4.05pm. Stay safe and see you tomorrow
That’s a wrap for today’s #ipswichtogether COVID-19 daily blog.
We’ll be back again tomorrow from 8am, and throughout the day, with regular updates and information you need to know about COVID-19 and its impact on Ipswich.
If you have something you think we should be covering, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
3.35pm. Why social distancing matters
3pm. ABC to broadcast educational programs
If you’re struggling to manage your children’s remote learning as well as your own schedule while working from home, you’ll welcome this announcement.
ABC Education will extend its educational programming on ABC ME from mid-April, with shows for primary students in the morning and high school content in the afternoon.
Mini lessons will be run by teachers on the ABC Education portal and on ABC Me. Education programs will include Ecomaths, ScienceXplosion, Numberblocks and English on the Go.
2.30pm. Need some comfort food?
Gourmet ice cream shop Ungermann Brothers are serving ice cream from a takeaway window in their shop and offering delivery for those in need of a sweet treat.
“I have converted the ute to carry ice cream so we can do home delivery,” owner Danny Ungermann said.
“People can also order through Uber Eats or Menulog or I will deliver it myself.”
New flavours on the menu include potato chip, pumpkin seed oil and liquorice and fennel.
“If there’s one thing we’ve learnt, it’s that ice cream manages to bring a smile to everyone’s face,” Mr Ungermann said.
Check out these other great takeaway options to help support local business:
Great Ipswich takeaway food options
2pm. Additional closures in national parks
A number of popular areas in Queensland national parks will be closed from Friday, 3 April to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
These new closures include picnic areas, toilet facilities, lookouts, popular walking tracks, swimming areas and four-wheel drive beach recreation areas.
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said the measures were necessary to keep Queenslanders safe and healthy.
“These are restrictions we are taking to ensure that we are able to continue to support Queenslanders to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19,” Ms Enoch said.
The full list of closures and exemptions is available at: https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/park-alerts/17764.html
1.30pm. Stay home, but stay active
Ipswich City Council’s Active Parks has launched its Active at Home video series, with free yoga, pilates and guided relaxation classes online.
Filmed at the beautiful Kholo Botanic Gardens, the 30 minute classes will help you unwind and stretch your body out while you’re in isolation.
Just grab a mat or towel and begin:
1pm. PM announces child care relief
Around one million families are set to receive free child care during the coronavirus pandemic under a new plan announced on Thursday by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the new early childhood education and care assistance package would ensure services remained open to serve families that needed to work and to support vulnerable children.
“The Federal Government is working with states and territories and the sector to minimise the impact of coronavirus,” Mr Tehan said.
“This package will help support families during these difficult times, particularly those who have lost their job and are doing it tough.
“Until the payments arrive, we are allowing services to waive gap fees for families who keep their children home, and families will be able to use the 20 extra absence days the government has funded for coronavirus related reasons without giving up their place in a child care centre.”
The new system will see payments start flowing at the end of next week. The system will be reviewed after one month, with an extension to be considered after three months. The payments will be paid in lieu of the Child Care (CCS) and Additional Child Care Subsidy payments.
12.30pm. Send a Health Hero-gram
Some of the best social media posts during the Covid-19 crisis have been about a new respect for health workers.
The Ipswich Health Foundation has taken that a step further and launched the hero-gram program, encouraging people to post messages of support for local doctors, nurses and health staff.
Read more here:
Your chance to send a big thanks to our health heroes
12pm. Update on COVID-19 cases in Queensland
Queensland has recorded 57 new COVID-19 cases overnight, bringing the state’s total to 835 with more than 50,000 people having been tested.
On Thursday morning, Health Minister Steven Miles said these latest figures represent an ongoing stabilisation of the state’s positive testing rate.
Mr Miles also confirmed that an 85-year-old man tragically passed away in Toowoomba overnight, taking Queensland deaths from COVID-19 to a total of four.
In a social media post, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk urged Queenslanders to continue to do all that they can to minimise transmission of the virus.
“Please keep washing your hands and observe social distancing – it’s critically important,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“If you develop fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath within 14 days of overseas travel or after close contact with someone who has COVID-19, call your doctor or 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).”
11.25am. Tips on looking after yourself in isolation
Staying at home and not seeing friends and family in person is probably a little different to what you’re used to.
It’s important to do activities that will help you stay mentally healthy and well during this period. Here are four ways to look after yourself at home:
- Spend time doing activities that are good for your well-being. Read a book or try a virtual workout.
- Maintain a healthy routine. Eat well, aim for a good night’s sleep and plan regular catch ups via the phone, email or video chat.
- Seek accurate information.
- Keep up the good hygiene. Even at home, you should wash hands often and thoroughly.
10.45am. Helping local business with free online workshops
Fire Station 101 is giving free online workshops to help local businesses affected by COVID-19.
Developed in partnership with Ipswich Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Greater Springfield Chamber Of Commerce, the topics covered in the webinars include managing your cash flow, getting your business online and finding and applying for grants.
Read more about it and find out how to register here:
Helping local businesses through COVID-19
10am. Have you got the COVID-19 app?
The Federal Government has launched an app to help the community get accurate and the most up to date information about COVID-19.
It was launched alongside the Government’s new WhatsApp feature.
9.40am. Dog off-leash areas now closed
Ipswich City Council has now closed all dog off-leash areas in the region in an effort to stop the spread of COVID‑19.
The announcement follows new restrictions that limit gatherings in public spaces, which also saw the closure of playgrounds and public outdoor exercise facilities.
Dog owners may continue to exercise their dogs in on-leash areas such as parks and walking trails in the region, given they keep in mind social distancing rules and practise general hygiene.
Don’t forget: if you’re unwell, stay at home.
Learn more about how to care for your pet during coronavirus.
9am. Help stop the spread
Washing our hands with soap and water is one of the most effective things we can do to play our part in preventing and slowing the spread of infection.
8.40am. Teachers adapting to change
From empty schoolyards to online lessons, school is looking very different for teachers and students across Ipswich this week.
8.20am. Get the flu jab ASAP
Health authorities are urging all Australians to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible this year to help ease the “double burden” of the flu season during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“I would really encourage and really stress the importance, this year in particular, for people to get their flu vaccine as soon as they can,” Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said.
“People who get infected by flu virus and coronavirus at the same time, which of course is possible, will not do as well as someone who is infected with one or the other.”
Dr Kelly said it was particularly important for those in our community who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 problem as well as flu, including the elderly, pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and anyone with chronic illness or underlying conditions.
8am. Thursday, 2 April 2020. Thirty-seven cases confirmed for West Moreton
The total cases tested positive to COVID-19 for the West Moreton region is 37 patients including one new case yesterday.
Queensland Health confirmed 40 new cases of COVID-19 in Queensland, raising the state total to 781.
Contact tracing is undertaken for each of the 40 new cases.
A Queensland Health spokesperson said the majority of cases are from patients who have travelled overseas, or have had direct contact with a confirmed case who had travelled overseas
“The number of confirmed cases each day is expected to vary as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 situation across the state,” the spokesperson said.
“We want everyone to know they can play their part to protect themselves and the more vulnerable in our community.
“Please follow the recommended advice from us and our federal counterparts in regards to social distancing, public gatherings and general wellbeing.
“Critically, make sure you are practicing good hygiene and staying home if you’re sick. Washing your hands properly and often is the gold standard of health advice that can help prevent viruses from entering your body.”
Queensland Health is urging anyone who has been overseas in the last 14 days and has a fever or any respiratory symptoms to see a doctor immediately.
Please call ahead to the GP surgery and let them know your symptoms and travel history, this will help them prepare for your arrival.