Coronavirus (COVID-19) update – 13 July 2022

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update – 13 July 2022 View this email in your browser
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update – Wednesday 13 July 2022 

The Victorian Government has provided more advice on how people can protect themselves and their families this winter, including advice on keeping businesses operating. 
The Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, which are now the dominant strains along the east coast of Australia, are expected to continue to cause increases in new cases, reinfections and hospital admissions. There is also an increase in respiratory illnesses like cold and flu, which, along with COVID-19, are putting additional pressure on hospitals, healthcare workers and supply chains across the country.

Changes to pandemic orders and public health recommendations
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, changes to public health recommendations came into effect at 11:59 pm yesterday; these include:

Mask-wearing in indoor and crowded settings is now strongly recommended across Victoria, and the MMA strongly recommends mask-wearing in all indoor areas of the Melbourne Market
The Minister for Health is requesting that employers consider working from home arrangements most appropriate for their workplace and employees based on individual requirements.
The period when someone is considered a recently confirmed case (and therefore exempt from testing and isolation/quarantine requirements) has been revised to four weeks, down from 12 weeks. This reflects the evidence that new variants of COVID-19 can evade prior immunity gained from infection. Positive COVID cases are still required to isolate for seven days from the day they took their test, but an additional reason to leave home has been added – to provide transport for a household member to obtain food.

Vaccination requirements
It’s important you stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations to ensure you have the most protection you can get. 
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended a fourth vaccine dose for all people over 50, while those aged 30 to 49 may choose to have a fourth dose. For more information regarding recommended boosters for your age group and your individual health circumstances, visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/get-vaccinated
 
Changes made under the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (COVID-19 Vaccination Information) Regulations 2022 now allow employers to collect vaccination information of workers if they choose to implement vaccination requirements within the business. These updated regulations allow businesses and employers to decide on the most appropriate measures to keep their workplaces and workforce as safe as possible from COVID-19. For more information about these changes, visit WorkSafe.

Protecting the fresh produce supply chain
With the fresh produce industry already facing significant challenges, we encourage all market users to follow COVIDSafe practices. If not to protect your own health and your family’s health, then to reduce infection rates, allowing more people to continue to work to keep businesses open and operational. 
 
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