Australian Beaches To Undergo 'Changes' In Preparation For A Covid Summer - Stab Mag

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Australian Beaches To Undergo ‘Changes’ In Preparation For A Covid Summer

Mouth to mouth resuscitation is out and 6,000 pax capacity in Sydney.

news // Dec 11, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Coronavirus pandemic is mostly under control in Australia right now. No local infections in NSW for a week, less than 15 in Victoria, and the other states are seemingly teetering on the edge of elimination. This however doesn’t mean things will be returning to complete normality. 

This weekend is a long weekend in Australia and along with some near-30 degree temperatures in Sydney, beaches are fucking packed. During the best of times it’s hard to get a spot on the sand let alone a parking spot, now new ‘restrictions’ may make things more difficult. Additionally, there’s been some changes to CPR protocol throughout Australian Surf Life Saving Clubs. 

Mouth to mouth resuscitation is no more. That isn’t to say that lifesavers will not attempt to give oxygen to the lungs of a CPR recipient, but they will be doing it with an “oxygen therapy mask” rather than with their own lungs. Compressions however will remain, and lifesavers will need to wear a mask where possible. 

While this may all sound quite drastic, it should be reiterated that the “two breaths” aspect of CPR is considered the less crucial aspect. Ken Clark, Surf Life Saving Queensland’s commercial manager, told Guardian Australia that mouth-to-mouth is rarely used and beachgoers will notice little difference in treatment. 

Off the beach and in the water, there are a handful of individuals concerned that mucus contaminated waves could be a source of Covid transmission. Professor Brett Mitchell, an infection prevention specialist at the University of Newcastle, said that the virus could be transmitted via mucus in waves. “If you see someone cough up a big mucus plug, it would be important to avoid that wave.”

No studies however have shown Covid to be transmissible via the ocean, and there have been no reported cases (to our knowledge) in the ocean. The likelihood of transmission on the sand if people are in close proximity however is much more likely, and anyone who’s been at an Australian beach in summer’s peak knows it gets crowded

The government however also has a plan to try and limit the potential for Covid-spread on the sand. There’s slogans such as, “keep a beach towel length between you and anyone not from the same household”, limits of 6000 people at Bondi at any one time, and the suggestion of drones being used to monitor crowds. 

There’s no word yet as to whether surfers would be exempt if they’re going straight into the water, but memories of Sydney beaches being cleared and closed in late-March suggest that won’t be the case. 


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