As a health organisation, ACON continues to follow developments regarding COVID-19 very closely. We take guidance from state and federal health agencies, and continue to encourage people in our communities to stay informed and keep up to date with official advice and instructions.
Last Sunday, ACON put out a message to ask people to apply the best advice to their personal circumstances, and that intimacy carries additional risk. Today, we are putting out a more direct recommendation to observe social distancing, as per the advice of health officials, which is that people need to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between each other, and avoid physical contact such as shaking hands, hugging and kissing.
We know our communities are responsible when it comes to looking after their health and the health of their partners. With the current situation surrounding COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, we strongly encourage everyone to not engage in casual sex at this time. Touching and kissing are key areas for transmission, and direct personal contact is a risk for transmission. That is why we are being asked to practice social distancing.
Messages to reinforce the need for social distancing have strengthened this week. While COVID-19 is not a sexually transmitted infection, physical contact during sex carries a risk of transmission – and this is not in keeping with the important public health measures everyone in the general community are being asked to observe.
Our communities are not being targeted with this advice – media and other stories have been generated on this topic for the general population. We all need to play our part. It is important we look to other means to stay socially connected, including using alternative, more virtual means to engage with prospective sexual partners from the comfort of your own home.
We note that public health officials have distinguished between interactions with the general public, and personal contact with partners and others in your home environment. Sexual relationships in your usual domestic situation are not being advised against, however good hygiene practices are important at this time.
We continue to remind everyone that if you are sick or feeling unwell, please stay home and avoid contact with others. If you develop known symptoms such fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath, please contact a medical practitioner (and call ahead) or contact healthdirect on 1800 022 222. If you have come recently returned from overseas or have come into contact with someone who has acquired COVID-19, you must self-isolate for 14 days. Everyone needs to remember to always practice good hygiene.
Respectfully, and with the health of our community clearly in mind, we ask that you play your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. People in our communities have rallied together in times of adversity to care for each other before. We can and will again.
David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications
E: [email protected] T: (02) 9206 2044 M: 0428 477 042