Reducing isolation requirements shouldn’t change our mindset 

1 September 2022

The ANMF (SA Branch) is urging South Australians not to become complacent despite a change to COVID-19 isolation requirements.

As of Friday, September 9, people who test positive for COVID-19 symptoms will only be required to isolate for five days.

But disability and aged care staff and other workers in high-risk settings along will people still displaying symptoms would be required to isolate for seven days.

The changes following a National Cabinet meeting on Thursday. The five-day isolation requirement falls in line with policy in the United States while there’s no mandatory isolation in the United Kingdom.

ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM said while COVID-19 cases are dropping the pandemic is not over.

“It is important people continue to wear masks, wash their hands regularly and social distance, particularly in hospital and aged care settings,” Ms Dabars said.

“Our health system remains under enormous strain and our workforce is already stretched to the limit, so we need to protect those who are looking after our loved ones.

“We have been warned Australia could face another wave of COVID-19 infections later this year and we need to keep that in mind in our pandemic planning.”   

In July, the ANMF (SA Branch) and other health-related unions produced a television commercial reminding people of the basic COVID-19 precautions the community should take.

At the time one of our members involved in the advertisement said, “Staff anxiety is through the roof; we don’t know what’s coming through the door and we don’t know what we are taking home to family”.

“It’s not only because of the COVID situation but because of influenza and there are other situations out there as well."