13th March 2020
Dear Karting Australia Members,
In light of recent and rapid developments regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) I want to update you on several matters related to this virus that is affecting the world. Karting Australia on the advice of our Chief Medical Officer will be leading the response to Covid-19 for our sport. We will do so with our Member States and we will be expecting our Member States to lead their Clubs consistent with the approach that we will be taking.
As you would expect, Karting Australia’s number one priority is the health and safety of our drivers, officials, volunteers, families, industry members and supporters of karting (the Karting Australia Family).
You would all be aware that earlier today, the 2020 Australian Rolex Formula 1 Grand Prix was cancelled following confirmation that a member of the McLaren Racing Team has tested positive for Covid-19. The Grand Prix is a far cry from a karting event in so many ways – not the least of which is the number of people who would gather at those events.
Across the country there appear to be many different responses to different ‘mass gathering’ situations. The likelihood of confusion and mixed messaging in a situation like this is high. We want to avoid that and to ensure that the Karting Australia family is properly informed on this issue with the best advice that is available to us.
As a result, it may become necessary for our Clubs and promoters of events to introduce several measures in the short-term designed to minimise the risk of our people contracting the virus, including the following:
Under the advice from the relevant authorities, these are all important measures that we need to implement in the short to mid-term at least. There are likely to be more to come.
I would urge all our members and supporters to take their advice on Covid-19 only from reputable sources not the social media community and media outlets that have placed their own spin of the issue. By that I mean get your advice from the Commonwealth and State Departments of Health. These links to the following sites will provide you with the best information in relation to Covid-19 and I would urge you, if you have any concerns at all to check the most up to date information on Covid-19 here as these government health websites are updated on a daily basis:
We will be making informed decisions based on expert opinions recommendations and rulings including those of the Australian and State Chief Medical Officers who have been advising our governments and Karting Australia’s Chief Medical Officer.
Should it become necessary to consider the cancellation or postponement of any events, we will look wherever possible to make such a decision in conjunction with the host club, the promoter and the state association involved. However, if a hard decision needs to be made – we will make it in what we believe, on an informed basis, is in the best interests of the Karting Australia Family.
With the continuing spread of the Covid-19, Karting Australia is seeking to preserve the health of all who attend our Clubs and events.
We trust though that as a Karting Australia member or supporter, who is invested in the welfare of our people, you will understand the necessity of these precautions.
We understand this is a very unsettling period for the world at the moment. The idea of any disruption to our sport is a bitter pill to swallow, but common sense must prevail.
Please take all the necessary precautions to stay healthy, and we will keep you informed of any developments, particularly as they pertain to your membership and interaction with the Club through this difficult time.
Karting Australia – Chief Executive Officer
The full COAG media conference can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/7NEWSBrisbane/videos/209741993602060/
The Prime Minister and all State Premiers met today at COAG. The Prime Minister and Australia’s Chief Medical officer gave a lengthy media conference after the meeting.
It is clear from the reporting of the COAG Media Conference this afternoon that the comments by the Prime Minister and Australia’s Chief medical officer when referring to the advice to the government “against organised, non-essential gatherings of persons of 500 people” has and will be misinterpreted and mis-reported. The relevant transcript quotes about gatherings of 500 people or more follow at the bottom of this email so that you can see what was really said.
It is clear from the reporting of the COAG Media Conference this afternoon that the comments by the Prime Minister and Australia’s Chief medical officer when referring to the advice to the government “against organised, non-essential gatherings of persons of 500 people” have been misinterpreted and mis-reported already.
Prime Minister Morrison has said that by Monday the Government will be
“advising against organised, non-essential gatherings of persons of 500 people or greater from Monday. Now that doesn’t include schools, it doesn’t include university lectures or getting on public transport or going to airports of things of that nature.
These events that we are seeking to advise against or restrict is for non-essential organised gatherings of persons of 500 or more. Now there’ll be many issues to work through between now and Monday as we get the precise advice about the implementation of that advice to Australian around the country.”
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer reiterated that “the risk to the Australian community in general still remains low… we want to be as far ahead of the game as any country.”
When asked about the gatherings of 500 people of more Dr Murphy responded:
“Generally speaking we are talking about a static gathering where people are together for a period of perhaps up to two hours is generally where you have a high risk of exposure. Casual exposure walking through a train station or an airport is much much lower risk.
So we’re talking about those constant period of contact. 500 is the epidemic modelers around the world suggested that (500) is a reasonable number.”
Immediately the media started inaccurately reporting his statement. Watch the video in the link above to hear what he really said.