If you’re struggling with mental health issues during this Lockdown, please remember that you’re not alone.

For help and support

HeadtoHelp 1800 595 212

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 (24 Hrs)

Lifeline 13 11 14 (24 Hrs)

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 (24 Hrs)

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 (24 Hrs)

Emergency First Aid are proud to support the Stroke Foundation in raising awareness for National Stroke Week.

Globally, one in four people will have a stroke in their lifetime. In Australia this means that nearly 500,000 people are living with the effects of stroke. The good news is that more than 80% of strokes can be prevented.

So what can we do to help someone that maybe having a stroke?

Think… F.A.S.T.

The Stroke Foundation recommends the F.A.S.T. test as an easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke. Using the F.A.S.T. test involves asking these simple questions:   F – Face Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
   A – Arms Can they lift both arms?
   S– Speech Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
   T – Time Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.

How to react to stroke
How to react to stroke

Other signs of stroke

Facial weakness, arm weakness and difficulty with speech are the most common symptoms or signs of stroke, but they are not the only signs. 

The following signs of stroke may occur alone or in combination:

Sometimes the signs disappear within a short time, such as a few minutes. When this happens, it may be a transient ischaemic attack (TIA). After a TIA, your risk of stroke is higher. Stroke can lead to death or disability. A TIA is a warning that you may have a stroke and an opportunity to prevent this from happening.


While you are waiting for the ambulance to arrive:

If you would like to book a first aid course to learn more about responding to stroke, delivering CPR, saving a life and other first aid emergencies click here

The Victorian government announced an end to lockdown and new restrictions which are to apply as of the 27th July 2021.

Due to the current level of community transmission of coronavirus in Victoria from the recent New South Wales (NSW) incursions, the current lockdown will be extended and travel to Victoria using Red Zone Permits will be temporarily paused, to ensure we run this Delta outbreak to ground.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has declared that the current restrictions in Victoria will remain in place for at least another seven days in order stamp out this Delta variant and keep Victorians safe.  

Just over a week ago, the Delta variant made its way into our state from NSW and since then, Victoria’s contact tracers have worked around the clock to contain this virus but today we still stand with 85 active cases and:

This is how quickly the Delta variant is moving – faster than anything Victoria’s public health experts have seen before it. It means we need to limit movement for a longer period of time so contact tracers can get ahead of the virus, instead of just keeping pace with it.  

This means that current settings will continue for the next seven days until Tuesday, 27 July at 11.59pm. There are only five reasons to leave home: getting the food and the supplies you need, exercising for up to two hours, care or caregiving, work or education if you can’t do it from home, or to get vaccinated at the nearest possible location.

Shopping and exercise must be done within 5kms of your home or the nearest location.

It also means face masks will remain mandatory indoors (not at home) and outdoors unless an exception applies – this includes all workplaces, and secondary schools.

There have been updates to Chrome in the past which have required some changes to the way that cookies from Safetyhub were delivered to the browser.  This has led to some RSS feed issues for some users.

If you clear the cookie cache it should fix the issue.

You can do this just for Safetyhub cookies by:

  1. Going to the window that the video error is showing in
  2. Opening the Chrome Developer tools by any of these methods:
    Navigation: View -> Developer->Developer Tools
    Windows Shortcut:
     Ctrl+Shift+c
    Mac Shortcut: Shift+Command+c
  3. Open application tab and scroll down to Storage -> Cookies
  4. Toggle the Cookies drawer open and right click on the emergency.safetyhub.com cookie
Videos not playing on online learning material.

5. Select ‘Clear’ from the context menu
6. Close developer tools and reload the page

That will reset the cookie for Safetyhub with the new security settings.

Lock down ends tonight at 11.59 pm with some changes to restrictions. List of full restrictions here.

210217 – Full list of restrictionsDownload

A bevy of coronavirus restrictions in Victoria has been rolled back by premier Daniel Andrews in anticipation of a COVID-safe summer.

Mask rules and density limits will be eased for Christmas and workers will begin returning to the office from Sunday.

“Today marks 37 days without a coronavirus case anywhere in our state. This is a remarkable achievement,” Andrews said.

“It is something that every Victorian owns, it is something that every Victorian has built.

“But like most incredibly valuable things, this place is precious and it is fragile. And while today we can take some big steps, not to normal, but to a COVID-safe summer, we all need to remain vigilant and we all need to play our part.”

Masks
From 11.59pm on Sunday, masks will only be required in certain situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

That includes on public transport, in rideshare vehicles and taxis and in some retail settings including shopping centres, supermarkets, department stores and indoor markets.

Andrews said every Victorian must continue to carry a mask with them at all times in case physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Gatherings
Victorians will be able to host 30 people in their homes and outdoor gatherings will increase to 100.

In terms of in-home visits, Andrews said visitors can come from multiple households.

However, it is capped at 30 visitors across the day, meaning Victorians cannot have 30 people over for lunch and another 30 for dinner.

Hospitality, retail and beauty services.
For hospitality venues, the four square metre density rule has been cut to two square metre restrictions, effectively doubling capacity.

Standing service will be allowed, meaning Victorians can get on the beers on their feet again.

QR code record-keeping will be mandatory.For retail and beauty services, business will also move to the one person per two square metres rule.

Face masks are no longer required but remain recommended – with Andrews saying he anticipated many workers would continue to use them.

Nightclubs can also reopen with dancefloors able to host 50 people with a one person per four square metre density rule applicable.

Standing service will also be allowed in those venues.

The same new density limits will also apply for community facilities, like libraries, RSLs, and community halls.

Religious gatherings, weddings and funerals
Religious gatherings, funerals and weddings will also be uncapped and instead restriction to one person per two square metres.

Wedding attendees will be allowed to dance with dancefloors allowed to host up to 50 people with a density of one person per four square metres.

All of the changes will be reviewed at the end of January

Warning on increase in gastro outbreaks in childcare
The Victorian State Government have issued a health alert with regards to gastro outbreaks in childcare.
What is the issue?There has been a recent increase in reports of gastroenteritis (‘gastro’) outbreaks in childcare centres in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.
As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in Victoria, more outbreaks of gastroenteritis are being reported, with eight outbreaks in childcare centres notified to the Department since the start of November.
Gastroenteritis is highly infectious and is caused by viruses, bacteria or parasites. In each case, infection occurs when the agent is ingested. This usually happens in childcare settings when unwashed hands are placed directly in mouths or touch food or drinks.
Who is at risk?Viral gastroenteritis can affect people of all ages. Those most at risk of complications include the elderly and the very young.
Symptoms and transmissionSymptoms of viral gastroenteritis include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, abdominal pain, headache and muscle aches. They can take up to three days to develop and usually last between one or two days, sometimes longer.
The main complication of gastroenteritis is dehydration, but this can be prevented if the fluid lost in vomit and diarrhoea is replaced.
Gastroenteritis is highly infectious and may spread rapidly. The virus is present in the vomit and faeces of an infected person and can spread either: from close contact with infected persons; contact with contaminated surfaces; or consuming contaminated food or drink. Viruses are often spread from person-to-person, and to objects and food via unwashed hands. .
RecommendationsThe best defence against the spread of these viruses, is to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and running water for at least 10 seconds before and after handling and eating food, after using the toilet, changing nappies, or assisting someone who has vomiting or diarrhoea.
Infants or children in childcare or school who develop vomiting or diarrhoea should stay at home for at least 48 hours after their symptoms have stopped, as should staff members and anyone whose work involves handling food or looking after children, the elderly or patients.
Anyone recovering from gastroenteritis should avoid visiting hospitals, childcare centres and aged care facilities to avoid spreading the infection to those most vulnerable. Any person living in a household with someone who has gastroenteritis should refrain from visiting these high-risk facilities until at least 48 hours after the last person in the household has recovered.
Childcare centres are encouraged to reinforce basic hygiene measures, such as regular hand washing (paying particular attention to hand washing after attending to nappy changes), cleaning all hard surfaces and providing education to help prevent the spread of infections. Staff should supervise and assist young children to wash hands properly. Staff should also wear gloves and a mask when cleaning up bodily fluids, including vomit, when symptoms commence at the centre. Disinfect surfaces with a freshly made sodium hypochlorite solution.
If you are concerned about your symptoms consult your doctor for advice.

It’s still a few days out from the official start of Summer but the heat is set to ramp up this week and residents of the Mallee weather region are being urged to heed health warnings with expected 30 plus temperatures 6 days in a row with temperatures expected to get into the low to mid 40’s on some days in the north Western parts of Victoria.

The forecast conditions may cause an increase in heat related illnesses in the community.

Extreme heat can affect anyone. Pregnant women, people with a pre-existing medical condition, people aged over 65 and children and babies are most at risk.

Recognising heat-related illness

Heat can cause illnesses such as heat cramps and heat exhaustion which can lead to the life-threatening condition, heatstroke. Heatstroke is fatal in up to 80% of cases.

Heat can also worsen the condition of someone who already has a medical issue such as heart disease or diabetes. Most reported illness and death is due to the effect of heat on those who are already ill.

If you or someone you know is unwell call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24 for 24-hour health advice or see your doctor.

In an emergency, call 000.

Drink plenty of water
– Keep a full drink bottle with you.Take small sips of water frequently.If your doctor normally limits your fluids, check how much you should drink during hot weather.

Never leave anyone in a car
– Never leave kids, adults or pets in cars – the temperature can double in minutes.-

Stay somewhere cool
– Spend as much time as possible in cool or air-conditioned buildings (shopping centres, libraries, cinemas or community centres).
– Keep yourself cool by using wet towels, putting your feet in cool water and taking cool (not cold) showers.
– Block out the sun at home during the day by closing curtains and blinds.Open the windows when there is a cool breeze.
– Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day.
– If you must go out, wear a hat and sunscreen and take a bottle of water with you.
– Dress yourself and those in your care lightly.
– Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibres like cotton and linen.
– Eat smaller meals more often and cold meals such as salads.
– Make sure food that needs refrigeration is properly stored.
– Avoid intense activity like exercise, renovating and gardening.
– Watch or listen to news reports for more information.
– Don’t forget your pets – a cool bath, wet towel to lie on, a place next to a fan and plenty of fresh water work just as well for animals.

Plan ahead
– Keep up to date with weather forecasts – watch the news daily, check the BOM forecast online and read the current heat health alert on health.vic.
– Cancel non-essential outings and plan essential activities for the coolest part of the day.
– Stock up on food, water and medicines so you don’t have to go out in the heat.
– Visit your doctor to check if changes are needed to your medicines during extreme heat.
– Store medicines safely at the recommended temperature.
– Check that your fan or air-conditioner works well. Have your air-conditioner serviced if necessary.
– Prepare for power failures – ensure you have a torch, battery-operated radio, fully charged mobile phone or battery back-up, food items that don’t require refrigeration, medications, plenty of drinking water and other essential items.
– Look at the things you can do to make your home cooler such as installing window coverings, shade cloths or external blinds on the sides of the house facing the sun.

Check in on others
– Look after those most at risk in the heat – your neighbour living alone, older people, young children, people with a medical condition and don’t forget your pets.
– Keep in touch with friends and family who may need help. Call or visit them at least once on any extreme heat day.
– Encourage them to drink plenty of water.
– Offer to help family, friends and neighbours who are aged over 65 or have an illness by doing shopping or other errands so they can avoid the heat.
– Take them somewhere cool for the day or have them stay the night if they are unable to stay cool in their home.
– If you observe symptoms of heat-related illness, seek medical help.

Today we can confirm you’ll be able to host up to 30 people in your home for Christmas Day. Babies under 12 months won’t count towards the cap.

This change will come into effect from 11.59pm, 13 December, just in time for catch-ups, and Christmas barbies – and for our Jewish communities, the closing days of Hanukkah.

We’re also able to confirm some more immediate changes.

From 11:59pm tonight, the number of visitors to your home will increase from two to 15 per day.

That can be split across different times – ten for lunch, and five for dinner – as long as people are sticking to a total of 15.

Outdoor gatherings in a public place – the park, the beach – will increase to 50.

For those couples who’ve had to delay their special day, weddings will increase to 150 people. The same number will apply to funerals and religious ceremonies indoors.

There’ll be changes for our hospitality sector too.

For smaller venues, the density limit will change to one person for every two square metres – up to 50 customers. QR code record keeping will be mandatory. For bigger venues, the density limit will stay the same, but the cap will increase to 150. Total venue capacity will also rise to 300. 

Cinemas, galleries and museums will also be able to host up to 150 people indoors.

And in good news for community clubs, contact and non-contact sports can begin for adults as well as kids – 150 people indoors with a group size of up to 20 and 500 outdoors with groups of up to 50.

Organisers will also be able to apply to host a public event. Different requirements and rules will need to apply, depending on whether it’s a school fete or a major sporting match.

We’re also able to begin a phased approach for staff heading back to the office. From 30 November, up to 25 per cent of workers will be able to attend onsite.

I want to be clear though – unless you’re one of those people nominated by your employer – you need to keep working from home.

We’re also making some changes to the rules around masks.

In short, you’ll still need to wear one when you’re indoors and on public transport – and where you can’t keep your distance.

But if you’re outdoors and you can keep a safe distance, masks will no longer be mandatory.

For example, you’ll still need to keep your mask on if you’re at a busy outdoor market – or in line for a snag at your local Bunnings.

If you’re headed for a quiet stroll around the neighbourhood, you won’t need to wear a mask – but you will need to carry one, in case the situation changes.

I know for some people, they’ll think this is too slow and still too restrictive.

But the point is, masks are a small sacrifice that help keep all of us safe. 

And as we’ve been reminded so recently, all it takes is one case before you’ve got a much bigger outbreak.

We’ll have more to say about what a “COVIDSafe Summer” will look like in the next few weeks – and in line with what our public health experts are telling us is safe.

For now, though, I want to thank Victorians.

Getting here was by no means guaranteed. But we did it. You did it.

It’s been a long, hard winter.

Now, it’s time to enjoy the sun.

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