As has been widely communicated throughout the media, the coronavirus outbreak is now a global pandemic and the number of people affected is rising fast throughout the world, including Australia. Our thoughts are with you all and your families in what are almost unprecedented times. I wish those directly affected a full and speedy recovery.
I know you will all be watching how fast this situation is evolving and it is easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of information and the rate of change. I have attempted here to put together some key links to the primary sources of data of relevance to you all at work and home so that you can be informed with the right information to make decisions you may need to make for the health and safety of yourself, family and friends. This information can also be used if you are still considering holding any table football gatherings.
Many clubs are wisely cancelling planned gatherings until the situation improves, in line with what the likes of grassroots football has now implemented via FFA. At the request of the organisers, the Brisbane FISTF Satellite event planned for July has been cancelled. I fully support this decision. Whilst ATFA does not control club activity, particularly social or WASPA events, you must comply with ever evolving government-imposed restrictions on gatherings which the Prime Minister has now indicated may last for 6 months. Many ATFA members or their direct family are in higher risk categories given their age or compromised immunity systems. People can have the virus with little or no symptoms but transfer it to those at higher risk from the disease. Half a game of Table Football falls within the current health definition of close contact. With all this in mind, I personally strongly caution against any table football events being held at this point. Members of our community are establishing a solo league for those keen to continue some level of participation in the game. For details head to:
This is an extremely challenging time for all of us. It is a time to look out for each other. Be mindful of the mental health as well as physical effects on each other of the outbreak, and the potential to be distracted at work or on the road. Many people will also be undergoing significant financial hardship and the additional stress this creates. During this time you, your family or people you know may experience feelings of anxiety, distress and concern in relation to the COVID-19 www.beyondblue.org.au can provide support and advice, they can also help you identify other resources where you can get support.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert: Federal Government Information
The World Health Organization has announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic. The central resource to find out how the government are monitoring and responding to the outbreak, how you can help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia, and what to do if you have symptoms is found at www.health.gov.au. The government also report the latest official medical advice and case numbers on this site which is regularly updated as the situation and status of knowledge evolves.
You can find key information on topics such as:
- how to protect yourself and others;
- symptoms and when to get tested;
- who to contact if you are concerned; and
- additional advice for travellers, and health and aged care sectors.
Checklist for individuals and families
As a family, you can plan and make decisions now that will protect you and your family during a COVID-19 outbreak. Creating a household plan can help protect your health and the health of those you care about in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has a checklist to help you take steps to plan and protect the health of you and your family. This is available online and includes guidance on:
- Planning ahead to be ready
- Cleaning and disinfection recommendations
- Checklist to get your household ready
- What to do if you are sick
Football Federation Australia: COVID-19 response
The Football Federation of Australia (FFA) has also made some announcements regarding the impact of COVID-19 on all levels of the code. To stay abreast of the latest announcements, check with your local club (if you are a member) or the FFA website:
Whilst ATFA is not part of FFA, many of our members or their families still are active participants in football at some level. FFA directive may also serve as useful guidance on whether to hold table football events for your local club.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice for Workplaces
The Safe Work Australia website is an excellent resource to help workplaces and has been updated with a specific page to advise businesses: