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Adam Marshall’s end-of-week Covid-19 Report: A complete guide to current standings

Week ending Friday, March 27, 2020

“Over the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic I will be endeavouring to provide regular updates on the latest government restrictions and support for families and business, relevant to communities across the electorate.

“I want to say, as a community, we all need to be taking the threat of COVID-19 very seriously. It falls on all of us to do our bit to stop the spread of this potentially fatal virus, by adhering to social distancing and necessary hygiene measures.  

“As of lunchtime today (Friday, 27 March 2020), NSW has recorded 1,405 confirmed cases of COVID-19. In the Northern Tablelands, we have four confirmed cases, an elderly couple in the Inverell Shire and second elderly couple from Emmaville, in the Glen Innes Severn local government area.  

“Importantly at this time, the community now has greater access to information relating to the spread of COVID-19 in their local area, with NSW Health publishing daily updates of confirmed cases of the virus in each local government area across the State.

“This week I was critical of Hunter New England Health for keeping the public in the dark about confirmed Coronavirus cases in the region, requesting localised information, instead of just the number of cases across the health district – an area of more than 130,000 square kilometres, from Mungindi to Newcastle.

“I see this as an important step towards trying to limit the spread of the deadly virus and reducing anxiety, panic and rumour-mongering in the community.”

The official map and data sets for the spread of COVID-19 can be found at:

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/covid-19-latest.aspx#nsw-confirmed

“Another point I would like to emphasise is the need for people to STOP panic buying. “Unfortunately, I have been hearing reports of people stockpiling important medical supplies used to treat respiratory illnesses – this is NOT on and will only further harm our most vulnerable residents.

“At this time I cannot express enough how important good hygiene – washing your hands regularly – social distancing is in fighting back against COVID-19. Please, do what you can to keep a 1.5 metre gap between yourself and the nearest person and avoid all non-essential gatherings by staying home.

“Be safe, be kind to each other and please look after the most vulnerable in our community during this incredibly difficult time.”

To access up-to-date information on the response to OCVID-19 visit:

Commonwealth Government:

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

National Coronavirus Helpline: 1800 020 080

NSW Government:

https://preview.nsw.gov.au/covid-19

Service NSW 24/7 hotline: 13 77 88

Service NSW will recruit 1000 workers to fill a mixture of full-time, part-time and casual roles.

COVID-19 Management:

Symptoms

  • fever
  • coughing
  • sore throat
  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath

If you are sick and think you might have COVID-19, check your symptoms using healthdirect’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker.

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/healthdirect-coronavirus-covid-19-symptom-checker

If you want to talk to someone about your symptoms, call the National Coronavirus Helpline 1800 020 080 for advice.

If you have used the symptom checker and it advises you should look for help or get tested, seek medical help from a doctor or hospital – call ahead of time to book an appointment.

Tell the doctor about:

  • your symptoms
  • any travel history
  • any recent contact with someone who has COVID-19

Social Distancing

Social distancing in public means people:

  • stay at home unless is absolutely necessary
  • keep 1.5 metres away from others
  • avoid physical greetings such as handshaking, hugs and kisses
  • use tap and pay instead of cash
  • travel at quiet times and avoid crowds
  • avoid public gatherings and at risk groups
  • practise good hygiene

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19/good-hygiene-for-coronavirus-covid-19

Steps for social distancing in all homes include:

  • stay at home unless going out is absolutely necessary
  • keep visitors to a minimum
  • reduce visits to the shops — instead, buy more goods and services online if you can for pick-up, pre-order or delivery
  • carefully consider what travel and outings are necessary, both individual and family
  • regularly disinfect surfaces that are touched a lot, such as tables, kitchen benches and doorknobs
  • increase ventilation in the home by opening windows or adjust air conditioning

You should stay at home unless:

  • shopping for essentials,
  • Travelling to and from work – where you cannot work from home
  • Going to school

Self-isolation

You need to self-isolate in your home or hotel room if you have:

  • travelled overseas in the last 14 days
  • been in close contact with a person sick with COVID-19 infection

Limits on public gatherings and current restrictions on business and travel:

Non-essential gatherings

The following facilities were restricted from opening from midday local time 23 March 2020:

  • pubs, registered and licensed clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos and night clubs
  • restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies)

From 12am on 26 March, these restrictions will extend to the following facilities

  • food courts (except for take away)
  • auction houses, real estate auctions and open houses
  • personal services ( beauty, nail, tanning, waxing and tattoo salons)
  • spa and massage parlours, excluding health related services such as physiotherapy
  • amusement parks, arcades and play centres (indoor and outdoor)
  • strip clubs, brothels and sex on premises venues.
  • galleries, national institutions, historic sites and museums
  • health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre and spin facilities, saunas, bathhouses and wellness centres and swimming pools
  • community facilities such as community halls, libraries and youth centres, RSL and PCYC
  • gaming and gambling venues
  • Caravan parks and camping grounds are closed to the public but remain open to, staff, permanent residents, people who have no other place of permanent residence.

Food markets can operate.

Having said that, if the market is on Council land, it’s ultimately a call for Council to make whether they allow it to go ahead.

Weddings can be conducted with no more than five people, including the couple, the celebrant and the witnesses. The 4 square metre rule and social distancing must be observed.

Boot-camps and personal training can be conducted outdoors with no more than 10 people and social distancing observed.

Essential gatherings

An indoor gathering takes place within a single enclosed area (a single room or area).

Essential activities include:

  • essential workplaces
  • health care settings
  • pharmacies
  • food shopping
  • schools and universities
  • public transport and airports

NSW Schools and Childcare

The health advice for NSW schools has not changed and schools will remain open.

Parents are encouraged to keep their children at home. If that choice is made parents must be responsible for their children’s conduct and make sure they adhere to social distancing.

State border closures

Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory have enacted movement restrictions across state and territory borders, while NSW, Victoria and the ACT have not.

The Queensland Government has decided to close its borders, which means all arrivals into the state must self-isolate for 14 days, unless they have an exemption.

Exemptions are in place for border communities like Mungindi, Boggabilla, Toomelah and Bonshaw, which rely on Queensland businesses to do their grocery shopping, attend medical appointments and work.

Border residents needing to access essential services in Queensland NOW must apply for a border pass, which they will need to present if asked for by the authorities.

Quarantine exemptions are in place those living outside of Queensland who provide services including transport of goods and freight including food, agribusinesses, essential health services, emergency services, maintenance and repair for critical infrastructure, energy, mining or government workers who perform official duties.

To access a border pass visit the Queensland Government’s website.

https://www.qld.gov.au/borderpassfbclid=IwAR0XuFLupsu1mh7BvR6QyBQj5zw_zkRXl7m4OIW_rkWD8uLDA5IyPqUPQY

Reporting suspected self-isolation breaches

 Crime Stoppers NSW is the best and most appropriate way to report any breaches or concerns around people acting contrary to self-isolation or Heath orders.

Crime Stoppers NSW can be contacted on 1800 333 000 or you can use their website https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/

NSW Police now have new penalties which they will enforce to ensure people adhere to social distancing measures.

Fines of $1,000 for individuals and $5,000 for corporations will be issued to those found flouting the guidelines.

Keeping people in jobs and helping businesses stay afloat

The NSW Government today released the second stage of its economic package aimed at keeping people in jobs, helping businesses and supporting our most vulnerable in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The creation of a $1 billion Working for NSW fund to sustain business, create new jobs and retrain employees. The fund is already being put in to action with 1000 new staff for Service NSW announced this week to be funded by the program. The Working for NSW fund will comprise $750 million in new funding and $250 million announced last week for additional cleaning services.

Deferral of payroll tax for business with payrolls over $10 million for six months (up to $4 billion deferred). Businesses with payrolls of $10 million or less received a three-month waiver on payroll tax in the first package. These businesses will now get an additional three month deferral as well.

Deferral of gaming tax for clubs, pubs and hotels, and lotteries tax for six months, conditional on these funds being used to retain staff. This improves liquidity and helps these businesses stay afloat.

Deferral of the parking space levy for six months.

Deferral of rents for six months for commercial tenants with less than 20 employees in all Government-owned properties.