The Northern Football Netball League wishes to issue the following statement regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the potential impact on the upcoming season.

The health and safety of all NFNL staff, players, umpires, club personnel and spectators is paramount to the NFNL. Therefore, we are closely monitoring the situation in consultation with the AFL, relevant government bodies and health authorities.

The NFNL will continue to work with the AFL and AFL Victoria and take advice from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Australian Department of Health and Vic Sport.

At this stage the NFNL season and events will continue as planned.

In relation to the 2019-20 Summer Netball semi finals to be played at La Trobe University on Friday March 13, Professor John Dewar, the Vice-Chancellor and President of La Trobe University, has issued the below message:

“The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority, and the University is working closely with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and following their advice.

The University has sought advice from DHHS on whether closure was required and DHHS have advised that it was not, and that all teaching, research and administrative activities can continue. We will continue to monitor the situation, working closely with DHHS, and we will alert our community immediately if advice from the DHHS changes.

The DHHS has undertaken contact tracing to identify close and casual contacts with whom the affected person has recently been in contact and they are being asked to self-isolate and report any symptoms.

The limited number of areas the student visited last week have been deep cleaned in accordance with DHHS guidelines.

Everyone is reminded to continue to practise good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene, which is the best defense against most viruses.”

Below is a message issued by AFL Victoria:

Statement to staff/community football bodies

Dear all,

The purpose of this message is to provide an update in relation to the ongoing situation with coronavirus (Covid-19).

The health and safety of our staff, players and fans is paramount, therefore we are closely monitoring the situation, regularly consulting with the AFL, Australian Government and the World Health Organisation. A trusted source of information is the dedicated page set up by the Australian Government’s Department of Health.

Detailed below are some practical measures to minimise any potential exposure and disruption to our competitions.

1. General Practices

The current understanding is that Covid‐19 is spread from person‐to‐person when people are in close contact or when an infected person coughs or sneezes, releasing the virus into the air as droplets. These droplets can then enter another person’s mouth or nose or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Infection may also be spread by touching a surface contaminated with Covid‐19 then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

Symptoms of Covid‐19 infection typically begin 2‐14 days after exposure and include fever, fatigue, muscle aches and cough. More severe symptoms include diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia.

If you have not been in an area where Covid‐19 is spreading or been in close contact with someone who has and is now infected, your chances of getting Covid‐19 are currently low. However, it’s understandable that people may feel anxious about the situation.

The precautions outlined below are recommended to limit your exposure and prevent the spread of germs:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol‐based hand sanitiser
• Cover your mouth to cough or sneeze

2. Overseas Travel

Before you leave

Please advise your club (player, coach, umpire or volunteer) or Manager (staff) of any planned overseas travel between now and the next six months. This will allow us to plan ahead should the travel restrictions or self-isolation requirements change.

While we appreciate overseas travel is often planned many months in advance, we ask that you reconsider non-essential travel to the above countries.

Returning from overseas

If you have travelled to Mainland China, Iran, Italy or South Korea (countries listed by the Australian Government) in the last 14 days, you will need to:

• stay at home and self-isolate for the next 14 days
• monitor your health
• obtain a medical clearance from a doctor before returning to work

Please contact your club or manager immediately to talk through what arrangements need to be made.

If you have travelled to Japan, Mongolia, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore or Thailand in the last 14 days, you will need to:

Contact your club or manager immediately to talk through appropriate health and safety measures. This may include providing medical clearance from a doctor.

3. Feeling Unwell?

If you are feeling unwell, we ask that you please seek prompt medical advice and talk with your club and manager about temporary suitable work arrangements for you and to ensure the welfare of your team members.

The Northern Football Netball League acknowledges that our community may be feeling anxious during the COVID-19 outbreak.

We wish to remind all members of our community that it is important that we acknowledge the impact of the outbreak and continue to work together and care for each other as a community during this difficult period.