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Update for Members and Turf Industry on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Thursday 12, Mar 2020

Update for Members on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Australian Sports Turf Managers Association has received a number of enquiries from members relating to recent annoucements of Coronavirus (COVID-19).  

We will continue to monotor the situaiton, and receive advice from relevant State and National Health authorities on the respiratory illness outbreak caused by coronavirus (COVID-19), and update this infomraiton regularly with the latest medical advice and official reports for Members. 

On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.  Particular to Australia, as at 11:00 hrs on 11 March 2020, Australia has 112 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), including 3 deaths.

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can make humans and animals sick. They cause illnesses that can range from the common cold to more severe diseases.  Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China.

Other coronaviruses include Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick very quickly. People with coronavirus may experience:

  • fever
  • flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue
  • shortness of breath


Further Informaiton and Resources for Members

Australian Sports Turf Managers Association Environment and Safety Compliance Partner ePar, have prepared a range of resources that are available to ASTMA members to further understand and discuss Coronavirus (COVID-19) with their staff.  These items canbe accessed below: 



Australia is well prepared 

The Australian health system is first-class, and includes mechanisms for early detection and effective management of cases and contacts. Federal and State Government plans include a range of interventions to minimise transmission and mitigate the impact of the outbreak.

Australian Government agencies and state and territory governments are working together to coordinate an evidence-based response. This includes applying travel restrictions to reduce the number of travellers from mainland China, Iran and the Republic of Korea, and effective 11th March 2020 - a travel ban will be implemented for Italy

There is evidence that the virus spreads from person-to-person, and current advice is that the virus is most likely spread through:

  • close contact with an infectious person
  • contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
  • touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or fac



Surgical masks in the community are only helpful in preventing people who have coronavirus disease from spreading it to others. If you are well, you do not need to wear a surgical mask as there is little evidence supporting the widespread use of surgical masks in healthy people to prevent transmission in public.

Everyone should practise good hygiene to protect against infections. Good hygiene includes:

  • washing your hands often with soap and water
  • using a tissue and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • avoiding close contact with others, such as touching
  • Read more about protective measures against coronavirus on the World Health Organization website.


Coronavirus Health Information Line

A range of resources are available via the Department of Health website, at:


Further information:

Visit: or call the number below if you are seeking information on novel coronavirus. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

1800 020 080