31 March 2020: COVID-19 updates #ipswichtogether

4pm. 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.

Something you think we should know or highlight? Email us at


3.40pm. We’re all in this together

Remember, you must stay in your home except for:

  • shopping for essentials – food and necessary supplies;
  • medical or health care needs, including compassionate requirements;
  • exercise with no more than one other person (unless from your household);
  • providing care or assistance to an immediate family member;
  • work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely.

3.25pm. Community closures

The following community outlets have advised they will be closed until further notice:

  • Queens Park Cafe
  • Willowbank Raceway
  • Camira Friends and Neighbours
  • Rhino Cafe

3.10pm. Using technology to stay in shape

Many Ipswich personal training businesses are having to come up with fitness plans with a difference to survive restrictions around the COVID-19 situation.

They have gone from big group workouts to very small gatherings, and this week to online and webcam in order to continue.

Read more: Innovation gets you in shape

3pm. Hospital park and ride suspended

2.20pm. Rainbows at Rosewood

1.45pm. New JobKeeper payment: Are you eligible? 

An historic wage subsidy program will help keep Australians in jobs as the nation continues to grapple with significant economic fallout as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Announced on Monday by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the $130 billion JobKeeper plan will help businesses keep Australians in jobs. 

“We’re providing a lifeline to around six million Australian workers with a wage subsidy of $1500 a fortnight, paid through their employer,” the Prime Minister said on Facebook. 

“Even if their business goes into hibernation, we’re keeping employers and their employees connected, so when the economy comes back – and it will – these businesses will be able to start again and their workforce will be ready to go.”

The JobKeeper payment is available to businesses that have been hit hard by coronavirus, including:

  • Full time and part time employees, including those who have been stood down
  • Sole traders and self-employed individuals 
  • Casual employees who have been with their employer for at least the past 12 months
  • Not for profits, including charities.

Read more: Payment provides lifeline to COVID-19 affected businesses and employees

1.15pm. I have COVID-19 – now what?

For many Ipswich residents right now, one of their biggest fears is that they will be diagnosed with COVID-19.

But what actually happens when you contract the virus in West Moreton?

Queensland Health has reminded the community it’s important to remember that everyone who experiences this disease will experience it a little differently, because their bodies will respond to the virus in a different way.

Read the full article:

12.20pm. Ways to cope with social distancing and self-isolation

Going into a period of social distancing, self-isolation or quarantine may feel daunting or overwhelming, and can contribute to feelings of helplessness and fear. Here are some thoughts from Lifeline:

  • Perspective – try to see this time as unique and different, not necessarily bad, even if it something you didn’t necessarily choose;
  • Connection – think of creative ways to stay connected with others, including social media, email and phone;
  • Be generous to others – giving to others in times of need not only helps the recipient, it enhances your wellbeing too. Is there a way to help others around you?;
  • Stay connected with your values. Don’t let fear or anxiety drive your interactions with others. We are all in this together!;
  • Daily routine – create a routine that prioritises things you enjoy and even things you have been meaning to do but haven’t had enough time. Read that book, watch that show, take up that new hobby;
  • Try to see this as a new and unusual period that might even have some benefits; 
  • Limit your exposure to news and media. Perhaps choose specific times of day when you will get updates, and ensure they are from reputable and reliable sources.

11.50am. What does good hand washing technique look like?

Regularly washing our hands is an important part of helping to slow the spread of COVID-19.

So what does good hand washing technique look like?

Check out the short video below by Dr Katie Allen, who is also a member of Federal Parliament, for how it should be done.


11.20am. A world of digital resources at your fingertips

Ipswich Libraries have a great range of digital resources available to help you during social isolation.

11.10am. Thinking outside the box

Top of Town eatery The Retro Diner owner Angie Parsons is used to thinking outside the box.

As the COVID-19 situation unfolded, she took a look at her staff, who are like family to her, and decided she would do whatever she could to keep her doors open.

“We realised we would struggle to rely only on takeaways,” Ms Parsons said.

“So we decided to become a mini market.

“We have very quickly been able to stock fresh, frozen and staples.”

She has also partnered with other locals to supply fresh fruit and vegetable boxes as well as seafood.

“We are also selling pre-made meals for people to take away,” Ms Parsons said.

“We have a lot of cleaning products for sale and I will deliver to the community in need, the isolated, elderly or anyone with disabilities.

“I’m not doing it for the money, I just want to stay afloat enough to pay my staff and as things pick up a big again, I want to be able to give them back more hours.”

Also read: Great Ipswich takeaway food options

10.45am. Queensland’s contact tracing efforts receive boost

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced that the state’s contact tracing and quarantine and self-isolation tracking efforts will be bolstered, as Queensland records an additional 55 coronavirus cases overnight.

New measures will see the state step up its efforts in tracing, monitoring and ensuring compliance with health directives, including self-isolation and quarantine orders.

The measures will mainly affect the 40,212 Queenslanders on 14-day self-isolation and quarantine orders.

Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath will lead the Australian-first initiative, assisted by law enforcement.

“The work of Queensland Health has been incredible to date in their contact tracing and identifying those who have tested positive, and those who have come in contact with people who have tested positive and those most at risk,” Ms D’Ath said.

“It is really important that we do everything possible to support Queensland Health in this job.

“We want to make sure that when Queensland Health says we need to ramp this up we are there ready to support them in whatever they need to do that.

“Also when people are put on isolation and quarantine orders we need the public to understand this: these are not voluntary orders, they are enforceable by law and they will be enforced.

“This is the only way we can save lives in this state, by making sure anyone that has received a notice to quarantine or isolate understand the significance of that order.”

Queensland Health have contacted around 50,000 people in relation to the current 743 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

9.50 am. Alcohol limits

From today, most liquor stores will limit the amount of alcohol you can buy.

The voluntary measures – which have been brought in to stop the surge in stockpiling – are now in place at Coles bottle shops, Woolworth’s Group bottle shops, Vintage Cellars, Dan Murphy’s, First Choice Liquor and Aldi supermarkets.

9.10am. Ways to stay connected

Social distancing means keeping a safe physical distance from each other but we can still look out for each other by staying in virtual touch, because that’s good for everyone.

Connecting with those around you can boost your mental wellbeing. If you’re looking for different ways to connect, we’ve listed some ideas below:

📞 Start an over-the-phone movie or book club.

🖋 Bust out some pen and paper and write some old-school letters to people you haven’t seen in a while.

📱 Start a regular video call or group message with friends or family.

How do you plan to stay connected with friends and family?

8am, Tuesday, 31 March 2020. Thirty-five cases confirmed for West Moreton

The total cases tested positive to COVID-19 for the West Moreton region is 35 patients including two new cases yesterday.

Queensland Health confirmed 33 new cases of COVID-19 in Queensland, raising the state total to 689.

Contact tracing is undertaken for each of the 33 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.

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