COVID-19Now

14 April 2020: COVID-19 updates #ipswichtogether

4pm. See you tomorrow

That’s a wrap from the Ipswich First team today. We’ll be back again tomorrow from 8am.

If you have something you think we should be highlighting, send us an email at ipswichfirst@ipswich.qld.gov.au

3.40pm. Remember to stay active while working from home

Now is a great time to check in and re-evaluate how we work from home, as we come back to work following the Easter long weekend.

In a recent blog post, the Ipswich Hospital Foundation said that sitting for long periods of time without any activity can lead to tiredness, low productivity, and several health problems.

Its important to remember to regularly check your sitting posture and break up your sitting time throughout the day.

Check out the Ipswich Hospital Foundations tips for staying active from your desk here: Get fit at your desk and seat

2.35pm. Easter Bunny spotted in Ipswich

Many Ipswich residents had to throw their regular Easter plans out the window, as tougher social distancing restrictions and a strict travel ban were put in place in the lead up to the long weekend.

It left many local families bracing for an Easter without celebration. That is, until the Easter Bunny was spotted waving from the roadside in Raceview over the weekend in the latest show of Ipswich’s community spirit.

And it’s not just the Easter Bunny, a bunch of kooky characters have been spotted wandering the streets of Raceview of late including Olaf from Frozen, Pikachu and Minions.

Find out what’s going on here: Easter Bunny spotted in Ipswich over the weekend

The Easter Bunny even stopped by the grocery store to pick up some toilet paper. 

1.45pm. Local florists continue to spread floral sunshine despite COVID-19

Local florists are continuing to spread happiness across Ipswich with their bright bouquets and pretty posies, as the community comes to terms with what could be months of social distancing due to COVID-19.

Angela Jacob, whose Brassall Florist shop will this year celebrate 30 years in Ipswich, said she has never experienced anything like the COVID-19 crisis. 

“The community desperately needs a way to show that they care and that’s where we are able to help,” Ms Jacob said.

“We see ourselves as playing a vital role as the last frontier, the last ‘link of love’, that people can rely on to express their sentiments with our floral arrangements that we create on their behalf.”

Read the full story here: More local florists continue to spread floral sunshine

1.15pm. Ipswich’s mayor sworn in at home 

Teresa Harding has been sworn in as Ipswich’s 51st mayor from her backyard amid COVID-19 social distancing measures. 

With the Queensland Government issuing a home confinement directive last week, Cr Harding said she was committed to finding innovative ways to navigate economic and social challenges through this unprecedented time.

“Home is the safest place for all of us to be right now and I urge every single member of our community to play their part in keeping Ipswich healthy and safe.”

Mayor Harding confirmed she would be restricting her movements to attend only essential in-person meetings to fulfil her duties as mayor during this time.

Read more here: Teresa Harding sworn in as new mayor 

12.30pm. Local families enjoy backyard camping this Easter

The usual Easter road trips and camping expeditions were cancelled this year due to COVID-19, but that didn’t stop Ipswich families bringing the camping experience to their own homes.

Cassandra from North Ipswich spent the Easter long weekend camping in her backyard with her daughters Paige and Chloe. It also happened to be Paige and Chloe’s grandmother’s birthday.

“Paige and Chloe built the camp fire and cooked their Grandma a roast dinner and cake for her birthday,” Cassandra said.

Check out their photos below.

11.45am. Local business putting people before profit during COVID-19

In the latest demonstration of Ipswich’s community spirit during these tough times, the owners of Augustine Heights restaurant Indian Tadka are putting people before profit to help the region’s frontline health workers and those less fortunate. 

In the past couple of weeks, co-owners Sid Trapathi and Chandan Singh have sent dozens of meals to Ipswich Hospital to feed frontline health workers and given 40 lunchboxes to the charity Ipswich Assist, which helps to feed the community’s most vulnerable.

“Many people have lost their jobs and are struggling to survive, so we need to give back to society in some way, even if it’s just a meal,” Mr Trapathi said. 

“It’s also our way of saying thanks to all our local doctors, nurses and paramedics who are on the frontlines, including some who have come back from retirement to help fight the coronavirus.”

Read the full story here: Putting people before profits

Indian Tadka owners Chandan Singh (left) and Sid Trapathi have given Ipswich Assist manager Jason Budden (centre) dozens of hot meals to feed those in need.

11am. What’s the difference between a cold, the flu and COVID-19?

With the cold and flu season quickly approaching, it’s a good time to remind ourselves of the similarities and differences colds and the flu can have with COVID-19.

The below table can help you with that, but keep in mind symptoms can vary from person to person. You can also take Queensland Health’s COVID-19 quiz.

No matter what illness you think you might have, make sure you contact a doctor.

If you are unwell and haven’t travelled (overseas or within Australia) or been in contact with a confirmed case, you may not be tested for COVID-19. Your doctor will make this assessment based on your symptoms, occupation or where you live.

Anyone who is unwell, regardless of the illness, should stay home to prevent the spread of germs.

10.30am. Ipswich kids having fun with household chores amid COVID-19

Kids across Ipswich have been donning funky costumes to take their wheelie bins out for collection, after the Ipswich Community Youth Service encouraged local young people to take part in the isolation bin challenge over the Easter long weekend.

There was butterflies and giant teddy bears – even Pikachu got involved. Check out the awesome entries from local families in the comments in the Facebook post below.

The competition closed on Tuesday morning, with the winner to be announced shortly on Facebook.

The challenge was part of the Ipswich Community Youth Service’s online school holiday festival of fun. Find out more on their Facebook page.

10am. Finding your green thumb during COVID-19

As we spend more time at home, many of us are turning to gardening to keep ourselves occupied.

Brassall’s Trevallan Lifestyle Centre says there’s been a huge increase in people getting busy in their gardens recently.

“We have had so many people new to gardening coming in recently wanting to grow their own foods,” they said in a recent social media post.

“They are new to gardening and don’t know what vegetables grow best at what time of year and have been struggling to grow things that just aren’t suited for our climate or for this time of year.

“There are so many vegetables and herbs you can plant right now.

“Here at Trevallan our seedling range is only seasonal. We don’t stock out of season vegetables. So when you come in what’s on the shelves is what you can plant right now. We try to make things easy for you.”

They have one key piece of advice for the budding gardeners out there.

“Never get too disappointed in the garden, it’s an enjoyable experiment,” they said.

It’s not just veggies and seedlings at Trevallan, they offer an array of outdoor and indoor plants, gardening gear and homewares with online ordering, contactless purchasing and delivery available.

Keep up to date with their knowledgeable and passionate gardening insights via the Trevallan Lifestyle Centre Facebook page.

9.45am. Support for community health care providers

 Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday announced a $28 million package for the non-government health care sector to help people with mental health issues and those facing drug and alcohol issues.

“This is very much needed at the moment,” the Premier said.

“We’ve got a great non-government sector right across Queensland that’s willing, ready and able to help out and lend a hand to people who are going through difficult times at the moment.”

Mental Health Commissioner Ivan Frkovic welcomed the announcement.

“When it comes to mental health, we are all on a spectrum on vulnerability,” Mr Frkovic said.

“Whether we were well before this, whether we were at the time living with mental illness, the level of vulnerability has now spread to all of us.

“This is our opportunity to try and provide additional supports to people who are experiencing a whole range of psychological distress, and this is an opportunity to think about some of the symptoms and experiences that we may have.

“This is an opportunity to provide services to these people to ensure that people can maintain a quality of life even through difficult times such as this.

“This initiative will focus on mental health, drug and alcohol services and Indigenous primary health care services, which are critically vital to supporting our community.”

8.45am. Schools update

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Monday announced that Queensland school students will learn at home for the first five weeks of Term 2, with schools only open for the children of essential workers.

The move to the home-based learning model will start on Monday, 20 April and will be in place until at least Friday, 22 May.

All students who can learn from home are to stay at home.

School staff, unless they are vulnerable due to medical conditions, will continue to teach from the classroom to ensure continuity of learning for students.

Children of essential workers and vulnerable children can continue to attend school.

More information: Initial Term 2 school arrangements for Queensland announced

8am. Tuesday, 14 April 2020. No new cases in West Moreton over Easter long weekend

Queensland recorded 35 confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the Easter long weekend and an additional 11 cases on Tuesday, taking the state’s total to 998.

Contact tracing is underway for the new cases. Queensland Health will notify the community if any other public health alerts are required.

The West Moreton region remains steady with no new confirmed cases since 1 April. Of the region’s 37 confirmed cases, 20 remain active while 17 have recovered.

Of the total 37 cases in the West Moreton region, 27 were located in Ipswich suburbs, seven in Brisbane suburbs, one in the Scenic Rim Council area, one in the Somerset Regional Council area and one in the Lockyer Valley Regional Council area.

COVID-19 testing criteria has also been expanded.

A person will generally be tested if they have a fever (or history of fever) or acute respiratory symptoms, and, in the last 14 days:

  • they were a close contact or a household contact of a confirmed case
  • they had been overseas, including on a cruise.

Testing may also be done for people who have a fever (or history of fever) or acute respiratory symptoms, and:

  • work in vulnerable settings such as healthcare, aged or residential care, military, a school or child care, correction facilities, detention centres and boarding schools.
  • live in Brisbane, Gold Coast or Cairns
  • live in or travelled from a COVID-19 hotspot
  • live in or travelled from another state
  • live in a First Nations community.

Queensland Health is urging anyone who meets this criteria for testing, to contact a doctor immediately.

Before your appointment, please call ahead and advise of your symptoms and recent travel they can prepare for your visit.

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