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Coronavirus update 24th March 2020 Banner

Coronavirus update 24th March 2020

COVID-19 News, relating to Australia

More Stringent Measures

As a result of no small number of people ignoring the government's advice on social distancing, stricter rules and regulations were announced over the weekend, and States are implementing more stringent strategies to contain the virus.

Schools as at 24/03/2020

There has been confusion as to what is happening with respect to schools and children. Here is a summary:

  1. Schools in Victoria and the ACT are closed from today
  2. NSW parents are advised schools are open, but advised to keep children at home if they don't need care

and following are some further details from the PM and premiers:

  1. At a federal level, the advice is to continue to have schools and care open to ensure that essential services are impacted. This means schools will likely remain open for the future to continue to support healthcare workers, utility workers and other essential employees so they do not have to remain home to care for their children, or ask older more at risk persons to do such.
  2. State governments are putting extra measures in place.
  3. If you live with or have close contact with people who are high risk (persons with respiratory conditions, chronic conditions and persons over 70 to name a few), keeping your immediate family out of school is advised.
  4. These measures are likely to extend to the end of the holidays.

New Regulations

From Midday on Mon 23rd March, a wide range of non-essential services have been closed, including:

  • Pubs
  • Clubs
  • Cinemas
  • Casinos
  • Nightclubs
  • Indoor places of worship
  • Gyms
  • Indoor sporting venues

Other businesses will be forced to close if they do not enforce social distancing rules:

1 person per 4sqm of indoor space, keeping 1.5m between occupants. Maximum static occupancy of indoor spaces of 100 persons, and maximum static outdoor occupancy of 500 persons.

Services such as hair-dressers and beauty salons may still continue to practice even though social distancing is difficult. We advise that related business owners and staff be kept up to date with state and federal government announcements.

Some essential services [Supermarkets, Banks, Medical Centres amongst others] are otherwise exempt from the rules, but are advised to follow the same guidelines when possible.

Non-Essential Travel

Non-essential travel includes pretty much everything except dropping kids to school, grocery shopping, going to and from work and travel on compassionate grounds. Do not go out to

Foreseeable Future

  1. Currently predictions are showing that the virus will continue affecting us in some way for 6 months or more
  2. Vaccines will not likely be available for 12 to 18 months
  3. Highest effect on persons with chronic health conditions and those over 70 years of age
  4. Minimal symptoms in children

When to see a doctor:

Please note: You are still at risk if you are under 70 years of age. There are complications with pneumonia and sepsis that are life threatening for persons of all ages. Most general practices (including us) are putting measures in place to limit contact between patients, and we will guide you through your best course of action.

  1. Continue to make appointments for your normal health needs
  2. If you have coronavirus symptoms, call your doctors
    1. Fever
    2. Cough
    3. Difficulty Breathing
    4. Sore throat
  3. If you have travelled overseas, you are required to self-isolate for 14 days. Call your doctor if you have corona-virus symptoms or for your standard medical requirements for further instructions.

See the following link for more details on: COVID-19.