Latest information 15 December 2021: Covid Update – Members 15 December 2021

Since COVID-19 first emerged as a serious health and life threat in early 2020, OCN has been on the forefront of calling on the NSW government for strata specific guidance and support.

OCN initiated stakeholder roundtables with NSW Fair Trading, to explain the unique needs and transmission threats posed by high density living.  We also wrote to the NSW Premier, Health Minister and Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, starting March 2020.  See Advocacy & Policy.

Finally, in July 2021 we managed to speak with NSW Health and the COVID communications team, and have mask wearing mandated on indoor common property. The team also produced strata signage, in a number of languages, as well as a toolkit to assist harried committees and building managers.

The Public Health (COVID-19 Temporary Movement and Gathering Restrictions) Amendment (No 8) Order 2021 issued on 17 July 2021 prompted significant dialogue over that weekend between OCN and NSW Health, NSW Customer Service and Minister Anderson’s office as we attempted to clarify conflicting advice coming from various government teams.

In September 2021 OCN Covid spokesperson Jane Hearn’s opinion piece: COVID Secrecy could spell disaster for apartment residents was published in the Sydney Morning Herald. Read the full article here.

From mid October 2021 restrictions began easing, with the mask mandate for indoor common property removed on 15 December 2021.  However, masks are recommended especially where social distancing is not possible.

It’s been a stressful time for many, if not all of us, so here we want to share a short video on how to foster Strata Harmony. And a lovely ‘feel good’ blog with some fabulous ideas for staying healthy and positive.

NSW Health Information

If uncertain about what you can do, follow the website for updates:

Chief Health Minister’s requests strata rolls be up to date, 26 August 2021. Download letter here.
NSW Health requests that you ensure strata rolls are up to date and available to the NSW Health contact tracing team upon request. The strata roll should include the name, address, phone number and email address of all owners and tenants. Please ensure residents have contact details for their strata managing agent or owners corporation to provide to NSW Health on request.

Website Resources

Residential Hygiene Advice:
Hygiene advice for people living in residential buildings (pdf)

Cleaning surfaces at home to help stop the spread:
Cleaning surfaces at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19 (pdf)

Two articles of interest focus on air-conditioning and ventilation:

The first is from Geoff Hanmer, Honorary Professional Fellow, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, University of Technology in Sydney:

The second is from Ashak Nathwani AM, Director of the Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Building Services (ARBS) Foundation and adjunct senior lecturer in mechanical services at the University of Sydney:

** Please remember that some people cannot wear a mask. The Order allows for this including for anyone who has a disability or breathing condition. Just because a resident is not wearing a mask does not mean they are breaching the public health order.

Please remember that many frontline workers; doctors, nurses and other essential workers live in apartments and we owe it to them and to all our neighbours to keep them safe.