Australia (9news)

NSW declares first major shift in social distancing guidelines

By October 5, 2020 8 Comments
NSW can expect cluster outbreaks during May as students return to school and social distancing measures are eased in the state, the government has warned.
Premier Gladys Berejikilian today announced the first significant change will begin on Friday, with two adults now able to visit the homes of friends and family.
READ MORE:Some shops to begin reopening across Australia
Graph showing daily COVID-19 tests and coronavirus cases in New South Wales, Australia.
Graph showing daily COVID-19 tests and coronavirus cases in New South Wales, Australia.(9News)
“We are introducing normality in some spheres of life,” Ms Berejiklian said.
She said that “unfortunately” NSW will see a rise in cases as restrictions ease and kids go back to school, but stressed government and health experts were prepared for this likely outcome.
It was “inevitable” there will be some cluster outbreaks in the community and times when a school would be shut down temporarily, she said.
In Term 1, when the coronavirus was spreading far more aggressively, some NSW schools were briefly closed for deep cleaning and contact tracing, after a teacher or student tested positive.
This would happen again in Term 2, the premier cautioned. But the easing was an expression of “gratitude” for NSW residents complying with isolation measures.
Ms Berejikilian today announced five new cases in the state, a stark contrast to the month of March when NSW was sometimes reporting 200 daily cases.
An 89-year-old woman who was a resident at aged-care facility Newmarch House died overnight, taking the number of deaths at the home to seven.
The Anglicare Newmarch House cluster now totals 53 infections, including 34 residents and 19 staff.
Although the NSW government has not put any limitations on the purposes of the new guidelines on visits, she urged cautioned when visiting the home of anyone over the age of 70 or with underlying health conditions.
“Just be responsible,” she said.
“This isn’t a license to go wild and have massive parties.”
Young children are able to tag along with adults on the visits.
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