Sept 11/21:Wagga Enthusiastically Reopens As Covid Restrictions Ease
As health professionals, proud locals (& lovers) of Wagga – and your Wagga family dentists, we wanted to share the news, a summary of the latest rules and give some critical health advice.
Wagga Wagga was one of the New South Wales towns enjoying our newfound freedom this weekend. As stay-at-home orders and lockdown restrictions eased on September 11, 2021, people wasted no time to get out and about.
According to ABC News, the Farmers Home Hotel didn’t miss a beat, opening its doors as soon as the lockdown lifted at midnight. At least 50 patrons ventured out for a much-anticipated drink and a social session at the first available opportunity.
According to bar manager Ryan Wardsman, as soon as it was announced that the lockdown would end on Thursday, “the phones were flat out all day”.
Change of lockdown orders
A change to lockdown orders came after Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro during last Thursday mornings Covid 19 press conference. This was alongside their announcement of the New South Wales roadmap to reopening once the state reaches a double dose vaccination rate of 70%.
Wagga has not had a positive Covid 19 case in anyone living locally in more than a year. And, although opinions surrounding our lockdown restrictions vary, we’d like to remind everyone to remain vigilant to avoid any future outbreaks.
Although the latest news is excellent, we’re not entirely out of the woods yet. We must keep doing ‘all the things’ when out and about – social distancing, square metre rules, washing hands, wearing masks and keeping up the QR code check-in!
Jesse Rendell, manager of Wagga’s Trail Street Coffee Shop, was happy to see restrictions ease. Although the business still traded during lockdown, providing food and take away, he says it still hurt – especially as a lack of personal interaction ground down to a near halt.
“A lot of the joy of Cafés comes from serving the customers day in, day out,” he said.
“When you have to put a mask on, and it’s just a takeaway transaction, you’re not really building much relationship there.
“I think it can wear people down a bit.”
They were quick to remind people on Facebook that although restrictions were easing, people must abide by the rules – put those masks on, keep social distancing, QR check-ins, etc.
Wagga Covid vaccination rates
Our vaccination rates are increasing healthily. You can see the full breakdown of Australian LGA Covid vaccination rates here.
As of the fifth of September, 66 % had received their first dose, and 42.7 % had received their second.
Vaccines: still sitting on the fence?
If you’re still nervous about the vaccine, please try not to be. We understand its normal and healthy to have questions and concerns, so you’d like to talk through your concerns, please do so with an appropriately qualified health professional. Alternatively, call one of the support lines listed below. Don’t go to Facebook or someone with excellent massage skills or talents in making organic bread for advice.
If you are pro-vaccine – this is great news. You are acting as a positive role model in the community, which is a successful move on several fronts. But if you have friends or family sitting on the fence, you may want to read this article on discussing vaccines with others.
NSW & Federal Support Telephone Lines
- NSW Health Vaccination Support Line: 1800 57 11 55
- Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS) 131 450
- Call Service NSW (available 24/7):13 77 88
- National Coronavirus & Covid 19 Vaccine Helpline: 1800 020 080
- Report public health order offences to Crimestoppers: 1800 333 000
- Coronavirus Disability Information Helpline: 1800 643 787
- Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Rule Changes at a Glance
The Daily Advertiser has conveniently provided a handy list of “Rule Changes at a Glance”. These include:
- Masks remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, e.g. retail and business premises, planes and airports, public transport, front-of-house hospitality
- Only hospitality staff are required to wear a mask outdoors
- Kids under 12 do not need to wear a mask indoors
- Up to 5 visitors allowed in a home (not including kids aged 12 and under)
- Up to 20 people can gather in an outdoor setting
Hospitality, gyms and retail stores
- Generally speaking, hospitality venues, retail stores and gyms must abide by the 4 m2 rule inside. However, further restrictions regarding the maximum number of clientele apply.
- Schools will reopen with Level 3 Covid-safe measures in place
Major outdoor recreation facilities, theatres and stadiums
- The 4 m2 rule still applies, with up to 500 people allowed to attend outdoor events.
- Caravan parks and camping grounds can open
Dental treatment restrictions have also been eased. All Wagga dentists are now operating on Level I restrictions. This means that we can see most people for most procedures. But remember, when you come to our clinic, please:
- Scan the QR code when entering Wagga Marketplace
- Use the hand sanitiser we provide when entering & exiting our clinic
- Scan the QR code when entering our dental clinic
- Wear a face mask
- The Daily Advertiser: https://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/story/7422919/lockdown-lifted-what-new-covid-19-rules-mean-for-riverina/?cs=9612
- ABC News: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-11/nsw-regions-celebrate-coming-out-of-lockdown/100453454
- The Daily Advertiser: https://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/story/7422805/lockdown-to-lift-in-riverina-regional-nsw-as-state-records-1405-cases/?cs=9445
- NSW Health – vaccination rates – https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2021/09/covid-19-vaccination-local-government-area-lga-6-september-2021-covid-19-vaccination-local-government-area-lga.pdf
- Health Engine – vaccination centres: https://healthengine.com.au/appointments/covid–19-vaccinations/NSW/Wagga-Wagga-Bc-2650/NextAvailable?icid=cov%3Aserp%3Aalb%3A%3A%3Agp%3Afcw%3A%3A%3Amar21
- NSW Health – Vaccination clinics https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/health-and-wellbeing/covid-19-vaccination-nsw/vaccination-clinics-regional-and-rural#wagga
- ABC News – Discussing vaccinations with friends: https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2021-03-29/coronavirus-vaccines-concernes-conversation-guide/100018588