Impact on Society Activities from the COVID – Virus
By Friday, 13 March, to 5pm, the number of COVID-19 cases in New South Wales reached 92. By Wednesday, 18 March, numbers have reached 267 cases.
Over the past few days, many of the NSW ACT Association of Family History Societies Members has been in discussion regarding the threat to their members and volunteers.
The Association has been receiving from several groups that their committees have met and resolved to cancel their Society Activities, some have activated these cancellations others over the coming days.
These cancellations have included:
- Research Centre Closure
- Interest Groups
- Monthly meetings
- Heritage Fair
- Workshops and seminars
Advice has been received that these decisions has not been taken lightly and facts that have been be taken into consideration included:
- Sanitising of the Research Centre would need to be continually undertaken by our volunteers with all keyboards, mouse and screens cleaned with disinfectant wipes after a person has used a computer
- Similarly, tabletops and door handles would need to be continually sanitised
- Some groups share the use of a kitchen and toilets with people not connected with the Society
- Membership is made up generally of people in the age group that is more at risk of complications from contracting COVID-19
- As well as age, a number of members who suffer from bronchitis, asthma, other lung diseases, hypertension, ischemic heart disease or diabetes mellitus can have degraded organs that are more vulnerable to infection
- As the incubation time takes 5 to 14 days, any member or volunteer could contract COVID-19 but not show symptoms. They would then be putting their family at risk and some of us have partners who fit the criteria mentioned in the above point.
Societies have generally advised their members that throughout the closure, the society committee will be monitoring the situation. If further events need to be cancelled, such as future monthly meetings members will be notified by email and via the society website.
The NSW Health website suggests, you should:
- attempt to keep 1.5 metres between yourself and others
- avoid crowds and mass gatherings where it is difficult to keep the appropriate distance away from others (500 being the guideline on Friday 13 March, 100 on Wednesday 18 March)
- avoid small gatherings in enclosed spaces, for example family celebrations
- avoid shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people
- avoid visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, infants, or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment.
And the World Health Organisation suggests that you wash your hands frequently
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
During this challenging time please stay safe, be kind, and look after the people around you. We are all in this together.