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An autonomous, prosperous and sustainable community and council

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information & Updates

Coronovirus (COVID-19) information and updates relevant to our communities and region will be posted below. Please bookmark this page and check back reguarly for updates.

 

How do I stay informed with proper information sources?

Staying informed about COVID-19 is important to keep yourself and your family safe. Here are some links to credible information:

• Queensland Government

Australian Government

National Indigenous Australians Agency - Support Measures

• Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council

• Deadly Choices

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service

• Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, including Sorry Business/Sad News and gatherings

What are the travel restrictions for Torres Strait communities?

From midday 10 July 2020, there are no entry requirements, quarantine requirements and travel restrictions for Queensland’s remote Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal communities.

The Chief Health Officer may decide to re‑introduce restrictions if an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs in a community. Decisions will be made by the Chief Health Officer based on public health conditions for each community and in consultation with local leaders.

 


Visitor Registration:

Regardless of the Coronavirus Pandemic, visitors are required to submit a Visitor Registration Form, prior to arriving to Torres Strait Island Regional Council Communities.

Upon arrival, all visitors are also required to sign-in at the local Council office.

 


Travelling from Outside Queensland:

Entry to Queensland is temporarily restricted by the Chief Health Officer under the Border Restrictions Direction, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entering Queensland is only permitted in accordance with the Border Restrictions Direction, which may require additional documentation, and a completed Queensland Border Declaration Pass. A pass does not guarantee entry into Queensland as this is determined by an Emergency Officer at the border checkpoint in accordance with the current published public health directions of the Chief Health Officer. 

Queensland border restrictions and COVID-19 Hotspots are constantly being reviewed. Changes could mean you are no longer eligible to enter Queensland or will be required to quarantine at your own expense. To avoid disappointment please complete the Queensland Border Declaration Pass as close to your travel date as possible.

For more information, visit www.qld.gov.au/border-pass.

 


Papua New Guinea & Australian Border Movements:

A ban on cross-border travel for traditional purposes under the Torres Strait Treaty is in place until further notice.

This ban is pursuant to Article 16 of the Treaty between Australia and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea concerning Sovereignty and Maritime Boundaries in the area between the two Countries, including the area known as Torres Strait, and Related Matters (Australian Treaty Series 1985 No 4).

What are the current gathering, workplace & event restrictions?

From 1am Friday 25 September 2020 there are no Local Government Areas listed as Queensland COVID-19 restricted areas, however, certain restrictions still apply under the Movement and Gathering Direction.

 


At Home:

As of 4pm Friday (16/10/20), you can have a maximum of 40 people in your home, including the members of your household that live there. The visitors can be from different households.

 


Gatherings Outdoors & in Public Spaces:

As of 4pm Friday (16/10/20), gatherings in public spaces must be limited to a maximum of 40 people within one group in areas not within restricted Local Government Areas. Mass gatherings in a public spaces are not permitted.

We also still encourage Community Members and visitors to use common sense when attending small public gatherings and if a park, or any other outdoor public space is over-crowded, go somewhere else for the time being.

We ask that you use common sense and good judgement, including maintaining plenty of distance between groups. Things to think about when deciding if a park is already too crowded include:

• Is there plenty of distance between each group (ie. can you play ball between each group or can you talk easily without overhearing another group)?

• Is there an empty space for your group to sit comfortably, that is still a good distance from others?

• Is there somewhere less crowded we can go to, that isn’t far from here to be on the safe side?

 


Sporting, Recreation, and Fitness Activities:

Some restrictions still apply for sporting, recreation and fitness activities to ensure we keep everyone safe, healthy and active.

For more information visit Queensland Government's restrictions for sport, recreation, and fitness organisations information page.

 


Weddings:

From midday 10 July 2020, weddings in remote Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal communities can have a maximum of 100 people irrespective of the size of the venue.  Contact details of all guests need to be recorded and kept for at least 56 days.

As of 4pm Friday (16/10/20), up to 40 people can dance at any one time at a wedding with a COVID Safe Plan.

 


Sorry Business & Sad News:

Culture and ceremony, such as large gatherings for Sorry Business, are very important to our communities.

From midday 10 July 2020, funerals in remote Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal communities may be attended by a maximum of 100 people irrespective of the size of the venue. Contact details of all attendees need to be recorded and kept for at least 56 days.

See the Queensland Health Funeral protocol to understand the current restrictions and what is required by the Chief Health Officer of Queensland to consider an exemption to the current restrictions.

 


Churches & Places of Worship:

Under the Industry COVID Safe Plan for Places of Worship in Queensland, currently;

• Venues bigger than 200 square metres, can have one person per 4 square metres.

• Venues smaller than 200 square metres, can have one person per 2 square metres, up to a total of 50 people

• People from the same household should be allowed to sit together and groups of households kept separate.

Key public health rules to continue;

• Physical distancing (to the extent possible).

• Hand hygiene (washing hands or using alcohol based sanitiser). 

• Respiratory hygiene (coughing or sneezing into elbow).

• Tracking, tracing, rapid response (keeping contact details for 56 days for each service).

• Frequent environmental cleaning and disinfection.

Pre- and post-service gatherings allowed;

People may gather before or after a service, however the place of worship will need to ensure that the gatherings are guided by the Industry COVID Safe Plan and that public health controls are followed. The service of food is guided by the Retail Food Services Industry COVID Safe Plan or, as applicable, the COVID Safe Checklist for seated dining and drinking in restaurants and cafes. There are very strict hygiene requirements that are attached to the service of food and no buffet or self-service of food is allowed.

Communion services;

Consider modifying religious rites or rituals to avoid direct physical contact where practical. Where this is not practical, limit contact to hands. Ensure participants’ hands are washed with hand sanitiser before and after each interaction. 

 


Businesses & Places of Work:

• Maximum number of customers for a business at any one time is determined by the 4 square metre rule.

• For smaller venues below 200 square metres, businesses can have one person per 2 square metres up to 50 persons at a time.

• Office-based workers can return to their place of work.

 


Remember for all Gatherings & Events:

You must practice physical distancing as much as possible and:

• Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, and use alcohol-based sanitiser

• Avoid hugs, kisses and handshakes

• Wherever possible keep at least 1.5 metres away, two big steps, from people you don’t live with.

How do you protect yourself & others?

Everybody is at risk of getting coronavirus (COVID-19). For most people, they will only develop a mild illness and recover easily, but others may develop a severe sickness that affects the lungs.

People with weaker immune systems are more likely to get seriously ill. This means our Elders and people with chronic health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease) are at risk.

 


Why is COVID-19 dangerous for our Communities and Region?

Our communities and region are particularly vulnerable when it comes to COVID-19 because:

• Living arrangements and social connectedness (particularly where many people are living or gathering in one household), makes transmission more likely.

• Higher levels of pre-existing health conditions (particularly diabetes and respiratory conditions). People with these health conditions, especially those aged over 50, are at risk of more severe COVID-19 outcomes.

• Increased remoteness makes access to health care more challenging.

• COVID-19 can spread quickly - it will only take one person coming into the community with the sickness to put the whole community at risk.

 


Signs and symptoms of COVID-19:

The signs of COVID-19 are a fever (a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees) and a cough. People may also have a sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of taste and loss of smell.

Find out more about the symptoms of COVID-19 and how they compare with common cold and flu.

Everyone has a responsibility to stop the spread of coronavirus. Council urges residents to adhere to Queensland Health coronavirus health advice, which is the leading source of accurate health advice and alerts in Queensland.

The Queensland Health website also has a wealth of information on protecting yourself and others (including the latest social distancing measures and restrictions), keeping well, mental health support, and much more.

 


What should I do if I get sick?

• Call Queensland Health on 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for advice on care and testing if you think you or a family member may have COVID-19 and your symptoms are mild.

• Call emergency services on 000 if anyone is very unwell.

• Call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 if you want more information on COVID-19. This line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you think you have COVID-19, always call your heealth centre or clinic before you visit.

 


How can I protect my Community and Elders?

To protect yourself, your family and the community from getting COVID-19 you must maintain good hygiene and practice social distancing (also called physical distancing);

What to do:

• Stay home if you are sick.

• If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, get tested.

• Get a flu shot to protect yourself and your family from the flu too.

• Stay 1.5 metres away from other people - think two big steps.

• Wash your hands lots with soap and water, or hand sanitizer

• Sneeze or cough into your arm or a tissue. Then put the tissue in the bin.

What not to do:

• Go near people if you are coughing or sneezing.

• Touch your mouth, nose and eyes.

• Shake hands.

• Hug or kiss people.

• Share cups or water bottles.

• Sharing smokes with other people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Keeping in touch with your Community:

Staying connected with our Elders, family, friends and community is important. Some ways you can do this are:

• Calling people for a yarn on the phone.

• Talking about the community and checking if they are OK.

• Talking about the virus and how to stop the spread.

• Connecting to family and friends on social media.

Should I get tested & where can I get tested?

Testing helps Queensland Health find as many cases in the community as quickly as possible. This will ensure we are doing everything we can to manage Queensland’s response to the pandemic.

If you have any of the following COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, get tested:

 

 

 

 

Other symptoms people may experience include muscle or joint pain, diarrhoea, nausea and/or vomiting and loss of appetite. Symptoms can vary depending on each case.

 


Where to get Tested:

Contact your local Primary Health Care Centre to ask about their testing process. If you are unwell, make sure you call before arriving at the clinic:

Badu Island Primary Health Care Centre

07 4069 4127

Boigu Island Primary Health Care Centre

07 4069 4153

Poruma (Coconut) Island Primary Health Care Centre

07 4069 4288

Erub (Darnley) Island Primary Health Care Centre

07 4090 1500

Dauan Island Primary Health Care Centre

07 4069 4260

Kubin Community Primary Health Care Centre

07 4090 1100

Mabuiag Island Primary Health Care Centre

07 4090 1200

Mer (Murray) Island Primary Health Care Centre

07 4069 4089

Saibai Island Primary Health Care Centre

07 4069 4252

Ugar (Stephen) Island Primary Health Care Centre

07 4069 4086

St Pauls Community Primary Health Care Centre

07 4069 4348

Thursday Island Hospital

07 4069 0200

Warraber (Sue) Island Primary Health Care Centre

07 4090 1400

Iama (Yam) Island Primary Health Care Centre

07 4090 1000

Masig (Yorke Island) Primary Health Care Centre

07 4069 4296

 

How do I vote Safely in the 2020 State & TSRA Elections?

 

 

2020 Queensland State General Election:

The Queensland State General Election will be on Saturday, 31 October 2020.  Polling booths will be open across Queensland from 8.00am until 6.00pm. Details of polling booth locations will be published closer to the election. 

The Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ)'s Statement of Intent outlines services being provided to ensure Queenslanders can vote easily and safely during COVID-19.

For more information, visit the ECQ website.

 


 

 

2020 Torres Strait Regional Auithority (TSRA) Election:

On 19 August 2020, the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt MP, published a notice in the Gazette fixing polling day for the 2020 TSRA election as Saturday 28 November 2020.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is implementing a number of measures to protect the health of community members and staff. The AEC has developed a COVID-19 Work Health and Safety Service Plan to oversee election delivery and ensure appropriate processes are in place so that nominations and voting are conducted in a safe way. View the TSRA COVID-19 Work Health Safety Service Plan here.

For more information, visit the AEC website.

Where do I find the latest Queensland COVID-19 statistics?

View or learn more about the latest Queensland COVID-19 statistics here.

How do I get the COVIDsafe App?

 

 

 

The COVIDSafe app uses Bluetooth to collect information of people you come into close contact with who are also using the app. This helps health officials to quickly notify close contacts of people diagnosed with COVID-19 if the person agrees to share their information.

Download the COVIDSafe app in the Apple App Store or Google Play

For detailed questions and answers about this app, see the COVIDSafe app.