Should shearers wear a mask? Use your common sense says government

Should shearers wear a mask? Use your common sense says government

Dairy
SENSE: Victorian premier Daniel Andrews says the default position is that you should be wearing a mask, but common sense needs to apply.

SENSE: Victorian premier Daniel Andrews says the default position is that you should be wearing a mask, but common sense needs to apply.

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Premier says common sense rule applies in onfarm wearing of face masks.

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Update Friday: "We're introducing these measures to reduce transmission of coronavirus. If workers from outside the household come onto the farm, everyone should wear a mask to prevent spreading infection," a government spokesperson said.

"But there will be times when this just isn't practical - like in strenuous farm work such as shearing. Workers should use commonsense and take other steps to limit the spread of the virus, like distancing."

Today Victoria recorded 627 new cases of coronavirus since yesterday, with the total number of cases now at 10,577.

Victoria's Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said the overall total had increased by 579 due to 48 cases being reclassified - largely due to duplication.

Within Victoria, 77 of the new cases were linked to outbreaks or complex cases and 550 were under investigation.

Thursday: Keeping the numbers low in regional Victoria was the primary reason for the introduction of new restrictions and wearing of face masks announced today.

Premier Daniel Andrews said Thursday that state-wide there were 255 coronavirus cases in regional areas.

He said of that number 159 were in the six local government areas where from 11.59pm tonight no visitors would be allowed to people's homes.

The areas were Colac Otway, Greater Geelong, Surf Coast, Moorabool, Golden Plains and Borough of Queenscliff council areas.

"By not seeing your mate, you might be saving their life. By not hugging your mum, you might be keeping her alive. And by covering your face, you're contributing to the safety of every single Victorian. Day by day, decision by decision - we can get on top of this. But we need your help," he said.

Mr Andrews said that while the regional numbers were relatively low, "but that's where we want to keep them".

He said the aim was to "put the brakes on" and keep numbers low and where there were no numbers to keep it "at zero".

"Masks is easy..but the public health benefit is significant," he said.

He said it was decided to make mask wearing mandatory across all of Victoria rather than having different rules for different areas.

Mr Andrews said the wearing of masks on a family farm was not necessary unless the farm also had employees or family members who lived off farm that came i each day.

In that case everyone should wear a mask, family members and employees, he said.

"If you have staff from beyond your property or household you need to put your mask on," he said.

He said farmers needed to use a mask as soon as they left the farm gate.

"In my universal experience think common sense runs deepest in regional Victoria, and particularly in farming environments, and I think people will work it out," he said.

"If you're out checking on calving heifers and it's just you in the ute, you don't need to wear a mask. But if you have the farm manager, two staff, or the stock and station agent of vet is out with you...then you have a mask on.

"The best thing to do is wear the mask so you are not contributing to the spread of the virus as you have people moving in and out of your property - and coming in and out of contact with you.

"It's practical common sense - who are you coming into contact with, who might you be getting it from or giving it to.

"If everyone uses that common sense judgment then I think we can find our way through."

He said seasonal workers who moved from property to property would need to wear a mask.

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