SPECIAL EDITION | March 12 2020
It appears as though the COVID-19 Coronavirus will continue to develop and affect us in Australia in many ways.

On behalf of the NSW Wine Industry Association, we would like to express our sympathies with those individuals, families and businesses that are already suffering as a direct result of this virus. 
 
We wanted to relay some information gathered across mainly government websites to help with the protection of staff and visitors from this virus and also answer some FAQs.

The NSW Government health website is the recommended destination for information and is regularly updated so worth keeping an eye on.
 
There is also a good document on the federal Govt Health Website which details advice for hotels and staff ( CLICK HERE ). This is the most closely aligned document for Cellar Doors and Wine Tourism destinations.
 
Lastly we have included an FAQ document ( CLICK HERE ) courtesy of the Restaurant and Catering Association.
 
Here are a few top line pieces of information ...
 
Symptoms
  • Patients may have fever, cough, runny nose, shortness of breath and other symptoms.
  • In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia with severe acute respiratory distress.

What is the difference between COVID-19 and the flu?
  • The first symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza (flu) infections are often very similar. They both cause fever and similar respiratory symptoms, which can then range from mild through to severe disease, and sometimes can be fatal.
  • Both viruses are also transmitted in the same way, by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with hands, surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus. As a result, the same public health measures, such as hand hygiene (hand washing), good respiratory etiquette (coughing into your elbow or into a tissue and immediately disposing of the tissue) and good household cleaning are important actions to prevent both infections.
  • The speed of transmission is an important difference between the two viruses. Influenza typically has a shorter incubation period (the time from infection to appearance of symptoms) than COVID-19. This means that influenza can spread faster than COVID-19.
  • While the range of symptoms for the two viruses is similar, the fraction with severe disease appears to be higher for COVID-19. While most people have mild symptoms, approximately 15% of people have severe infections and 5% require intensive care in a hospital ICU. The proportions of severe and critical COVID-19 infections are higher than for influenza infections.
 
Prevention
Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet - you may want to put this poster up at your place of work
  • We recommend placing alcoholic hand wash dispensers in your Cellar Doors and Tourism facilities for use by both staff and customers
  • Cover your cough, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • And if unwell, avoid contact with others (> 1.5 meters from people).

Actions for staff who develop symptoms and/or suspect they may be unwell
  • Immediately isolate yourself from others in your work and home;
  • Call your usual doctor or local hospital and tell them you may have novel coronavirus infection; and
  • When you get to the doctor’s clinic or hospital, tell them again that you may have novel coronavirus infection; and
  • As soon as possible, please call your employer to notify them that you have developed symptoms and will be tested for the novel coronavirus.
 
Clear staff guidelines
Hotel staff can not work in hotels if they have:
  • Left or transited through a higher risk country that requires isolation (go to www.health.gov.au/covid19-travellers for specific advice on isolation requirements)
  • Been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus in the last 14 days (they must isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case).

We hope you find these notes and links helpful.