Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Coronavirus Update

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is continuing to evolve and the advice to organisations on how to respond is constantly being updated.

Learning Links has set up a COVID-19 Response Group that is monitoring the developments and is planning, responding and preparing should the situation worsen.

Learning Links continues to follow the advice of the Australian Government, NSW Government, NSW Department of Health and the NSW Department of Education and will provide updates for our families, schools and partners as they occur.

 

Top line medical advice for all:

    • If you develop a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath within 14 days of overseas travel or are in contact with someone else who has Coronavirus, seek medical attention: call your GP, Healthdirect on 1800 022 222, or in an emergency, your local hospital emergency department, if you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.

 

UPDATE: Sunday 29 March, 2020

Learning Links Update

  • Learning Links has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all one-on-one support services at Learning Links Centres and schools from Monday 30 March.
  • The following services will continue until further notice: Learning Links Preschool, Prep 4 Preschool, Out of School Hours Care at McCallums Hill Public School, HIPPY, MyTime, 1-2-3 Magic and Engagement Adolescents parenting programs.
  • Learning Links is now offering psychological therapy online, using zoom.
  • Learning Links is close to finalising a plan for alternative online delivery of  other services and will notify families when they can access these services.

 

Government Update

Indoor and Outdoor Public gatherings

National Cabinet agreed to limit both indoor and outdoor gatherings to two persons only.

Exceptions to this limit include:

  • People of the same household going out together;
  • Funerals – a maximum of 10 people;
  • Wedding – a maximum of 5 people;
  • Family units.

Individual states and territories may choose to mandate and/or enforce this requirement.

National Cabinet’s strong guidance to all Australians is to stay home unless for:

  • shopping for what you need – food and necessary supplies;
  • medical or health care needs, including compassionate requirements;
  • exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements;
  • work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely.

National Cabinet agreed that playgrounds, skate parks and outside gyms in public places will be closed. Bootcamps will be reduced to two persons, including the trainer. 

These measures will be in place from midnight Monday 30 March 2020.

 

Social Distancing – further measures

States and territories agreed they would implement further social distancing measures specific to their own region, including closing categories of venues, where medical advice supported this action. These measures would be risk-based and targeted at non-essential activities.

Australians will still be able to access the goods and services needed to safely and sustainably live their lives.

 

Advice for Senior Australians including those with existing health conditions

Coronavirus has more serious impacts on older Australians, those over 70 years of age and Australians with existing health conditions or comorbidities.

National Cabinet’s strong advice is for self-isolation at home to the maximum extent practicable for Australians:

  • over 70 years of age;
  • over 60 years of age who have existing health conditions or comorbidities;
  • indigenous Australians over the age of 50 who have existing health conditions or comorbidities.

These groups should limit contact with others as much as possible when they travel outside.

 

Commercial and residential tenancies

As part of its work on helping businesses hibernate, National Cabinet agreed that short-term intervention is needed for commercial tenancies. Work on this has begun, but there is more to do, including for residential tenancies.

National Cabinet agreed to a moratorium on evictions over the next six months for commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of coronavirus.

Further information on this can be found in the Prime Minister’s statement to the media.

 

UPDATE: Friday 27 March, 2020

Learning Links Update

  • Learning Links has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all one-on-one support services at Learning Links Centres and schools from Monday 30th March (Last sessions this Saturday March 28).
  • The following services will continue until further notice: Learning Links Preschool, Prep 4 Preschool, Out of School Hours Care at McCallums Hill Public School, HIPPY, MyTime, 1-2-3 Magic and Engagement Adolescents parenting programs
  • Learning Links is close to finalising a plan for alternative online delivery of services and will notify families when they can access these services.

 

Click here for the most recent updates from the Australian Government Department of Health.

Click here for the most recent updates from NSW Health.

Click here for the most recent updates from the NSW Department of Education.

UPDATE: Wednesday 25 March, 2020

Learning Links Update

  • Learning Links has made the decision to cancel all group April school holiday programs – individual families will be contacted.
  • Learning Links is close to finalising a plan for alternative online delivery of services and will notify families when they can access these services.

Government Update

From midnight Wednesday 25 March 2020, the following activities and businesses will no longer be allowed to continue operating:

  • Amusement parks and arcades
  • Indoor and outdoor play centres
  • Community and recreation centres, health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre, spin facilities, saunas, wellness centres
  • Swimming pools
  • Galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites, libraries, community centres
  • Auction houses
  • Real estate auctions and open house inspections
  • In-store beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons and tattoo parlours, spa and massage parlours (excluding health-related services, like physiotherapy)
  • Food courts within shopping centres will only be able to sell takeaway. Shopping centres themselves will remain open

The Prime Minister has also placed limitations on other activities:

  • Hairdressers and barber shops can continue, but they must limit the time a customer is in the premise to no more than 30 minutes
  • Outdoor personal training and boot camps are limited to a maximum of 10 people
  • Weddings can continue, but only with the couple, the celebrant, and witnesses — totaling a maximum of five people
  • Funerals are limited to a maximum of 10 people
  • Outdoor and indoor food markets will be addressed by individual states and territories

Australians would be banned from travelling overseas, with some exceptions made for aid workers and for compassionate, employment and other essential travel.

The advice on schools from the Australian Government has not changed, advising it is safe to send children to school. The NSW Government is still asking families to keep their children at home where possible.

 

UPDATE:  Monday 23 March, 2020

Learning Links Update

  • Following recent government updates (outlined below) regarding the closure of non-essential services, Learning Links will continue with one-on-one sessions until further notice.
  • Strict hygiene and distancing practices will be applied.
  • Families will be contacted individually if there are any changes needing to be made to their sessions.
  • Learning Links is close to finalising a plan for alternative online delivery of services and will notify families when they can access these services.

Government Update

    • From 12pm 23 March 2020, the following facilities will be restricted from opening:
      – Pubs, registered and licenced 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 social distancing rules apply).
    • All non-essential travel should be cancelled.
    • The official advice from the Australian Government and health officials is that schools will remain open, however NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian has asked families to keep children home where possible.
    • Social distancing recommendations remain in place, including the advice to stay 1.5m from other people at all times where possible.
    • The situation continues to change daily. The most up to date information is available at: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

 

UPDATE:  Friday 20 March, 2020

Government Update

  • From 9pm AEDT 20 March 2020, only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia.
  • The travel advice for all Australians wanting to go overseas is “Do Not Travel Abroad”. This advice will remain in place indefinitely.
  • There is a ban on non-essential indoor gatherings of 100 people or more. Australians are still advised to stay away from non-essential outdoor gatherings of 500 or more.
  • The official advice is that schools will remain open for the foreseeable future, based on the advice of health officials.
  • There are new measures in place for visiting elderly relatives in aged care.
  • The chief medical officer has said a shut down of the country is not recommended by the experts.
  • Social distancing recommendations remain in place, including advice to stay 1.5m away from others, and not to hand shake or hug.
  • Scott Morrison has urged people to stop panic-buying.

Learning Links Update

  • Following these recent updates, sessions at Learning Links centres will continue until further notice.
  • Learning Links continues to work on a plan for alternative online delivery of services and will notify families as soon as these services are available.

 

UPDATE:  Tuesday 17 March, 2020

Government Update

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic, which is an epidemic that spreads on a global scale. The situation is changing rapidly. Up to date information is available at: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert
  • All travellers to Australia will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • People who have travelled in the last 14 days must self-isolate for 14 days from the day they returned.
  • The Prime Minister has announced, at this time, the best approach for students, staff and the broader community is for schools to remain open.

Learning Links Update

  • All sessions at Learning Links centres will continue as normal until further notice.
  • Should a child or member of staff be tested as positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Learning Links will follow the directives of the Health Department.
  • Do not bring your child to a Learning Links centre or service if they have flu-like symptoms – you should keep your child at home until the symptoms have cleared.
  • Learning Links professionals are following NSW Health recommendations for social distancing and best hygiene standards:
    • Washing hands regularly with soap and water and applying hand sanitiser,
    • Maintaining a 1.5m distance from children where possible,
    • Only using resources in centres and schools that are absolutely required,
    • Cleaning toys/resources/service delivery desks and chairs regularly with disinfectant, and
    • Using low cost disposable resources (eg pencils etc).
  • Learning Links is currently working on a plan for alternative online delivery of services where possible and will notify families when these services become available.
  • All previously provided information is available below as a reminder (Preschool and Prep 4 Preschool families to refer to previous information shared by the Early Childhood Education  Directorate about recommendations for Early Childhood Settings and Programs).

The best way to protect yourself is the same as you would against any respiratory infection. Practice good hygiene by:

  • making sure to clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub
  • cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or a flexed elbow
  • avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

Make sure you stay home if you are sick.

Face masks are not recommended for the general population.

Across Learning Links’ centres, we have implemented additional hygiene practices including:

  • washing hands regularly with soap and water and applying hand sanitiser
  • hand sanitizers in meeting rooms and reception areas
  • additional soap dispensers in bathrooms and kitchens
  • extra cleaning measures including wipes and sprays to clean surfaces
  • adopting social distancing measures, like maintaining a 1.5m distance from the child where possible
  • only using resources in centres and schools that are absolutely required
  • cleaning toys/resources/service delivery desks and chairs regularly with disinfectant
  • using low cost disposable resources (such as pencils)

We have also placed preventing infectious diseases posters in our bathrooms, kitchens, and waiting rooms.

We are encouraging all staff, families and visitors to follow the advice of the WHO and Department of Health, by adopting safe hygiene practices and staying at home if they have any respiratory symptoms.

In accordance with the current advice, a child should not attend a Learning Links Centre or program conducted in an external centre, our Preschool or OOSH service in the event that:

  • It has been confirmed that your child has contracted the Coronavirus. Your child may return to services once they have been medically cleared.
  • Your child has been in close contact of a confirmed case of the Coronavirus within 14 days since the last contact with the confirmed case. Close contact is defined as living in the same household, 15 minutes face-to-face contact with a person with confirmed Coronavirus in any setting, or sharing a closed space with a person with confirmed coronavirus for more than 2 hours.
  • Children who have recently returned from overseas and are well, and are not close contacts of a confirmed case, are able attend Learning Links as normal, provided they have adhered to the quarantine requirements put in place by the Australian Government.

As per standard health and safety measures, if your child has respiratory symptoms, as with other viruses, you should keep your child at home until the symptoms have cleared.

The Australian Government has put in place a number of restrictions for overseas travellers coming to Australia.

  • Foreign nationals (excluding permanent residents of Australia) who have been in the following countries will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days from the time they have left or transited through:
    • mainland China
    • Iran
    • Republic of Korea
    • Italy.
  • Australian citizens and permanent residents will still be able to enter, as will their immediate family members (spouses, legal guardians or dependants only). They will be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days from the day they left China, Iran, the Republic of Korea or Italy.
  • Australia will deny entry to anyone who has left or transited a country subject to travel restrictions within the previous 14 days, with the exception of:
    • Australian citizens
    • permanent residents
    • New Zealand citizens resident in Australia
    • immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents including spouses, minor dependants and legal guardians
    • diplomats.

Additional restrictions as of midnight 15 March 2020:

  • All travellers to Australia will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • A ban on cruise liners from foreign ports arriving at Australian ports for 30 days.