Confused in a COVID-19 “hot zone”

I’m confused.

On Tuesday 30 June, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews issued a statement with regards to the recent uptick in community transmission of COVID-19 within the state.

That statement can be found here.

Statement From The Premier

In the announcement, he listed 10 postcodes that were identified as containing “hot zones”. Residents in these postcodes, myself included, were told that they have to return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions – until at least 29 July.

Upon hearing this news, I accepted it at face value. Back to harder restrictions for four weeks.

A couple of days later I found myself wanting to learn more about the detail of what was / was not permitted. (Don’t judge…I’ve been WFH since mid-March and was desperate for something different to do.)

A quick search online directed me to various DHHS notices in relation to the postcode restrictions. These included:

These notices clarified and confirmed the particulars of the current COVID-19 behavioural restrictions. However, what stood out to me was the period for which the restrictions would apply (see below).

Stay at Home Directions 2

Restricted Activity Directions

I’ve checked the above links again at the time of posting. The public documents both display an end date of 19 July.

There are a number of things that I’ve come to know over the course of my 4+ decades on the planet. Among them are:

  1. I’m not a lawyer,
  2. I’ve never worked for a govt agency or had a hand in writing public policy, and
  3. 19 July is not 29 July – they’re different dates.

(Note: this is NOT an exhaustive list. I know other stuff too.)

So, I have questions.

Is this a typo in the directions issued?

Seems unlikely, given the importance of such an announcement and the spotlight on the pandemic.

Is there a legal or administrative reason as to why these notices couldn’t be issued for the ‘full’ 28 day period, thereby requiring them to be extended for a further 10 days from 19 July?

NFI – see point #1 above.

Is there a ‘plan’ to end the announced lockdown period early so the government can look like good guys?

This would seem particularly crass in light of months of government declarations that they would be straight with Victorians in sharing information about the pandemic. (Seriously, what possible reason would there be for this approach?)

I’m legitimately confused by this.

Can anyone shed some light for me?

 

 

Author: Steven Macek

I learnt a long time ago that in order to grow it is necessary to step outside one’s comfort zone. As a person who craves growth and change this has led me to continually seek out opportunities to make myself uncomfortable, whether physically, emotionally or psychologically. The (Dis)Comfort Zone blog is a vehicle for cataloging those experiences.

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