24 February 2022
As I am sure you are aware we are now operating under higher caseload environment COVID-19 protocols. While there is no need to panic, these new settings will help manage community transmission and minimise disruption caused by the virus in the community and to the economy.
New public health and social measures have been introduced throughout the state from Monday, 21 February to help manage the surge of Omicron COVID-19 cases and keep us safe.
The major change for us here in the Mid West is that the mask mandate has been expanded state-wide. Masks must now be worn in all indoor public settings, with exemptions for people with disabilities, people doing vigorous exercise and children in primary school or younger.
In line with the national approach, casual contacts have ceased - meaning casual contacts will no longer be subject to testing and isolation as a matter of course, however people who experience symptoms should get a PCR test immediately.
Close contact definition changed to:
• a household member or intimate partner of a person with COVID-19 who has had contact with them during their infectious period; or
• someone who has had close personal interaction with a person with COVID-19 during their infectious period:
• that have had at least 15 minutes face-to-face contact where a mask was not worn by the exposed person and the person with COVID-19; or
• greater than two hours within a small room with a case during their infectious period, where masks have been removed for this period by the exposed person and the person with COVID-19 (note: others wearing masks in this scenario would not be a contact); or
• someone who is directed by WA Health that they are a close contact.
Detailed testing and isolation guidelines can be found at www.wa.gov.au/government/document-collections/covid-19-coronavirus-testing-and-isolation-guide
Further to this Level 1 public health and social measures have been introduced in Perth, Peel, South West, Wheatbelt, Great Southern and Pilbara regions, given growing community transmission.
To read what this means visit www.wa.gov.au/government/announcements/new-public-health-and-social-measures-monday-21-february
These Level 1 measures will be applied to other regions as community transmission if detected there.
For detailed information and advice on how to prepare and plan for COVID-19 and what to do if you test positive for the virus visit www.wa.gov.au/government/covid-19-coronavirus/covid-19-coronavirus-managing-covid-19
It is important to continue to practise good personal hygiene (wash hands often with soap and water, or hand sanitiser and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use your elbow) and stay home if you are unwell and if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms get tested for COVID-19. In the Shire of Irwin you can get tested at the Dongara Eneabba Mingenew Health Service (08) 9927 0200, 48 Blenheim Road, Dongara.
The Shire of Irwin will endeavour to keep you updated on changes to COVID-19 protocols as they occur however if you need more information, you can call the COVID-19 information helpline on 13 COVID (13 26843) or visit www.wa.gov.au/government/covid-19-coronavirus
While we are on the theme of getting prepared, as we approach the first anniversary of Cyclone Seroja, it is important to start thinking again about cyclone preparedness.
As we saw last year strong winds generated during severe cyclones can cause extensive property damage and create wind-borne debris that can cause injury to people and damage to buildings. Cyclones can also produce very heavy rainfall, which can cause both flash flooding and widespread flooding. Flooding can damage properties but will also cut roads and other infrastructure.
Find out how to prepare your family, home, pets and animals for tropical cyclone season visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au/site/cyclone/prepare.html