Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control President, Associate Professor Philip Russo, answers your questions

As states move further into rebuilding from COVID-19 lockdowns, pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes, places of worship and other businesses opened their doors to more patrons.

Private residences were free to host larger numbers of visitors, while some councils have reopened parks and playgrounds.

But the freedom should not be seen as a green light to abandon social distancing and hygiene standards, says Monash University infection prevention expert, Associate Professor Philip Russo.

Associate Professor Philip Russo is president of the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control (ACIPC), the peak body for Infection Prevention and Control professionals in the Australasian region, and Associate Professor at Monash University’s Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

He said Australia’s COVID-19 response had become the envy of the world, and while it was good to see people enjoying more freedom from previously strict lockdown conditions, it was important not to become complacent.

“Hand hygiene and social distancing are still vital in reducing the risk of infection, particularly clusters,” said Associate Professor Russo.

“This has improved the literacy of the public with regard to infections, and it has been delightful to see the images of primary school kids lining up to wash their hands. We just need to keep it up.”

He highlighted the well-publicised case in South Korea in which a man infected with COVID-19 visited four nightclubs, resulting in 80 more cases of the virus.

“This is a highly infectious virus and our behaviour needs to reflect that,” he said.

Associate Professor Russo will be online at noon today (AEST) to answer your questions in an hour-long Q&A.

You can answer questions in advance in the comments below or during the session.

Due to the number of questions, Associate Professor Russo may not be able to answer everyone.

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