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General Discussion/Q&A on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

p--and--t

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Why can’t JobKeeper support the Arts?
The rules state you must have been with the same employer continuously for more than 12 months. Hardly any artist gets a gig that long and also some are not treated as employees. Their "employers" rely on bums on seats to keep the company afloat. For theatre companies, sometimes rehearsals go for weeks or months in advance and if there is no money left in the kitty from the previous show, then no new shows, and no artists required. A vicious circle.
 
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Princess Fiona

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p--and--t

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I have been trying to reconcile some statements by officials (that have no clear context), inflammatory media headlines ,and other associated numbers being bandied about.

The Vic gov specifically stated publicly a week or so back they were targeting 50% testing rate in the hot spot suburbs over coming weeks. I haven't read any specific reason given on why that figure was picked. Conjecture might be that was enough based on medical advice/predictions, or maybe refusals were expected, or it was just too hard to try and capture/test that many in the time allotted, lab capacity, or a dozen other reasons. Maybe an AFFer in the know could quote a reference as to why the figure was decided.

Allegedly from some reports there are 350,000 or so individuals in those suburbs. I have taken that as a good enough estimate for my pondering unless someone has a better figure.

At a 50% testing rate, that would be around 175,000 people needing to be tested, roughly = tests being required. I would also think there would be a not insubstantial number of people who had already been tested for one reason or a number within say 3-4 days prior to that given the number people in testing stations queues around the place. So probably a lower figure than 175,000.

There has been a figure of 30,000 testing "declines" been recorded. Although there has been a lot of conjecture on AFF and elsewhere, I haven't seen yet (that doesn't mean there aren't) any references that place a real context to that figure. e.g. since the beginning of covid-19 in February, or just in last couple of weeks, or only in those suburbs/or in all recent requests, across all requests anywhere, overseas arrivals included/not included, etc etc. It would be great if someone "in the know" from Vic health or elsewhere could provide context to that figure that's been bandied about preferably from a fact based source and not conjecture.

Also, there doesn't seem, to be in public at least, a record of why the decline for an on the spot test was made. Just suppose for this purpose that the 30,000 is only in those suburbs and only since intensive testing commenced in those locals and there are no duplicates (ie the same person/family getting asked more than once). Then 30,000 would equate to approx 8% or less of the alleged population of those suburbs. If the target was 50% of the population to be tested then a quantum of 30,000 (for whatever reason) should not be the basis for alarmist headlines or political jockeying.

Mulling it over, I tried to stand in the shoes of "non-idiots" and "non-conspiracy theorists" and work out why a decline might have been recorded:

- I work in healthcare, somewhere similar, and already been tested one or more times
- i haven't left the house for 3 months, how could I be infected
- I'm in a nursing home/retirement village with limited access, how could I possibly be infected.
- I don't want my grandmother/father to be at risk to exposure to others, I'm Iso'ing them at home.
- I don't know this stranger at my door, no! I'm not listening p... off
- The whole covid thing frightens me, get away from my house, you might have it
- I don't understand English, "no" to whatever you are saying that I don't understand
- I got a test yesterday, last week, last month whatever I don't need another
- I'm already waiting for the results of tests I got at Bunning's/Supermarket car park on the weekend
- I know someone who had a test and who said it was a terrible experience with something jammed up the nose
- You're not ramming that thing up my toddlers nose, it will scare the sh.. out of him/her
- I am frightened of being around healthcare workers because they might infect me, they hang around sick people all the time
- I have heard testing is 30% inaccurate with false positives and negatives all over the shop - whats the point, what if its false positive
- If I get tested, I've heard that I have to stay home until the results come back, that could take a week and I can't afford to lose my pay, what if it is a false positive, I won't be able to feed my family for 2-3 weeks
- I'm young and fit and everyone says its just the flu

From my own viewpoint (and YMMV) in the context of less than 8% of the target population, and we weren't going to test 50% anyway, and reflecting for a few days on what real data and context that is currently not available; 30,000 initially a shock out of context (and it may not be 30,000), its disappointing but not alarming and ultimately not surprising (in a liberal democracy where choice is still allowed).
 
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RooFlyer

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Whatever the % or the reasons (you missed 'Just a silent wave of the hand or closing of the door') its still a hellava lot of people and way over the % found in other states, even allowing for likely 'definitional' differences.
 

lovetravellingoz

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The Vic gov specifically stated publicly a week or so back they were targeting 50% testing rate in the hot spot suburbs over coming weeks
. I haven't read any specific reason given on why that figure was picked. Conjecture might be that was enough based on medical advice/predictions, or maybe refusals were expected, or it was just too hard to try and capture/test that many in the time allotted, lab capacity, or a dozen other reasons. Maybe an AFFer in the know could quote a reference as to why the figure was decided.

Allegedly from some reports there are 350,000 or so individuals in those suburbs. I have taken that as a good enough estimate for my pondering unless someone has a better figure.

At a 50% testing rate, that would be around 175,000 people needing to be tested, roughly = tests being required. I would also think there would be a not insubstantial number of people who had already been tested for one reason or a number within say 3-4 days prior to that given the number people in testing stations queues around the place. So probably a lower figure than 175,000.
The 50% was the target in the two priority of Broadmeadows and Keilor Downs, and not the full 10 suburbs.

With the 10 suburbs though they opened up testing to anyone and not just those with symptoms. But yes they wanted to test many people in all ten suburbs.


Just on the numbers. Let us do the maths. They wanted to do 25,000 tests per day for 10 days (note is now upto 26,000 per day but early on was more like 20K) = 250,000 tests. At 1 in 2, total = 500,000 people.

2016 Census (so will be more now)
Population of Broadmeadows is 11,970
Population of Keilor Downs is 9,995


50% = 11,000 in these two suburbs.

Allow for population increase to 2020. Say 15,000 for those two suburbs. That allows 235,000 tests to do other tests for anyone symptomatic in the rest of Victoria and also to reach 50% later (ie after 3 days) in the other suburbs.


Given that they have kept finding cases in Broadmeadows and Keilor Downs you would imagine that they will want go above 50% there.

They are now also into the 11th day of the blitz and they are clearly continuing with it. So high testing will remaining fora while yet.

Numbers are here:
 

lovetravellingoz

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Whatever the % or the reasons (you missed 'Just a silent wave of the hand or closing of the door') its still a hellava lot of people and way over the % found in other states, even allowing for likely 'definitional' differences.
Though in terms of doorknocker declines, has this actually been done in any other state? I may be wrong but apart from close contacts, some workplaces, etc I think it has just been up to the public to present for testing.

I am not sure what happened with public testing in NW Tassie for example.
  • Was the public asked one by one to test?
  • Did they go door to door?
  • Was testing open to everyone, or just those with symptoms?
With the hotel quarantine decliners I believe that the % went up in recent times when the returnees were from a few specific countries. .
 

RooFlyer

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I am not sure what happened with public testing in NW Tassie for example.
I don't think there was door-to-door (but I stand to be corrected), but testing for all and sundry was encouraged and made available; this policy was continued for some weeks, state-wide. It may be that the mode of testing approach was a factor, but I don't think anyone can deny the rate of refusal in Melbourne of late has been an eye-opener and in the circumstances, not something that can be tolerated. I use 'tolerated' in the same sense as random alcohol/drug testing - the risk to public safety is too great for refusals to be tolerated, other than for the strongest reason that a health professional would concur with.
 

p--and--t

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The 50% was the target in the two priority of Broadmeadows and Keilor Downs, and not the full 10 suburbs.

With the 10 suburbs though they opened up testing to anyone and not just those with symptoms. But yes they wanted to test many people in all ten suburbs.


Just on the numbers. Let us do the maths. They wanted to do 25,000 tests per day for 10 days (note is now upto 26,000 per day but early on was more like 20K) = 250,000 tests. At 1 in 2, total = 500,000 people.

2016 Census (so will be more now)
Population of Broadmeadows is 11,970
Population of Keilor Downs is 9,995


50% = 11,000 in these two suburbs.

Allow for population increase to 2020. Say 15,000 for those two suburbs. That allows 235,000 tests to do other tests for anyone symptomatic in the rest of Victoria and also to reach 50% later (ie after 3 days) in the other suburbs.


Given that they have kept finding cases in Broadmeadows and Keilor Downs you would imagine that they will want go above 50% there.

They are now also into the 11th day of the blitz and they are clearly continuing with it. So high testing will remaining fora while yet.

Numbers are here:
Wow 906.000 tests. that's around 20% of Melbourne's population.
 

p--and--t

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Though in terms of doorknocker declines, has this actually been done in any other state? I may be wrong but apart from close contacts, some workplaces, etc I think it has just been up to the public to present for testing.

I am not sure what happened with public testing in NW Tassie for example.
  • Was the public asked one by one to test?
  • Did they go door to door?
  • Was testing open to everyone, or just those with symptoms?
With the hotel quarantine decliners I believe that the % went up in recent times when the returnees were from a few specific countries. .
Hmm yes, you would hardly have any "declines" for people who voluntarily turned up at testing stations or in nursing homes for example where there is a smallish group with high peer pressure.

I haven't heard of any door to door work in other states, maybe other AFFers have such knowledge.

I also haven't heard of any compiled figures for other states for decliners and/or whether there were any examples of where people have been cold called en masse and asked to test. (i.e. anything even close to a comparable situation)
 
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drron

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In NW Tasmania everyone was urged to be tested.All Health care workers had to be tested.And tested again befoire return to work-they needed 2 negative tests 24 hours apart to return to work.There were 2 permanent test clinics in the North West plus I believe 3 mobile units which were then sent around the west of Tasmania.

The population of Devonport plus Burnie is ~ 60000 people.At the time of the Lockdown 900-1000 test per day were being done.
 

p--and--t

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In NW Tasmania everyone was urged to be tested.All Health care workers had to be tested.And tested again befoire return to work-they needed 2 negative tests 24 hours apart to return to work.There were 2 permanent test clinics in the North West plus I believe 3 mobile units which were then sent around the west of Tasmania.

The population of Devonport plus Burnie is ~ 60000 people.At the time of the Lockdown 900-1000 test per day were being done.
Good to have some on the ground info.

So were there any general members of the public that you know of cold called or directly face to face requested to test and thus could fit into a category of "decline"? (ignoring hotel quarantine which is a separate exercise)
 

Pushka

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Though in terms of doorknocker declines, has this actually been done in any other state? I may be wrong but apart from close contacts, some workplaces, etc I think it has just been up to the public to present for testing.

I am not sure what happened with public testing in NW Tassie for example.
  • Was the public asked one by one to test?
  • Did they go door to door?
  • Was testing open to everyone, or just those with symptoms?
With the hotel quarantine decliners I believe that the % went up in recent times when the returnees were from a few specific countries. .
In SA with the baggage handler and Qantas ground crew involvement, all 800 Qantas employees had to be tested. My next door neighbour was, as a Qantas ground staff person, and her brother as a baggage handler had Covid.
 

drron

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Good to have some on the ground info.

So were there any general members of the public that you know of cold called or directly face to face requested to test and thus could fit into a category of "decline"? (ignoring hotel quarantine which is a separate exercise)
As far as I am aware there was no cold calling for testing but frequent advertising of the locations for testing in the North West.
 

Pushka

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Of course they are. And we need them for a civilised society. Unfortunate that politicians don’t like criticism so that they devalue society’s values.
Until Covid struck it is likely that people were satisfied with their conditions of engagement, whether that be by contract, employment or otherwise. In order for JobKeeper to work, employers had to meet specific conditions (turnover, employee conditions, length of service, company headquartered location etc etc) and many companies simply did not meet the criteria for a multitude of reasons, and nor did some people who worked in that business.

There is a strict definition of what an Employee actually means. It isn't simply someone who works "in the business".
 

burmans

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There is a strict definition of what an Employee actually means. It isn't simply someone who works "in the business".
Well equally there is a definition of what a contractor is and many so called independent contractors really aren't. One of the key criteria the ATO applies is whether the contractor is really in charge of the work they do and in many sham situations the employer clearly tells the 'contractor' what is required on a day to day basis as opposed to only dictating via contract the required outcomes.
 

Pushka

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Well equally there is a definition of what a contractor is and many so called independent contractors really aren't. One of the key criteria the ATO applies is whether the contractor is really in charge of the work they do and in many sham situations the employer clearly tells the 'contractor' what is required on a day to day basis as opposed to only dictating via contract the required outcomes.
Sure. That is a relevant point. With STP those details don't appear and so the employer submissions never contain payroll nor payg taxes so they don't appear in the portals where JobKeeper sits. We had one person who was with us late October through February who wasn't an employee but a contractor. Possibly he could have been an employee but we knew we wouldn't need him past that time, as did he as that was agreed to at the start. Had he still been with us through to march and as an employee I think he would have been entitled to JK in our business which would have been what I think a rort. He was on much less than $1500 a fortnight due to few hours worked but under the scheme he would have received that amount until September.
 
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davidj

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In Melbourne there appears to be a trend of locking down postcodes that are predominately lower socioeconomic or migrant suburbs.

Now they are locking down housing commission flats.

Is there anything here to read into, or it is a simple coincidence? Could this have just as easily occurred in inner eastern suburbs, Toorak etc?
 

blackcat20

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In Melbourne there appears to be a trend of locking down postcodes that are predominately lower socioeconomic or migrant suburbs.

Now they are locking down housing commission flats.

Is there anything here to read into, or it is a simple coincidence? Could this have just as easily occurred in inner eastern suburbs, Toorak etc?
People in those areas have less secure employment, little or no access to sick leave, and so might continue to work when unwell. People in higher SEO suburbs are more easily able to take leave or work from home.
 

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