A message from the CEO: Landcare NSW’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Given the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its declaration by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a public health emergency on 30th January 2020, we are taking action to help ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of our Landcare community, partners and supporters.

COVID-19 is having a substantial impact on communities and individuals across the world. Our thoughts go out to those who have been directly impacted by this crisis.

At Landcare NSW, we will be issuing regular internal policy updates to keep our team members informed and safe. We are relying heavily on the advice provided at both the Federal and State level.

We are in the advantageous position of staff being spread throughout a state-wide network, many working remotely, as of today (17 March 2020) we have instructed all our staff, if possible, to work from home. We suggest that all Coordinators work directly with their host organisations to discuss their work arrangements as guided by the Department of Health.

Interstate travel has been stopped until further notice with meetings run via video conferencing.

Due to the fluid nature of this situation we will continue to review our position based on government advice and will notify you if there is any change to this.

At present we are working with stakeholders and partners to address any concerns and contingency measures relating to any projects our network facilitates.

Under the guidance of the State and Federal Department of Health, the most effective way to help prevent the spread of viruses, is to practise good hygiene and social distancing. This is additionally crucial for those who visit or work with vulnerable groups.

Good hygiene includes:
• covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
• disposing of tissues properly
• washing your hands often with soap and water, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet for at least 30 seconds
• using alcohol-based hand sanitisers
• cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
• if you are sick, avoiding contact with others and staying more than 1.5 metres away from people

Read more about protective measures against coronavirus on the World Health Organization website.

Social distancing includes:
• staying at home when you are unwell
• avoiding large public gatherings if they’re not essential
• keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people whenever possible
• minimising physical contact, especially with people at higher risk such as older people and people with existing health conditions
• If you have returned from an overseas trip you are now required to self-quarantine to avoid future spread of the infection.

Find out more about social distancing and avoiding public gatherings and visits to vulnerable groups.

You should also follow our advice for travellers and advice for public gatherings and visits to vulnerable groups.

Additionally, we advise that if you are planning to, or are holding Landcare activities, you follow the state and federal governments advice listed above and regularly check their websites for updated advice to ensure that everyone emerges from COVID-19 safe and sound.