There is no doubt now that COVID is on the rise in Victoria, and sadly, the virus is disrupting the long-awaited summer for many Portsea holiday-makers. Our club has not been spared, and in recent days, several Portsea members have gone into mandatory isolation, their absence impacting all aspects of the club’s operations, including patrolling, camps, our educational program, accommodation and The Club F&B service.
As a lifesaving club, our priority is keeping our paid and volunteer lifesavers on the beach. Portsea Back Beach is at its busiest over the next few weeks and we know that there are people who will need rescuing. We can’t do that if our lifesavers have COVID or are at home isolating. So, if you or your kids fall into one of the categories who are required to be isolating, or are ‘at risk’, please stay away from the Club and all club activities.
Our entire Nipper, SRC and Cadet water safety crew and many of our Nipper Age Managers and Nipper Helpers are also patrolling members of the club – please do not put them or their families at risk by not staying away from the club should you or your child display any COVID symptoms or should you test positive on a RAT/PCR test.
I would like to assure all members that the club is acting promptly and decisively to minimise the risk to members, guests and the public. We will continue to follow the expert guidance of our COVID Officer, Dr Natalie Hood, Life Saving Victoria and the Victorian Government.
There is absolutely no suggestion that any of our members who have COVID or are isolating as household have done anything wrong. They have our support, and if the Club can help in any way, please reach out. However, they will do the wrong thing should they knowingly attend club activities when displaying symptoms or should they be required to be isolating.
Recent guidance from the Victorian Government has updated the required process for handling COVID cases and COVID contacts. The main changes relate to the definition of a Household or Household-like contacts, isolation requirements and testing requirements. The new arrangements can be found at this link: https://www.coronavirus.
There are some important points I would like to stress on behalf of our club in addition to the government requirements:
Given the current community transmission, and the general need to maintain lifesaving service continuity, please review all planned activities for the coming week/s and mitigate the risk of transmission.
The Chief Health Officer has released a number of tips to make ‘safe choices’ when gathering:
The implications of getting COVID during your Summer break are significant for you and the people you could potentially infect. No one wants to be in isolation for a week or more because of COVID. We advise you to be careful and assess your choices about social occasions. Use Rapid Antigen Tests to assist you (if you can find one) and follow the CHO tips, as provide above, to reduce your risk.If you have any questions, please contact the club’s COVID officer, Dr Natalie Hood, or me.
The matrix below provides you with guidance as to the level of COVID risk you may have been exposed to. This may be updated as rules change, but in terms of calculating your risk, it is unlikely to vary much.
The matrix provides excellent guidance for you to assess your own individual risk. Look at your situation objectively and consider whether you are at risk given the circumstances you were in.
If you consider that you should withdraw from a patrol or club activity, that is fine. However, you will see from the Matrix that risk is a bit of a grey area and your situation will provide you with the best guide as to whether you are at risk.Contact Assessment & Management Matrix - COVID-19