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How Supercars will react if coronavirus hits events

Simon Chapman

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Thursday 11th June, 2020 - 2:00pm

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Supercars will introduce strict social distancing restrictions at its events

Supercars will use the “highest level of vigilance and suspicion” to combat the possibility of a coronavirus outbreak at its events this year.

The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship is set to resume with the Sydney SuperSprint on June 27-28 where strict coronavirus mitigation procedures will be enforced.

Speedcafe.com has obtained the Return to Racing document by Supercars, which outlines its plan for events in a coronavirus environment.

The document, which is current as of June 10, is based on the Federal, State, and Territory Government guidelines.

As previously reported, Supercars will do what it can to lower the risk of an outbreak, but if one were to hit an event then Supercars would consult and collaborate with Government on its next steps.

The document reads, “If more than one individual at an event (or due to attend an event) tests positive for COVID-19, Supercars Australia will consult and collaborate with Government on next steps.

“Regardless, all positive tests at events, or for individuals due to attend events, will be communicated to Government and Government will be provided with post-event reviews of all matters relating to COVID-19 that occur at each event.

“All first aid/medical facilities will be regularly cleaned as directed by Government (including, for example, bleach solution or appropriate detergent wipes.”

Furthermore, medical professionals will be appropriately equipped to deal with any suspected infections.

The document continues, “All local emergency staff, ambulance and medical providers will be required to have specific and appropriate processes and personal protective equipment (“PPE”) to manage suspected COVID-19 patients, including N95/P2 masks (or greater), protective eyewear, appropriate gowns, and pathways for assessment, management and referral.”

The document does not confirm whether an event will or will not continue if one or more individuals are suspected to have coronavirus.

If individuals suspect they may have contracted coronavirus or have any symptoms (fever, respiratory symptoms, shortness of breath, sore throat, cough, lack of sense of smell or fatigue) they must seek testing.

Individuals must self isolate if they have symptoms or test positive for the virus.

Personnel attending events will be educated on the risks, coronavirus symptoms, and testing requirements, and as such will need to self-monitor their health.

Supercars has encouraged its teams to have an influenza vaccine during winter; however, it is not compulsory.

It has also encouraged teams to download the COVIDsafe app, though detailed logs of event attendees will be kept to enable positive case contact tracing as necessary.

Under Section 5. Awareness, Symptoms, Testing and Management, Part H the document reads as follows:

Working with the ambulance and other medical providers attending events, Supercars Australia will develop and mandate a plan for the management of suspected COVID-19 cases at events, being that any individual with suspected COVID-19 symptoms:

  • be immediately managed outside of any first aid or medical facility at the event if possible, or in a separate area within the facility or an alternate facility;  
  • should be provided a mask and instructed to attend a local medical/testing centre or hospital for further assessment and testing, with such individuals to be treated as having the infection until test results are received. The location and contact details of the relevant local medical/testing centres or hospitals will be communicated to event attendees prior to each event; 
  • notwithstanding the above, any individual who is significantly unwell with suspected COVID-19 symptoms should be managed in an isolated area within the medical facility at the event (or other segregated area of the circuit, in each case communicated to all event attendees in advance of each event and included on the event precinct maps) until an ambulance (or other private vehicle) arrives. Following this, and to the extent possible, the facility (or segregated area of the circuit) should be thoroughly cleaned prior to receiving other patients. Adequate ventilation should also be provided in the facility; 
  • clinical assessment and consideration for early isolation of known contacts until testing results are known. 

With respect to any individuals at an event (or between events) who test positive for COVID-19:

  • If well, the individual will be required to immediately self-isolate for 14 days and seek further medical assessment and/or treatment, especially before attending any further Championship events.  
  • If the individual has been in “close contact” (to be determined either via the COVIDsafe App or manual contact tracing prescribed by Government) with other individuals, those other individuals will also need to self-isolate for 14 days and will be tested for COVID-19 if they become symptomatic (and, on medical advice, targeted testing of asymptomatic individuals will also occur). If they become symptomatic and test negative, on medical advice they may be required to remain isolated and re-tested. On medical advice, they may also require testing even if asymptomatic and will need to remain self-isolated. 

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