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Coronavirus Update for WAVE 2020

Optometry WA – Email sent to all WAVE 2020 Delegates, Exhibitors & Speakers on 9th March 2020.

OWA takes the health and wellbeing of all the people we work with seriously, and is very aware that an event such as WAVE 2020 brings people together.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared an outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern at the end of January 2020.

OWA is responding to this and the associated risks, and is being guided by publicly available material from the Australia Government’s Department of Health(https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert). At the time of writing this email the Federal Government advice is as follows:

Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) coronavirus (COVID-19) statement on 8 March 2020

A statement from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) about coronavirus (COVID-19).

Date published: 8 March 2020
Media type: Statement
Audience: General public
Recommendations by the AHPPC with regard to public events

As of 8th March 2020, the AHPPC advises that the risk to the general Australian population from COVID-19 is low, with the majority of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia in returned travellers.

At this time the AHPPC consider that public events should proceed, but strongly recommend that people that are unwell with cough or fever or other respiratory symptoms should not attend public events or gatherings. This is particularly so for people who have recently travelled from overseas.

People who have been a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19, or who returned from or transited through a listed higher risk country (www.health.gov.au/covid19-countries), must not attend public gatherings until 14 days after leaving the country or having contact with a confirmed case even if they are completely symptom free. Those undergoing COVID-19 testing also must not attend public gatherings until they have received their results.

It is difficult to predict how the outbreak will evolve in Australia and the situation may change rapidly. When significant community transmission is occurring, social distancing measures such as cancellation of public gatherings will be considered. Australia does not have evidence of significant transmission currently, therefore cancellation of public gatherings – at this time – would not be proportionate nor particularly effective.

The AHPPC is closely monitoring the situation and further advice regarding public events will be provided when necessary.

For your information, to the best of our knowledge, we do not currently have any delegates, speakers or attendees who reside in the countries where COVID-19 is of most concern to the Australian Government, being mainland China, Iran, the Republic of Korea or Italy.

We will require that delegates, speakers and attendees let us know via email by Friday 13th March if they have have:

  • Visited anywhere in mainland China, Iran, Italy or the Republic of Korea in the past 14 days
  • Been in contact with anyone who has been in mainland China, Iran, Italy or the Republic of Korea in the past 14 days
  • Been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus.

If OWA is advised that there are any of the above risk factors, we will request that the person does not attend WAVE 2020.  Full refunds will be given for the WAVE Registration Fees paid.

OWA will continue to monitor the situation and update you if required.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries.

Kind regards

Evan MacRae
Executive Officer
Optometry Western Australia
Phone: (08) 9321 2300
Fax: (08) 9321 2355
PO Box 375
Subiaco WA 6904

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