EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT NORFOLK ISLAND (EMNI)


COVID-19 FLIGHTS TO NORFOLK ISLAND

Tuesday, March 31, 2020


Please 'contact us' for more information.

Message from the Medical Superintendent of NIHRACS - COVID 19 Drive-in Testing Unit Norfolk Island

Tuesday, March 31, 2020


30 March 2020


Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service (NIHRACS) has decided to increase testing for COVID-19 on Norfolk Island. This is in line with guidelines set by NSW Health and the Public Health Unit in Sydney. We are also taking into account the remoteness of our geographic position and the fact that we have a large older patient demographic and people with chronic disease. Our remoteness limits access to tertiary medical care and puts limitations on our healthcare service on Norfolk, we are more vulnerable to an outbreak that overwhelms our services, which we don’t want to result in mortality of our residents.


A drive-in testing unit allows us to access more of the public for testing. Currently our nursing staff  is stretched due to the number of tests being taken in people’s homes by a visiting nurse. A drive-in unit allows us to test low risk, mildly unwell people without them entering our medical facility and posing a risk to other patients and staff.


The drive-in testing unit will be available on the grounds of the Norfolk Island Hospital daily from 3pm to 4pm daily. Patients should call the GP clinic on 22091 prior to this time where they will have a telephone consultation with a doctor. The doctor will decide whether they should be swabbed for COVID-19. If that is the decision they will be advised to come to the drive-in unit between 3pm and 4pm that day. The unit will be manned by NIHRACS staff and they will be protected by PPE (gloves, gown, mask, goggles). The person’s throat and nose will be swabbed and this will be sent for testing. They will be advised to stay in self-isolation until advised by a doctor of a negative test result. At present we expect to have some delays in receiving results due to the increased number of tests being processed in Sydney and the reduction in flights from Norfolk.


People will NOT be tested at the drive-in unit if:

  1. They are in self-isolation already. People in self-isolation already, they should stay at home and call the GP clinic for advice if they become unwell. Do not drive to the mobile test unit, the doctor or nurse who talks to you on the phone may advise that we send out a nurse to do a swab at your home or you may be asked to come in to the hospital isolation area. You must wait for our instructions.
  2. They are contacts of someone who is unwell but not unwell themselves. Call the GP clinic for advice and do not drive to the drive-in unit.
  3. They are not unwell. Symptoms of COVID 19 include fever cough, sore throat, fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle pain and less frequently vomiting and diarrhoea. If unsure follow the link below for advice.

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/healthdirect-coronavirus-covid-19-symptom-checker


PLEASE NOTE: If you are very unwell particularly with shortness of breath you should either call the GP clinic or hospital immediately on 22091 or call an ambulance on 000.

Please 'contact us' for more information.

UPDATE ON WASTE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES WHILST IN SELF-ISOLATION

Monday, March 30, 2020


Please 'contact us' for more information.

UPDATED COVID-19 TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR NORFOLK ISLAND

Monday, March 30, 2020



EMNI continues to make decisions on travel to Norfolk Island to ensure that Norfolk Island stays COVID-19 free.

What’s new
1. Stricter controls on residents returning and essential services personnel arriving and continued to be assessed on a case by case basis.  You must ordinarily reside on Norfolk Island to return, or be considered an essential services personnel, and have a valid reason to return,  either medical, compassionate or essential services. 
2. Effective today, all essential services personnel will undertake the full 14-day isolation period with no exceptions.  They cannot leave their place of isolation to undertake their essential services work until the 14-day isolation period is complete.
Essential services personnel include doctors, nurses, emergency services personnel and technicians for critical projects (as determined by the IMT). 
The following was advised to the community on 27 March 2020 and has not changed - 

Inbound travel to Norfolk Island
If you have travelled from outside Australia, you will be required to go into self-isolation in Australia, either in Brisbane or Sydney, for 14 days prior to returning to Norfolk Island, effective immediately. Accommodation and meal costs for the mainland isolation period will be covered. When you return to Norfolk Island, you will be required to undertake a further 14 days of self-isolation.

On Norfolk Island, you will NOT be able to isolate with others who did not travel with you, including your family members or friends who live in the same residence. You will be required to make fully independent living arrangements for the duration of your self-isolation period. If this poses logistical issues for you, please discuss with the Welfare Functional Services Coordinator on +6723 50855 or email sharyn.menzies@nirc.gov.nf. For out of hours’ assistance call the NIPF on +6723 22222.

Outbound travel from Norfolk Island
Non-essential travel for residents to the mainland is no longer permitted if you plan on returning to Norfolk Island prior to 30 June 2020. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the IMT. Essential travel includes medical and compassionate reasons.
Travel between Norfolk Island and mainland Australia is domestic travel. 

Queensland
Queensland restricted access at its borders on 25 March 2020. Anyone travelling to Queensland from overseas or interstate, including Norfolk Island residents, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival. 

There are exemptions including: medical treatment, compassionate grounds, those travelling to and from work, court orders, freight and emergency workers. Medical patients will need to provide a Medicare card and a form demonstrating that they are attending a medical appointment.

New South Wales
At this stage, domestic travellers to New South Wales, including Norfolk Islanders, will not be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This could change.

Outbound travel from mainland Australia
Effective from 25 March 2020, a ban on Australians travelling overseas was put in place. Exemptions apply to some travellers and include:
citizens who normally live overseas
where travel is essential or necessary
where travel is in the national interest and on compassionate and humanitarian grounds.
To have your travel plans approved by the IMT please contact +6723 22222 or email glenn.elder@afp.gov.au. 

Glenn Elder
Incident Controller
EMNI IMT
30 March 2020 



Please 'contact us' for more information.

COVID-19 STAY AT HOME WHENEVER POSSIBLE

Monday, March 30, 2020


To keep the Norfolk Island community COVID-19 free, please stay at home unless you:

  • are shopping for what you need - food and necessary supplies
  • have medical or healthcare needs, including compassionate requirements
  • are exercising in compliance with the public-gathering requirements
  • are going to work or you are studying and you can’t do so remotely.

Coronavirus can be a serious illness for older community members, such as those over 70 years of age, and for those with existing health conditions or comorbidities. Therefore, the National Cabinet’s strong advice is for self-isolation at home to the maximum extent practicable for the following community members:

  • anyone over 70 years of age
  • anyone over 60 years of age who has existing health conditions or comorbidities
  • Aboriginal Australians over the age of 50 who have existing health conditions or comorbidities. 

If you fall into one of these groups and have to travel outside your home, please limit contact with others as much as possible.

Please call the Office of the Administrator on 22152 or office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au for further information.

Glenn Elder

Incident Controller

EMNI IMT

30 March 2020

Please 'contact us' for more information.

COVID-19 RELEASE FROM ISOLATION

Sunday, March 29, 2020



Please 'contact us' for more information.

UPDATED COVID-19 MEASURES FOR NORFOLK ISLAND

Sunday, March 29, 2020


The Incident Management Team (IMT) confirm that the measures announced by National Cabinet on 29 March 2020 will come into effect on Norfolk Island at midnight on Monday, 30 March 2020.

This media release provides these new restrictions and those that were put in place on 24 and 26 March 2020 together in the one document.

For further details on the only reasons you should be leaving your residence at this time, please refer to the EMNI issued media release COVID-19 Stay At Home Whenever Possible dated 30 March 2020.

WHAT’S NEW - Restrictions to come into effect from midnight Monday, 30 March 2020:

  • indoor and outdoor gatherings are limited to two persons only. Exceptions to this limit include:
  • people of the same household going out together
  • family units
  • restrictions on funerals and weddings remain the same:
    • funerals – a maximum of 10 people (refer below)
    • weddings – a maximum of 5 people

The new social gathering restrictions of two persons does not apply to employees in the work place. Where work places have more than two employees, this can continue, however strict adherence to the 1.5 metre / 4 square metre distancing rules apply.

  • playgrounds, skate parks and outside gyms in public places will be closed. Bootcamps and the like will be reduced to two persons, one of whom is the trainer
  • mini-golf can no longer be played
  • no competitions or organised events can be held for Bowls or Golf, however individuals may still participate as long as the new social distancing, and congregation rules are maintained. People are not to gather inside, and your own equipment is to be used; any food or drink is takeaway only.

Restrictions in place since last week:

  • cafés, restaurants, registered and licensed premises are closed, although takeaway service and home deliveries are permitted
  • places of worship are closed
  • gyms and indoor sports facilities are closed
  • the school canteen is permitted to remain open
  • real estate auctions and open-house inspections are prohibited, private appointments for inspections are permitted
  • outdoor food markets are permitted, so long as people practice social distancing
  • hairdressers and barber shops may remain open but the 4 square metre rule per person must be strictly observed within the premises and personal contact should be minimised wherever possible, one client at a time is suggested
  • beauty therapy, nail salons and tattoo parlours are closed
  • health-related massage therapy, osteopathy and physiotherapy are permitted
  • cinemas and theatres are closed
  • play centres including indoor and outdoor playgroups are closed
  • fitness classes, Pilates and yoga classes are closed
  • sporting club houses are closed, EMNI will permit people to play singles tennis and individual golf if they use their own equipment and maintain social distancing, however this will ultimately be a decision of the individual Clubs)
  • social sporting-based activities are prohibited (e.g. squash, rugby and touch football prohibited, but single outrigging would be permitted)
  • swimming lessons in others’ swimming pools are prohibited; all accommodation pools are to be closed
  • galleries, museums and libraries are closed
  • services clubs are closed; those services clubs with restaurants and bars may be open for the purposes of takeaway only
  • weddings may occur with only the couple, celebrant and the two witnesses – a maximum attendance of five people
  • funerals may occur with a maximum attendance of 10 people. The Incident Controller is aware that funerals are of particular importance and cultural significance for the community of Norfolk Island. EMNI is open to addressing funerals on a case-by-case basis, particularly given the outdoor nature of funerals on Norfolk Island.

Services providing food or drink to those in self-isolation are permitted, but must follow the safe distancing requirements.

Please call the Norfolk Island Police Force on 22222 if you have specific questions relating to these measures.

Glenn Elder

Incident Controller

EMNI IMT

30 March 2020

Please 'contact us' for more information.

COVID-19 TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR NORFOLK ISLAND

Friday, March 27, 2020



Please 'contact us' for more information.

CLARIFICATION OF CURRENT COVID-19 MEASURES AND NEW MEASURES FOR NORFOLK ISLAND

Thursday, March 26, 2020


Please 'contact us' for more information.

CLARIFICATION OF CURRENT COVID-19 MEASURES AND NEW MEASURES FOR NORFOLK ISLAND

Wednesday, March 25, 2020


As at 25 March 2020, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Norfolk Island, and Emergency Management Norfolk Island (EMNI) continue to monitor the situation in conjunction with Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service (NIHRACS), and advice received from the Australian Government.

This media release is to provide clarification about restrictions on non-essential businesses and social gatherings announced by the Prime Minister.  On Tuesday 24 March the community was advised that Norfolk Island will adhere to the nation-wide measures.  This decision was made to afford the community maximum protection.

On 24 March 2020, the Prime Minister gave further detail on additional measures that will apply in mainland Australia from 11.59pm Wednesday 25 March 2020.

Please be aware, that the new additional rules consistent with the new and enhanced social distancing measures agreed by the National Cabinet will come into effect on Norfolk Island from 11.59pm Thursday 26 March 2020, giving Norfolk Island one extra day to get prepared.

Restrictions already in place on Norfolk Island from 24 March 2020:

  • Cafés, restaurants and registered and licensed premises are closed, although takeaway service and home delivery is permitted
  • Places of worship are closed
  • Gyms and indoor sports facilities are closed.

Restrictions that will come into effect on Norfolk Island from 11.59am Thursday 26 March 2020:

  • The School canteen is permitted to remain open
  • Real estate auctions and open house inspections are prohibited, private appointments for inspection are permitted
  • Outdoor food markets are permitted, so long as people distance themselves from others
  • Hairdressers and barber shops may remain open but may not have a client for appointments longer than 30 minutes and adhere to strict social distancing, one client at a time is suggested
  • Beauty therapy, nail salons and tattoo parlours are closed
  • Health-related massage therapy, osteopathy and physiotherapy are permitted
  • Cinemas and theatres are closed
  • Play centres including indoor and outdoor play groups are closed
  • Fitness classes, pilates and yoga classes are closed
  • Personal training is prohibited (unless it is outdoors and there are fewer than 10 people who maintain the one person-per-4 square metre rule)
  • Sporting club houses are closed, EMNI will permit people to play singles tennis and individual golf if they use their own equipment and maintain social distancing, however this will ultimately be a decision of the individual Clubs)
  • Social sporting-based activities are prohibited (e.g. squash, rugby and touch football prohibited, single outrigging would be permitted)
  • The Bowls Club, Golf Club and Mini-Golf Shop may remain open under strict conditions. People are not to gather inside, own equipment is to be used wherever possible, and any food or drinks is takeaway only
  • Swimming lessons in others’ swimming pools are prohibited.  All accommodation pools are to be closed
  • Galleries, museums and libraries are closed
  • Services clubs are closed. Those services clubs with restaurants and bars may be open for the purposes of takeaway only
  • Weddings may occur with only the couple, celebrant and the two witnesses - a maximum attendance of five people
  • Funerals may occur with a maximum attendance of 10 people. The Incident Controller is aware that funerals are of particular importance and cultural significance for the community of Norfolk Island. EMNI is open to addressing funerals on a case-by-case basis, particularly given the outdoor nature of funerals on Norfolk Island.

Fundamentally, these measures are about the community avoiding large gatherings.  Do not congregate in large groups indoors or outdoors. Visits to homes should have small numbers. House parties are prohibited.

I also ask that people use their common sense and continue, above all, to keep yourself and the community safe.

Services providing food or drink to those in self-isolation are permitted, but must follow the safe distancing requirements.

It is understood the impact of these new measures on Norfolk Island will be significant. Everyone is asked to work together and support each other, while exercising safe social distancing, as we navigate this unprecedented situation.

Please call the Norfolk Island Police Force on 22222 if you have specific questions relating to this.

Glenn Elder

Incident Controller

EMNI IMT

25 March 2020

Please 'contact us' for more information.

ESSENTIAL SERVICES PERSONNEL NORFOLK ISLAND

Tuesday, March 24, 2020



As of 24 March 2020, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Norfolk Island, and Emergency Management Norfolk Island (EMNI) continue to monitor the situation in conjunction with Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service (NIHRACS), and advice received from the Australian Government.


Residents and non-residents who are deemed to be essential service personnel are not wholly exempt from the mandatory 14-day self-isolation. Under the Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) for the COVID-19 Emergency, essential service personnel are released from self-isolation ONLY for the purposes of fulfilling the essential service and are otherwise to remain in self-isolation, like anyone else. They must limit interaction with the community at all times until the 14 days isolation period has expired.


To be clear and address any confusion, this means that the essential services personnel can only go from home to work and return home again. They cannot go out for food, go shopping, visit family members or conduct any other matters that are not part of their essential services role. If the essential services person resides with family that are not in isolation, on returning home the essential person must continue to isolate themselves from the rest of the family.


They must adhere to the strict conditions imposed on them by the Incident Controller. They must find alternatives like any other person in self-isolation regarding the delivery of food and other necessary items to their house or accommodation and undertake the same precautions – such as keeping a certain distance from the delivery person and have the goods left at their door.


Who or what type of functions are included within essential services?

The Incident Controller, on advice from the Incident Management Team (IMT) determines, on a case-by-case basis, whether the person fulfils an essential service to the community. Essential services include doctors, nurses, emergency services personnel, and technicians for critical projects (as determined by the IMT). For example, it is important that NIHRACS has the staff to function now, and also into the future if further pressures are put on the island’s health service. Release of the essential services personnel is based on advice provided by NIHRACS on the basis of a risk assessment.


Strict conditions on any decision to release:

The essential services person released from the 14-day mandatory self-isolation period for the purposes of fulfilling their essential service must restrict their movements and physical interaction with others for 14 days from date of arrival to Norfolk Island to only those movements and interactions necessary for the fulfilling of the essential service. Any specific additional measures for each individual are provided by the Incident Controller.


No non-essential movements and interactions (including shopping and visiting family members) may occur. Should the person be witnessed undertaking a non-essential activity, the Incident Controller may decide to revoke the decision to release the essential person from self-isolation or issue a fine.


It is important to comply with the self-isolation requirements to protect the Norfolk Island community. If you suspect that someone has broken the 14-day isolation period, please call the Norfolk Island Police Force on 22222 to report information.


Restrictions and requirements for anyone in mandatory 14-day isolation period:

During the 14 days of isolation, you must stay at home or in your accommodation and not go to public places including work, school, childcare, or public gatherings. Only people who usually live with you should be in the home. Do not see visitors. If you are in an accommodation, avoid contact with other guests or staff. If you are sharing a home with others, you should stay in a different room and if possible use a separate bathroom. If you live in a private house, it is safe for you to go into your garden as long as you don’t meet with other people.


If you are well, there is no need to wear a surgical mask at home. Ask others who are not in isolation to get food and necessities for you. If you seek medical care, call the hospital first and they will make arrangements for you to be seen to.


When in isolation, monitor yourself for symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat, tiredness or shortness of breath. Other possible symptoms include chills, body aches and muscle pain.


If you develop symptoms (fever, a cough, sore throat, tiredness and/or shortness of breath) following your return to Norfolk Island, you should make a telephone call to Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service (NIHRACS) for an urgent assessment over the telephone. A doctor or nurse will advise you of next steps. Follow their instructions. DO NOT present to the GP clinic.


Thank you.

Glenn Elder
Incident Controller
EMNI IMT
24 March 2020

Please 'contact us' for more information.