ANMF Concerned by Removal of Covid Safety Measures

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has expressed concern that the mandatory COVID isolation period for the general community has been dropped.

National Cabinet today announced the five-day isolation period for people who test positive for COVID – apart from hospital and aged care workers – would end on October 14.

“The ANMF has long-insisted that our Federal, State, and Territory Governments base their decisions on COVID solely on ‘health evidence’ – which is why we’re now calling on the Federal Government to release and explain that evidence, so we can determine whether it justifies the decision to remove this critical COVID safety precaution,” ANMF Federal Assistant Secretary Lori-Anne Sharp, said today.

“We believe the suggestion that COVID-isolation is a matter of ‘personal responsibility’ is just a way of Governments shifting their responsibility onto the individual when it should be theirs.

“ANMF members have been on the frontline of healthcare and aged care throughout the pandemic and we’re concerned that we will now be relying on people to stay at home when they test positive. Asymptomatic people can still be infectious and pass on the virus through the community.

“We are yet to see the real impact of dropping the isolation period from seven to five days, let alone removing the isolation period altogether. It’s just too much of a risk to remove COVID safety precautions that will lead to an increase in cases and place further stress on our already stretched health and aged care systems.

“While we all want the pandemic to end, the sad reality is COVID is not over. We must continue to do all we can to prevent further pressure on our healthcare system and the precious nurses, midwives and carers who hold it together. National Cabinet must also be ‘flexible enough’ to reinstate public health precautions to prevent escalating cases, further healthcare crises and risk of increases in chronic disease burden from long COVID.”

The ANMF, with over 310,000 members, is the industrial and professional voice for nurses, midwives and carers in Australia.

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