family member, friend, or neighbour is self-isolating, please do the responsible thing and stay away for their 14-day period of quarantine. By all means phone and check in on them, drop off food, groceries, medicine etc, but please do not stay or socialise. You are putting yourself and others at risk.
We need community cooperation to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alert: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert
Information on social distancing: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-on-social-distancing
Advice for aged care facilities and visitors to residents: https://www.health.gov.au/news/advice-for-aged-care-facilities-and-visitors-to-residents
Thank you for your cooperation and support. This is going to be tough for all Australians and the only way we can get through it is together.
If you have any questions, please CALL your Village Manager.
I will continue to update you regularly as the situation develops.
Dr Brett Robinson