With the escalation of positive coronavirus cases across Victoria the State Government has announced as of Sunday 2 August at 11:59pm, a face covering or mask will be mandatory for all Victorian’s whenever they leave their home, including Greater Shepparton.
While most of these cases are in metro areas, there has also been significant rise in the number of positive cases in regional communities.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Seema Abdullah said “More than ever before, Victoria is seeing higher rates of community transmission so we need to do what we can to protect ourselves and others. Wearing masks is another step to keep us all safe and well.”
“We understand that the masks may be a bit uncomfortable or awkward, at least initially, but please persist to keep yourself and others safe and well.”
“By covering your face, you’re keeping our local businesses open, and keeping local people in work,” she said.
Face coverings help stop droplets spreading when someone speaks, laughs, coughs, or sneezes, including someone who has coronavirus but feels well. Still the best way to protect other people against coronavirus is keeping 1.5 metres apart, washing your hands often, and coughing or sneezing into your elbow or tissue. Face coverings add an additional protective physical barrier to help keep yourself, your family, friends, colleagues and others who live in your community safe.
There are some exceptions for not wearing a mask such as:
- If you have a medical condition that includes problems with their breathing, a serious condition of the face, a disability or a mental health condition.
- If you are deaf or hard of hearing, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
- When wearing a face covering would create a risk to your health and safety in the workplace as detailed in OH&S guidelines.
- If your work requires clear enunciation or visibility of their mouth. This includes teaching or live broadcasting.
- If you are doing any exercise or physical activity where they are out of breath or puffing; such as jogging or running but not walking. You must carry a face covering on you and wear it when you finish exercising.
- Being directed to remove the face covering to ascertain identity.
- If you’re travelling in a vehicle by yourself or with other members of your household.
- When you’re in public eating, drinking or taking medication. But please remember to put your mask back on afterwards.
- If you’re having dental treatment or other medical care to the extent that the procedure requires that no face covering may be worn.
- During emergencies.
In terms of children, those under the age of 12 do not need to wear a face covering and children who are two years or younger must not wear face coverings as they would be at risk of choking and suffocation.
It is important to note that if you are found outside your home not wearing a face mask or covering you can be fined $200. It’s cheaper to buy masks than not wear one.
“There are actually right and wrong ways to put on and take off a mask or face covering. I would encourage you to watch the Victorian Chief Health Officer video that explains all you need to know it how to wear and dispose of the masks safely,” said Cr Abdullah.
It is important to note that disposable or single use masks can only be worn once, and need to be placed in your red lid bin.
Depending how often you leave your house, this may mean that you may need a supply of masks. It is important not to panic buy to ensure that we have sufficient supplies of masks for all of our community.
Masks in Greater Shepparton
Mask can be purchased from local pharmacists and supermarkets. Please note that these businesses provide a variety of masks, their stock levels fluctuate and all suppliers will not have stock all the time.
For those who are creative at heart, feel free to make and wear your own mask but remember they need to be washed daily. Instructions on how to make your own can be found through the DHHS website.
This is one of the biggest challenges our community, state and nation has faced. Wearing of a mask outside our home is the smallest of sacrifices when lives are trying to be saved.
For all up to date information regarding mandatory mask wearing please go to the Department of Health and Human Services website.
Please view the following recommendations for using a cloth face mask from Brett Sutton, Victorian Chief Health Officer.
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