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‘Covid Near Me’ sites give warning as virus cuts fan numbers

January 5, 2021 Coronavirus (Covid-19), Headline News No Comments Email Email

A new ‘Covid-19 Near Me’ website (one version covering NSW and another dedicated to Victoria) show you instantly where cases of Covid-19 have occurred near you.

The sites can’t predict the future, but they indicate venues visited by infected people and other relevant information, such as whether to test and isolate for 14 days, monitor for symptoms, or take other action.

The ‘Covid-19 Near Me’ site for NSW is: https://covid19nearme.com.au/state/nsw

The ‘Covid-19 Near Me’ site for Victoria is: https://covid19nearme.com.au/state/vic

Covid-19 Near Me is an unofficial website which gives handy, at-a-glance information. It’s designed as a guide only and users are advised to check the official list as well.

Face masks are now mandatory in certain indoor settings in Greater Sydney, on the Central Coast, and in the Blue Mountains and Wollongong. Those who don’t comply face a $200 fine.

 Wearing a mask is now compulsory in NSW in the following indoor settings:

  • shopping (retail, supermarkets and shopping centres)
  • on public/shared transport and waiting areas for public/shared transport
  • indoor entertainment (including cinemas and theatres)
  • places of worship
  • hair and beauty premises
  • visiting an aged care facility.

Face masks are also mandatory for all staff in hospitality venues, gaming areas in licensed premises (including casinos) and for patrons using gaming services.

MEANWHILE, in developments yesterday, spectator capacity at the Sydney Cricket Ground will be slashed to 25% for the upcoming Sydney third cricket Test, India vs Australia, this Thursday.

A maximum of 9500 fans will be allowed through the SCG gates each day. That’s a big reduction on the 50% capacity formerly planned, but medical experts say it’s still not enough. They say crowds of any size are a bad idea, and fans should just watch the cricket on TV.

Professor MaryLouise McLaws, an epidemiologist with expertise in hospital infection and infectious diseases control, and an advisor to the World Health Organisation (WHO), told the ABC it “doesn’t make sense” to have spectators attending the Sydney Test.

She said it took months for NSW to get to zero community cases of Covid-19 when the disease broke out last time. The state is now battling new clusters.

NSW Health has called for mass screening. Although this indicates NSW clearly has a problem, “for some reason that problem seems to stop at the gates of the cricket ground and that doesn’t make any sense at all,” Professor McLaws said.

Written by Peter Needham

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