Coronavirus (COVID 19) advice from the VSKC committee (19 March)
Dear VSKC members
The World Health Organization has announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic.
As many of you are aware there are now confirmed cases of community-spread coronavirus (COVID-19) within Victoria.
The Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is leading the public response in Victoria and has stressed that the situation is ever-changing. Everyone is encouraged to check for the latest public updates at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.
For information and advice about coronavirus - symptoms, travel and what to do to reduce the risk of infection, see the state and federal websites:
Please do not attend VSKC events if you fall into one of the following categories:
- You or a member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a medical practitioner.
- You have been directly exposed to a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have been directed by a medical practitioner to self-isolate.
- You have just returned from an overseas trip. Wait until you have completed any mandatory self-quarantine period https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19#what-is-coronavirus.
- If you are experiencing any fever/cold/flu-type symptoms.
Additionally, in the event you, or someone you have had contact with is diagnosed with COVID-19 and you have participated in VSKC events in the past 14 days, we ask that you alert the VSKC committee so that we can seek advice and take appropriate measures within our VSKC community.
Advice from the Federal Government in relation to club events
Can I go to public gatherings such as concerts and sporting events?
Currently, Australia does not have widespread community transmission of COVID-19. To help slow the spread, the Australian Government has advised that organised, non-essential outdoor gatherings should be limited to 500 people.
What about community sports and activities?
Major sporting events and community activities may be postponed or cancelled depending on the size of the event and the expected number of attendees. You can continue to engage in smaller community sports and activities that are part of your daily life.
Social distancing is one way to help slow the spread of viruses such as COVID-19. Social distancing includes staying at home when you are unwell, avoiding large public gatherings if they’re not essential, keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people whenever possible and minimising physical contact such as shaking hands, especially with people at higher risk of developing serious symptoms, such as older people and people with existing health conditions. There’s no need to change your daily routine, but taking these social distancing precautions can help protect the people in our community who are most at risk.
VSKC committee advice to members
The constant stream of COVID-19 information can be overwhelming at times. If you're feeling anxious, going for a paddle is an ideal way to boost wellbeing and take a much-needed break. We can even continue with our sport in accordance with current Government advice such as practising social distancing. We also advise keeping Government health advice in mind if you are considering any post-paddle socialising.
Before deciding to attend a VSKC paddle, assess your own risk of contracting COVID-19 or the risk that you may be infectious yourself and pass it on to another club member.
The committee reminds members of the club’s existing self-assessment guidelines that are relevant for those participating in club paddling trips and events: https://www.victorianseakayak.club/about/self-assessment/
It is possible that further social distancing measures will be announced by state and federal governments in the coming days and weeks. Members should keep themselves informed of developments.