Ways to be COVID-aware this festive season

Strata Matters

Ways to be COVID-aware this festive season

The world has changed a great deal in 2020 but the one thing that hasn’t changed is the need for us all to remain vigilant when celebrating Christmas with family and friends this year.

With Victorians now finally able to join the rest of us in life outside of lockdown, thoughts are naturally turning to the festive season and the ways in which we can use this time to reconnect with friends and loved ones.

While new coronavirus cases continue to remain low and controlled in Australia, restrictions are still in place regarding the number of guests permitted at gatherings.

Each state government has taken a slightly different approach to public health orders and the daily limit of visitors allowed at each home. As the holiday season approaches, it is recommended to check your state government’s website for accurate details.

Whilst a number of COVID-related restrictions are still in place, strata residents must adhere to, that are above and beyond the usual strata host/guests responsibilities, relating to responsible service of alcohol, guest numbers and finishing your gathering at a reasonable hour.

Having already endured so much disruption to the way we live our lives as a result of the pandemic, many Australians feel the easing of restrictions are well overdue. Whilst that is true, we cannot afford to become complacent when it comes to sanitisation.

There is much evidence to suggest that any type of social gathering is potentially dangerous owing to high transmission risk. This is because COVID-19 may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials, making a flare up in cases – and potentially a third wave of the virus – a distinct possibility.

It’s important we all do our bit to prevent its spread and protecting our own wellbeing. Scientists have found that COVID-19 is detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, on copper up to four hours, on cardboard up to 24-hours and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

If you are hosting a Christmas gathering in your strata residence – be it in your own apartment or hosting guests in your complex’s common areas – it is good practice to routinely clean surfaces.

Because Coronavirus is most likely to spread from person to person when we come into close contact with one another, we can all help stop the spread by keeping our distance.

Strata Title Management’s State Manager, Emily Doherty, says when attending or hosting Christmas gatherings it’s imperative we do our best to remain socially distanced. This means avoiding shaking hands or exchanging physical greetings, and wherever possible to stay at least 1.5 metres away from others.

“It’s also really important to practise good hygiene, especially after being in public places and within common areas. If you’re not feeling well prior to the event, do the right thing and stay at home. If you display any flu-like symptoms it’s best to undertake a COVID test immediately, just to be sure.”

Emily says it’s also important before, during and after your Christmas event that you make frequently touched surfaces the focus of your cleaning regime. Using a powerful antibacterial product start by wiping over all door handles, light switches, toilets, balustrades and railings.

Pay particular attention in common areas to frequently sanitise common area bathrooms, toilets, faucet handles, sinks and sanitary or nappy disposal bins. It’s also important to sanitise tables, chairs and benches in the BBQ or entertainment area.

If the threat of a COVID diagnosis is not enough of a threat to go the extra mile to protect yourself or your guests, remember a breach of orders made under the Public Health Act is a criminal offence and can attract heavy penalties of up to $11,000 or imprisonment for six months for an individual or $55,000 for corporations.

For the safety of your friends, family and neighbours, remain vigilant and keep up with the sanitising we have all grown accustomed to during the year. Stay safe and enjoy your celebrations.

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