During times like this with grave concern about the coronavirus outbreak, our highest priority is to protect the health and welfare of all our students. We take these concerns seriously, but we do not take it with fear. Fear can lead to panicking and premature decisions. Although, the threat is real, comparatively, the common flu, that we experience annually here in Victoria, estimates in Australia, influenza on average causes 3,500 deaths, about 18,000 hospitalisations and 300,000 GP consultations each year. The coronavirus, which began in China, began without any knowledge of the contagious effects, so people were unprepared. We will not be fearful but we shall be informed, aware, and prepared! Hence, sensible and intentional precautions will be taken.
We will stay current with the developments of this virus and will make timely decisions along the way, but any major decision about closing is not necessary at this point. We only ask that each person be wise and use extra care in hygiene practices so we can all remain healthy.
Bellarine Performing Arts Coronavirus Action Plan consists of the following;
-Be aware of the facts of the virus.
Do not react to rumours or fear-mongering. However, do not be ignorant either. Emphasise and practice good hygiene habits. The virus can remain in a person’s system without showing any symptoms for up to two weeks, so you can catch it and not know until it is too late. BPA will be taking extra precautions and will eliminate person to person contact during drama exercises.
Postpone travel to international areas and areas with high infection rates.
-Be aware of those who may be showing symptoms
Detection technology is being developed. However, in the meantime, we encourage any student who is coughing, has a temperature, and/or has respiratory problems, to stay home. If it continues, seek medical attention.
-Follow sensible practices regarding personal hygiene. The World Health Organisation recommends:
Wash your hands frequently. Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol.
-Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick. During this time, learn good habits of hygiene. Use this current concern to teach children to avoid touching their noses, eyes and mouths.
-Practice respiratory hygiene.
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the used tissue immediately.
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early. Stay home if you feel unwell. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
If you develop a fever or cough, seek medical advice and isolate yourself. The list of countries impacted is changing and therefore please check the Australian Government Department of Health website for the list of countries impacted and follow the advice provided.
Please find the following links to the most recent and comprehensive information provided by:
The Australian Government - Department of Health
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services
The Victorian Department of Education
One of our highest priorities is to stay balanced in the midst of a fallen world but we cannot exit out of the world. Instead, we must remain vigilant, and we will stay current with the changing conditions around us on the Bellarine. However, should decisions need to be made, we will be courageous to do so and those decisions will be communicated clearly.
Thank you for your support and understanding during this time.