4.20pm. Thanks for reading, have a good weekend
That’s it for us today and this week.
The #ipswichtogether COVID-19 daily blog will be back on Monday to share important updates and community information.
If there is something you think we should be covering contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
4pm. Why we don’t get the full details on every COVID-19 case
We’ve seen a lot of questions in recent days about why health authorities are not providing the full details on every COVID-19 case, such as which suburb a person lives in and where they have been.
There are a number of reasons why it’s not a good idea, or even legal, to give the public all the details about the movements of a confirmed case while they might have been infectious, if Queensland Health can contact people at risk directly instead.
3.35pm. Queensland cases up 62 to 555
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles today confirmed that Queensland had 62 additional positive cases, bringing the total to 555.
Of those cases, 80 per cent were acquired overseas and the remainder were direct contacts of people who had been overseas.
“That shows our social distancing measures are working, and I’d like to thank everyone for complying with what are sometimes quite inconvenient requests for them to be socially distant, to avoid mass gatherings, and to avoid non-essential activities, but it is working.
“That effort is working, thanks to you.”
Mr Miles said more than 42,965 Queenslanders have been tested to date.
“We have a greater testing rate per capita than just about anywhere else in the world.”
However, Mr Miles said cases were still coming through Queensland’s borders.
“While we have stopped the spread here, we continue to import it through Queenslanders and Australians coming home from overseas,” he said.
“Of course we want them to still come home.
“But, we need to put a stop to the importation of the virus.”
Mr Miles and Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young support the Prime Minister’s new regulations for people returning to Australia from overseas, whereby they will be required to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days.
“At the moment in Queensland we do not have community transmission, which they are seeing in Sydney and Melbourne,” Ms Young said.
“Cases are still coming through the border.
“We have seen very few breaches of our quarantine notices at the border, but it’s become so critical that we need to go the next step.”
The new rules will come into effect at midnight on Saturday, 28 March.
3pm. Stories of small and large acts of decency fill social media feeds
Amid the uncertainty, stories of kindness are also finding their way into our social media feeds.
Several communities across Ipswich have come together to help spread a little cheer – from teddy bears in windows to delight young children to upbeat messages on footpaths.
Every little bit helps. #ipswichtogether
2.30pm. Helping children cope through COVID-19
This is an uncertain time for everyone, and children may be impacted by fear and anxiety.
Here are some tips from Lifeline on how to ensure your children are supported:
- Give your children extra attention and reassurance. Where possible, minimise their exposure to media and social media that may heighten anxiety.
- Acknowledge your own feelings about the situation and let children know its okay to share their own feelings.
- Include your children in plans and activities around the house.
- If you don’t see an improvement in four weeks, or if you’re concerned, seek professional help (earlier if needed).
2.00pm. Clean hands save lives
1.30pm. Helpful links for jobseekers
If you or someone you know is looking for work, give these helpful links a try:
Opportunities in agriculture (National Harvest Labour Information Service) Call the hotline 1800 062 332.
1.10pm. Good time to try your hand at cake decorating
Baking and cake decorating is an activity that can be done at home.
The Cake Mobb owner Antoinette Mobbs has been working hard to adapt in uncertain times.
Ms Mobbs is following advice carefully and has removed all of the tables and chairs and made an entrance and exit area with markings on the floor to ensure all social distancing is adhered to.
She is also only using disposable cutlery and cups and has hand sanitiser available for customer use.
“We are still open and people can come in and get takeaway and we can still take orders for cakes,” Ms Mobbs said.
“We have been getting some lovely people coming in to support us. The locals are amazing, they come in and say ‘we just want to buy one thing to support you’.”
12.00pm. From challenges come opportunities
Ipswich Grammar School (IGS) is doing its bit to spread #viralkindness.
With the school’s inter-house swimming carnival cancelled, meat that had been purchased for the barbecue was no longer needed.
Local charity Ipswich Assist had a need, IGS had the means. Working together, and with the help of Summerville Butchers Booval, they were able to support those most in need.
11.30am. COVID-19 protections for FIFO workers
Mining companies are stepping up their COVID-19 protections for their workers, including those who fly or drive in and out.
Additional precautions are now in place in camps and on transport, with all Queensland mines being asked to develop a COVID plan that covers their workers.
Companies will be required to submit specific plans to Queensland Health about interstate worker procedures.
Find out more about the new precautions at: Coronavirus protections stepped up for miners, communities
11am. Tips on caring for pets during COVID-19
With social distancing orders in place and many people staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there’s been a drastic change to our daily routines – for both us and our pets.
While many of our four-legged friends will be thrilled at spending more time with the family, staying inside more and adapting to changes in diet or exercise could leave our pets feeling stressed or confused.
We spoke to local vet, Dr Milan Savkovic, to find out how we can keep our pets happy and healthy during this period. Click here for his tips on looking after pets during COVID-19.
10.40am. Ways to stay happy and healthy
Here are a few tips courtesy of the Australian Red Cross for how you can maintain your wellbeing:
- Make regular phone calls or video calls to people you know.
- Being in close confines can be stressful, watch out for signs of stress among family members.
- Work out a strategy to defuse any difficult situations or anger.
- Watch movies together, virtually.
- Get some sun every day – keep up the vitamin D.
- Stay in touch with work colleagues. If you can, working from home could help you stay busy and connected.
- Self-indulge and put on that hair mask you’ve had in the back of the drawer or give yourself a pedicure.
- Now’s the time to do those household projects you’ve been putting off.
10.20am. Turning quarantine into quarARTine
Turning to craft is a good way to pass the time at home.
In another example of how Ipswich businesses are thinking outside the box to respond to the COVID-19 situation, Arttime owner Kate Roberts has made some special COVID-19 quarARTine packs that are available for $19.
There is the Drawing-19 pack, the Card Making-19 pack and the Mandalas-19 pack to help you to get started or rekindle your creativity.
They are available to be prepaid and delivered to the 4305 and 4304 postcodes for $5. Or pick them up in-store at 203 Brisbane Street, Ipswich.
Ms Roberts is also busy cataloguing the current exhibition, Running with Barney and Kondalilla by Chris Sullivan, to go online.
10am. Final chance to vote early ahead of Saturday’s election
The final day of early voting has begun across Ipswich.
The city’s five early voting centres will remain open until 6pm today.
- WG Hayden Humanities Centre, 56 South Street, Ipswich.
- Town Square Redbank Plains Shopping Centre, Shop 38a, 357-403 Redbank Plains Road, Redbank Plains.
- Springfield Tennis Centre, Unit 1, 44 Sportstar Drive, Springfield Central.
- 1/14 Coal Street, Bundamba.
- Yamanto Shopping Village, Shop 29, 512-514 Warwick Road, Yamanto.
Don’t forget to bring your own pen or pencil.
8.40am. Council-owned community centres closed
Council-owned community centres are closed to the general public.
Some essential services, such as financial counselling and food banks, may still be operating from these community centres. For more information contact the centres directly.
- Camira Springfield Community Centre: 3818 2915
- Ipswich City Council Riverview Community Centre: 3810 8114
- Redbank Plains Community Centre: 0432 273 486
- Rosewood Community Centre: 5464 1544
- Springfield Lakes Community Centre: 3288 2292
8.20am. Students spread cheer to hospital staff
How good is this? Students and teachers at Ipswich State High School have delivered homemade treats to the hardworking staff at Ipswich Hospital.
Simple gestures of kindness can make a big difference in these challenging times. #ipswichtogether.
8am, Friday, 27 March 2020: Seventeen cases confirmed for West Moreton
West Moreton Health has confirmed two more people have tested positive, bringing the total to 17 cases of COVID-19 for the West Moreton region.
Queensland has 50 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 raising the state total to 493.
Contact tracing is undertaken for each new case.
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.