May 12, 2020
 
RESTRICTIONS

Changes to Victoria’s stay-at-home directions were announced on Monday and will take effect from midnight on Tuesday, May 12. A fifth allowable reason to leave home has been added, which will allow up to five people at a time to visit family and friends in their home. The government has also amended the direction regarding exercise, making it allowable for up to 10 people to participate in outdoor exercise.
The updated stay-at-home directions will be in place for at least three weeks.
 
You can leave home:

  • To visit family and friends. No more than five visitors are allowed in one home;
  • To buy food or drink, receive medical services or to access essential goods and services;
  • For care or compassionate reasons like parenting arrangements, or supporting the elderly or  vulnerable;
  • To attend work or education, where you are unable to do so from home;
  • To exercise with up to 10 people outside your home, observing social distancing.

A summary of what the first stage of easing restrictions means for various activities is below.

 

The enforceable legal directions for these changes are available here.
 
Monday’s updated directions follow the Prime Minister’s announcement last week of National Cabinet’s three-step plan towards lifting restrictions, outlined below.

 

 

SCHOOLS
This morning the government announced students will start to return to face-to-face learning from the end of May.

  • Tuesday May 26: Students in prep, grade 1, grade 2, year 11 and year 12, along with specialist school students and students in year 10 studying a VCE subject, will return to school. Vulnerable students and students whose parents or carers cannot work from home can attend school on-site as per current arrangements.
  • Tuesday June 9: Students in all other year levels will return to school
  • School drop-offs and lunch breaks will be staggered to minimise interaction
  • Schools will be cleaned and sanitised more regularly
  • School staff will be given priority for voluntary COVID-19 testing for two weeks, starting on May 12 

COVID-19 CASES
Currently there are 110 confirmed active cases of COVID-19 in Victoria. At this time, we do not have any active COVID-19 cases across the Lowan electorate, meaning that the cases represented below and listed in my previous updates have now recovered.

 

COVIDSafe APP
This app is designed to improve contact tracing to limit the further spread of coronavirus.
It allows health officials to tell if you have come into close contact with someone who is diagnosed with the virus, and helps them notify people you have been in close contact with so they can self-quarantine and be tested.
The Federal Government hopes use of the app will speed up the lifting of restrictions
More than five million people across Australia have voluntarily downloaded the app so far.
The app is available to download from the App Store and Google Play.
 
EXPANDED TESTING
Victoria’s COVID-19 testing has been expanded in the past two weeks, with more than 160,000 people tested in this time. Anyone with the following symptoms – even if mild – is encouraged to be tested: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose and loss of sense of smell. The results of the increased testing will help to gather data about the virus itself and possible community transmission.

WHERE TO GET HELP
It is important that you follow accurate information and know where to go if you need assistance. The following resources offer reliable, up-to-date information:

  • australia.gov.au contains information about restrictions, financial assistance, community support and health advice;
  • The Coronavirus Australia app can be downloaded to your smartphone via the Apple or Google Play stores;
  • The National Coronavirus Hotline can be reached on 1800 020 080;
  • The Victorian Coronavirus Hotline can be reached on 1800 675 398;
  • The Australian Government’s Whats App channel provides updates directly from the government. You can download the app here, and subscribe by sending a message to 0400 253 787.
  • Telstra and Optus stores remain open to help people with any digital connectivity issues. You can call the Telstra support line on 13 22 00, or Optus on 133 937 for assistance.

While some restrictions have been lifted and aspects of our lives will change for the better, this is still an uncertain and difficult time for many. If you are worried or anxious, you can reach out to the following support services:

  • Head to Health
  • Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
  • Headspace – Horsham, for people aged between 12 and 25: 5381 1543

WE’RE HERE TO SUPPORT YOU
My team and I are only a phone call or email away if you need help with any query.
You can reach us by emailing emma.kealy@parliament.vic.gov.au or by calling 5382 0097.

 

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