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CORONAVIRUS (COVID19) PRECAUTIONS
U3A Network NSW is assessing advice on how U3As might best minimise potential risks to our members from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that originated in Wuhan in China. While the risk from human-to-human transmission in Australia is currently low, U3As Committees and members share a duty to one and other, to act in a manner that is caring and supportive and as such Network considers it appropriate to recommend some prudent and practical precautions, outlined below.
Both the Australian and NSW Government are publishing on their websites information that is updated daily, at least
Facebook users can like and follow NSW Health,on the Facebook feed for regular updates.
Globally The World Health Organisation website https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen
The situation is constantly evolving therefore committee and members should be encouraged to closely monitor it. Task a committee member to be the focus of your U3As response.
Attendance at Courses
Members should be advised before attending courses or classes.
- If they have travelled recently from China, Italy, Iran or other countries with infection outbreaks, they should self-isolate at home for two weeks afterwards.
- If they have upper respiratory symptoms – fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat – they should avoid classes until the nature of their illness is clear and they no longer have such symptoms.
Venues including Home based Courses
- Update your protocols for venues to ensure the venue remains a safe environment for courses while the current situation continues.
- Ensure adequate hand washing facilities, soaps and hand sanitizers are available for the predicted attendance. It may be that the U3A will need to provide those facilities.
- Commercial venues have an obligation to provide a safe environment and a facility fit for purpose. This requirement should be brought to their notice.
- Monitor the site before and during the course attendance.
- Ensure the cleanliness of the site including contact surfaces
- Consider placing signs at venues as to Hand washing/ Contact/ Attendance. These are available from the websites quoted and now commercially.
- Have good hygiene at food and drink dispensing areas.
- Consider members bringing their own tea and coffee cups/ mugs.
Everyone’s Personal Conduct
- It is the personal responsibility of members to see to their own health, and morally to those with whom they connect
- As with a normal flu season minimise or avoid hand- shaking, friendly hugs and kissing.
- Wash hands regularly with appropriate sanitisers or soap and water. Carry a personal sanitiser pack and avoid touching your face if possible.
- Follow the other good practice of covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and dispose in a rubbish bin immediately