COVID-19Now

8 April 2020: COVID-19 updates #ipswichtogether

4.50pm. 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

4.15pm. Your questions answered

Check out the latest video from Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth from the Australian Government Department of Health as he answers three community questions each day.

Today he answers:

  • Can COVID-19 be spread via air conditioners?
  • Can I still donate blood during this time?
  • Is the Easter Bunny an essential worker?

3.30pm. Helping Ipswich businesses through COVID-19

Ipswich innovation hub Fire Station 101 is delivering free online workshops to help local businesses affected by COVID-19.

Developed by Ipswich City Council in partnership with Ipswich Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Greater Springfield Chamber Of Commerce, the COVID-19 Business Adaption Program is offering a series of webinars on the video conferencing site Zoom.

Full details here: Helping local businesses through COVID-19

2.30pm. Scam alert 

Police are warning about a number of scams that have been doing the rounds on social media, including some impersonating supermarkets with the offer of free grocery vouchers.

Other scammers are cold-calling people, claiming to be from organisations that can help you get early access to your super

The ACCC warns people that accessing your super is being done through myGov and coordinated by the ATO. 

“The Australian Taxation Office is coordinating the early release of super through myGov and there is no need to involve a third party or pay a fee to get access under this scheme,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“Never follow a hyperlink to reach the myGov website. Instead, you should always type the full name of the website into your browser yourself.”

1.40pm. Street murals delayed but still on way

A series of large-scale public artworks will be painted on walls in Ipswich throughout the year in an adapted Brisbane Street Art Festival program.

The works, and a series of workshops for local artists, were to take place in May but have been rescheduled because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Full story: Large-scale public murals on way for Ipswich Central

12.45pm. Domestic and family violence services receive boost

The Queensland Government on Wednesday announced a $5.5 million boost to domestic and family violence (DFV) services that will help to ensure there’s capacity to respond to Queenslanders who are experiencing DFV during COVID-19.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said the demand for DFV services had increased since the COVID-19 outbreak.

“With the advent of COVID-19, we are facing a completely different set of challenges,” she said.

“We know there are perpetrators who are now at home with their victims. They may have lost their jobs, they may have lost their income, they may have cabin fever.

“There are victims alone with those perpetrators that are feeling more isolated than they ever were before, and feeling that they have even fewer options.

“Today’s announcement is about meeting the immediate demand for support from domestic violence service providers.”

Ms Farmer had a very important message for victims of DFV.

“You do not have to think that COVID-19 limits your options,” she said.

Queensland Police have launched online reporting, so if the safest way for people to contact police is online, they can go to: www.police.qld.gov.au/domestic-violence.

If you are in immediate danger – call 000.

If you aren’t in danger right now but need help, call Policelink on 131 444 or report online.

If you need information or support, call 1800 RESPECT or go to www.qld.gov.au/domesticviolence

11.50am. Rafter & Rose adapting to changing situation daily

All of the tables and chairs have been moved and spaces have been taped out to ensure safe social distancing.

Co-owner Candy Gazdagh said they are doing the best to fit in with what is happening in the community.

“At the end of the day, we want to do our best to stop the spread of this awful illness, and keep all our loved ones safe, this is unchartered waters for all of us,” she said.

“The mornings are still busy but we are now closing at midday.”

Even though people cannot dine in, waiting for a takeaway coffee outside in one of the best alleyways in Ipswich isn’t a bad way to spend a few minutes.

On the Rafter & Rose Facebook page recently it said:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….” In the last couple of weeks we truly have seen the best in our amazing community, showing support in even small ways has given us the get up and go we’ve needed to keep plodding along despite the current economic environment.

People have chosen to show kindness to each other, buying coffees forward for strangers, getting groups together to put in a day changing lunch order, or just showing up whenever they can.

10.15am. Social distancing is making a difference

Social distancing is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

9.15am. Keeping kids safe online during COVID-19

Ipswich Police are reminding parents and carers of the importance of supervising their children’s online activity, as kids spend more time online to study, socialise and play while staying home due to COVID-19.

Detective Superintendent Denzil Clark from the Child Abuse and Sexual Crimes Group said parents and caregivers should take active, ongoing measures to ensure their children’s online safety.

“Now is the time for parents and carers to be considering where in the house their children are allowed to use internet connected devices and speaking with children about risky behaviours including the dangers of having online ‘friends’ they have never met face to face,” he said.

Ipswich Police’s top 10 tips for staying safe online are:

  1. Not everyone is who they say they are online, so you should only accept friend requests from people that you know and trust.
  2. Think before you post! Once it is posted online, you can lose control over who sees it or where it ends up.
  3. Use a passphrase – a random collection of four or more words and at least 12 characters. Passphrase example: hairybeachblueshoe.
  4. Keep personal information (whether about yourself, a family member or a friend) private.
  5. Not everything you see online is true, helpful or safe. Make sure you know that it is coming from a trustworthy and reliable source.
  6. Read comments or texts out loud; could they be misinterpreted by someone?
  7. Never post inappropriate or illegal content anywhere on the internet. It is important to know that online actions can have consequences.
  8. Make sure your social network profiles are set to private or friends only (check your privacy settings).
  9. Always ask permission before uploading and/or tagging someone in a post/photo/video .
  10. Know how to block and report on every game, app or website you use.

Find out more about keeping your kids safe online on the eSafety Commissioner website or at ThinkUKnow.

8am. Wednesday, 8 April 2020. Thirty-seven cases confirmed for West Moreton

The West Moreton Health district remains steady at 37 cases testing positive for COVID-19, while testing for community transmissions has been expanded.

The West Moreton Health region went from 36 to 37 confirmed cases on 1 April and no new cases have been confirmed for the past seven days.

Queensland has 13 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, raising the state total to 934.

Of the total 37 cases in West Moreton Health district, 27 were in Ipswich suburbs, seven were in Brisbane suburbs, while there was one in Scenic Rim Council area, one in Somerset Regional Council area and one in Lockyer Valley Regional Council area where West Moreton Health provides care.

Contact tracing continues, which means West Moreton Health are directly contacting people considered to be at risk through close contact with a confirmed case.

“We want everyone to know they play a part in protecting themselves and the more vulnerable members of the community,” a West Moreton Health spokesperson said.

“Stay 1.5 metres apart, avoid touching, shaking hands and hugging, practice cough etiquette, wash your hands regularly, and stay home as much as possible, to reduce the spread of COVID-19 disease.”

Testing criteria is also being expanded.

A person is eligible for testing 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 is also possible 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, correction facilities, detention centres and boarding schools.
  • live in an area where an outbreak has occurred
  • 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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