It is imperative that we work together to ‘flatten the curve’ and reduce the impact of COVID-19 within South Australia.
In order to do this Police Commissioner Grant Stevens, in his role as the State Coordinator under the Emergency Management Act, made a Declaration of a Major Emergency in the interests of public safety on 22 March 2020 which has now been extended for another 28 days as of 4 April 2020.
A number of directions have been issued since that time which impact on people’s behaviour, social interactions and ability to gather in large groups. These directions are based on advice provided by a range of experts including health professionals.
The Coronavirus doesn’t spread itself, it is spread by people. So by changing people’s behaviour, we can influence the spread of the virus.
By slowing the spread of the virus, or ‘flattening the curve’, we can reduce the impact on our health system and more effectively support those who contract the virus and require hospitalisation.
The directions issued for South Australia can be found at www.sa.gov.au and it’s important that people understand that different states make different rules and the Commonwealth also issues “strong advice”.
While the directions may be confusing, for most people, there are just three simple principles you need to remember to reduce the opportunity for the virus to be transmitted:
- Social distancing applies to everyone – try to keep 1.5 metres distance from others
- Gatherings: We must not have gatherings of more than 10 people
- Reducing density: provide personal space of 4 square metres per person, inside or out.
Police have the power to break up gatherings, issue fines or require people to go into self-quarantine or isolation to protect South Australians from contracting the disease.
If you require further information you can call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787 between the hours of 8am to 8pm seven days a week or go to the SA Health website at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au or www.sa.gov.au/covid-19