COVID-19

Waku is currently closed to non-members under the advice of the ACT Government, current 15 October 2021. We’ll update this page and our members if the situation changes. If you can work from home, you must.

Our priority at Waku has always been our community and our people – creating a safe work environment amidst a global pandemic has strengthened our existing policies and approach to how we work. We are staying up to date with information and advice from ACT Health and following Australian Government regulations to help us stay safe and protect our community.

Members receive regular updates via email or Slack with any changes to restrictions that might affect our community or our workplace. We encourage all our members, visitors and friends in the wider community to read our COVID-19 policies below to learn more about what we’re doing here at Waku to prioritise safety in the workplace.

 

 

Cleaning

We’ve provided paper towels in the kitchen and bathroom for drying your hands – though we hate the environmental impact of single use items, we know during this time that cleanliness is vital and replacing tea towels and hand towels every day just won’t cut it.

Hand sanitiser is available throughout the workspace and we encourage usage upon entering and exiting Waku.

We’re cleaning and disinfecting all internal and external door handles, kitchen and bathroom surfaces, phone booth and meeting room furniture and any regular touch points twice a day with disinfectant spray.

 

Next Steps

At the time of writing, the current government advice is that it is safe to remain open – but prudent to follow the above precautions around social distancing, hygiene etc. If this advice changes or if we deem it unsafe to remain open as a shared workspace, we’re preparing a plan to manage and maintain our community and memberships without a bricks and mortar space. This involves a multi-part plan before actually closing the doors that we’re ready to implement, involving further limitations on the number of people using the space, stricter hygiene procedures, and tweaks to the layout of the space to ensure there’s adequate space between each member to avoid the spread of any infections. We’ll let our members and community know if we up the ante on this plan – please ensure you’ve downloaded Slack and are receiving all notifications for our Waku Slack channels, Facebook Group and regularly checking your emails. We’ll also post updates via social media and our website for our wider community when required.

 

Precautions For Members

This will be a community-driven effort to prevent our healthcare systems from being overloaded and flattening the curve. There’s plenty of actions you can take right now to do your part and protect yourself, your loved ones and the rest of our community:

Social Distancing

People should attempt to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between themselves and other people where possible in the space here at Waku, and anywhere in public. Act as if you have COVID-19 and behave as if you are conscious of passing it on! This is to try and prevent the spread of small liquid droplets that can be spread when someone coughs or sneezes that may contain the virus. If you’re too close, you can breathe in the droplets and expose yourself to infection.

Avoid large gatherings

The more people at an event, the greater the risk of transmission. Avoiding large crowds reduces your potential exposure to the virus. The government has already introduced bans on gatherings and events for more than 500 attendees and we expect that to drop to a smaller number very soon, as other countries have now done. Where possible, meet outside or use video/teleconferencing for group meetings. If you do meet in person, ensure you’re keeping a reasonable distance from one another (1.5m is recommended).

What to do if you’re sick  

Please don’t come to Waku, cancel any face-to-face meetings and stay at home if you become unwell. This includes if you develop a fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, body aches, sore throat, runny nose, or muscle pain. Call your GP and seek medical advice right away – better safe than sorry. You can also call the Coronavirus health information hotline at any time on 1800 020 080 to outline your symptoms with a specialist, and they’ll advise if you qualify for COVID-19 testing. If you do, they’ll direct you to the nearest facility to take the swab test.

Wash your hands

Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands. Rub your hands together, covering all surfaces with soap, for at least 20 seconds before rinsing and drying your hands with a paper towel or clean hand towel. Use hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if you’re unable to regularly wash your hands – but washing is better.

Make sure you’re doing this very regularly – not just after using the bathroom or before eating. Ask yourself every hour or two when you last washed or sanitised your hands, and keep up the habit.

Practice good hygiene

Make sure you and the people around you are practicing good respiratory hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and dispose of the tissue immediately. You should also avoid touching your face or eyes. Avoid handshakes, hugging, or close proximity with others when you’re saying hello or goodbye – an enthusiastic wave will suffice! Remember to clean and disinfect items you regularly use or take with you – handbags, devices, keys, wallets, phones etc. We’ve got extra spray and wipe you can use to do this when you arrive or before you leave.

Look after yourself

Your immune system needs all the good food, exercise, sleep and downtime you can get to ensure it’s fit and healthy to fight off any potential infection. Make sure you’re prioritising your mental and physical health. Take the time to do the things you enjoy. Take breaks from your screens and the media where you can, and reach out to give and receive support within your own networks, to us here at Waku or to some of these fantastic counselling services; Beyond Blue, Lifeline, Headspace; all of which have online or phone support that can help if you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious. It’s ok to not be ok and it’s absolutely acceptable to seek help.

 

Additional COVID-19 Resources

ACT Health latest COVID-19 updates
https://health.act.gov.au/about-our-health-system/novel-coronavirus-covid-19

World Health Organisation COVID-19 Information and Resources
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

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