Portsea Boat Rowing Camp – Jan 3rd-7thDecember 31, 2021
COVID-19 Update, 4th Jan 2022January 5, 2022
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:
- We ask you to objectively assess whether you are at risk and the steps you should take depending on your situation. All members should be vigilant about their activities and the social contacts they have, particularly at large indoor activities, to minimise their potential risk of contracting COVID. See the information below for guidance on “safe choices”.
- If you are vulnerable in any way, we recommend you stay away from club activities.
- If you are a confirmed household or household-like contact, you are legally required to isolate for 7 days. Consequentially, you must stay away from club activities during your isolation period.
- If you have had contact with someone who is showing symptoms but has not yet had their COVID status confirmed, we firmly request that you stay away from club activities. Victoria is experiencing a severe shortage of rapid antigen tests, and PCR test results can take several days to arrive. This situation creates a potential gap of several days when unconfirmed household contacts could legally circulate and unwittingly spread COVID. If you reasonably suspect that you may have been exposed, please act to minimise your interactions to protect others.
- If you have returned a positive COVID test of any type, and you have been present at the club or involved in any club activities, please notify firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
- Limit events, activities, and time indoors – move events outdoors or reschedule as required. Reconsider necessity of planned social activities.
- Limit time together – shorten activities and events where possible.
- If you have symptoms, stay home and get tested – ensure your club is promoting the “LSV personal health check” prior to attending the club or participating in activities.
- Keep a record of attendees and check-in everywhere you go – QR codes need to be front and centre at the club.
- Wear your mask when you can’t physically distance (1.5 metres apart) – masks are mandatory indoors unless exempt, please ensure members are following this requirement (especially if events/activities cannot be moved outdoors or rescheduled), this includes on outdoor patrols and events.
- Practice good hygiene – please ensure sanitiser and good hand hygiene signage is readily available at key points throughout the club.
- Get vaccinated – encourage members if due for their third dose to book in as soon as possible.
- Limit your movements and contacts – have a think about getting to and from the club and activities, limit carpooling for example, review accommodation scenarios and social events.
SPECIFIC ACTIONS THAT WILL TAKE EFFECT IMMEDIATELY:
- Accommodation at the Club will only be available for those who NEED to stay at the Club due to lifeguarding, work or have a volunteer patrol the next day. Nice to stay is no longer a valid reason. All accommodation needs to be approved in advance by Nik Rathmayr and the online form completed, which can be found here on our website.
- When The Club is open, we ask that you use the balcony as much as possible.
- Continue to observe check in and mask rules.
- Reduce your attendance inside the Club, if possible.
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.
ADVICE ON CONTACT RISK:
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