Information regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Community and Club Rugby

by Rugby Australia

In line with the Australian Government’s announcements regarding safe practice, Rugby Australia’s position still stands that all Community Rugby activities are postponed until the first week of May.

Please see below some guidelines on what to do if there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 at your Rugby Club or if you have been in close contact with someone who has the virus. It’s important to stay calm and follow the Australian Government’s Health guidelines which focus on reducing the spread of COVID-19 and act appropriately during isolation.

Furthermore, the current Australian Government position is that all people who enter Australia from any overseas country or have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must self-isolate.

Individual communication:

Firstly, if you have a suspected case please advise your local Public Health Authority and follow their instructions. Secondly, if you are a suspected case or return a positive result to COVID -19 and you have engaged in Rugby related activities over the last 14 days you should also advise your Club President or Secretary

As a Rugby community we are well positioned to get the word out quickly to others that may be affected.

Club communication:

If a Rugby Club is informed of a suspected case the Club President or Secretary should follow the below steps:

  • Contact your Member Union who will then inform Rugby Australia (RA)
  • Notify club Board/Committee and keep them informed throughout the process
  • If not already done so, inform the Public Health Authority of suspected or positive test of COVID-19
  • Stay in contact with the individual player/member to ensure their immediate wellbeing is assured
  • Gather information on the suspected player/members’ past interactions with the club over the past 14 days and in the period commencing 24 hours prior to symptoms occurring
  • Make record of any interactions with other club members:
  • Who the suspected player/member has interacted with;
  • How they interacted (face-to-face, physical contact etc)
  • Where and in what environment (indoor, outdoor, density of gathering)
  • Duration of interactions
  • Once the above is identified, document any club members who interacted with the suspected player/member (include first name, last name, contact number, email address and environment which the contact occurred)
  • With assistance from Member Unions/RA notify all members/players who have had interactions with the suspected player/member
  • The Club should have one person identified as the contact for RA and media related communication. RA will then assist the Club with media communication.

Suspected case:

If you have been identified as at risk of infection with COVID-19 (i.e. you have been in contact with someone who is now a confirmed case or you have returned from overseas) and you have now developed symptoms (such as fever, cough, sore throat, tiredness or shortness of breath) you must isolate yourself in your home or at a health care setting until Public Health authorities inform you it is safe for you to return to usual activities.

If symptoms are serious, you will remain in hospital isolated from other patients.

If you are well enough to return home, please follow the below protocols:

  • Remain in your home and do not attend work, school, university or public gatherings;
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water;
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow;
  • Avoid cooking for or caring for other members of your household;
  • Wear a mask (provided by your doctor) if close contact with other people is unavoidable;
  • Use personal transport where possible e.g. car (if not follow the public transport guide by wearing a mask and avoid close contact with people and follow good hand and cough/sneeze hygiene protocols);
  • Only people you live with should be in the home therefore avoid having visitors;
  • Ask others to purchase necessities for you.

You will be contacted daily by Public Health officers to check on your condition and be provided a phone number to contact them if you have any questions or symptoms arise or worsen.

Family members do not need to isolate themselves unless showing signs of symptoms. They must then return home and inform the Public Health Unit.

If tested negative:

You may be advised that you no longer need to self - isolate and can return to normal activities however this should be guided by your Doctor and the advice of Public Health authorities. If you have recently returned to Australia you must still complete your 14 days of self-isolation as instructed by Border Control.

You should carefully monitor your health for up to 14 days after your last contact with the confirmed case. Any report of new/returning symptoms must be reported to Public Health Unit and you may be required to be tested again.

If tested positive:

You must remain in your home or accommodation until Public Health officers advise it is safe to return to normal activities. This will normally be 1-2 days after your symptoms end.

If your condition deteriorates, seek medical attention:

  • Notify the Public Health officers managing your care by calling the number provided to you
  • Follow the direction of the Public Health officers who may advise you to go to a doctor’s surgery or a hospital
  • Call ahead to a doctor or hospital and inform them that you are a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • Put on the mask provided to you if you need to leave the house
  • When you arrive at the doctor’s surgery or hospital, tell them that you are a confirmed case of COVID-19

If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath:

  • Call 000 and request an ambulance
  • Inform the ambulance officers that you are a confirmed case of COVID-19

People who you have had contact with, including family members and people you live with, will need to isolate themselves for 14 days since their last contact with you.

Full information on COVID-19 Isolation Guide here

Prevent the spread:

Practising good hand and sneezing/coughing hygiene is the best defence against most viruses.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating and after going to the toilet
  • Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • If unwell avoid contact with others and practice social distancing (stay more than 1.5 meters from people).

Further information:

  • For the latest advice, information and resources visit www.health.gov.au
  • Call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450. 
  • The phone number of your state or territory public health agency is available at www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts

This document will be updated weekly but please ensure that you are checking the relevant Government websites for the latest advice.

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