Gay sauna taking temperatures on entry as coronavirus precaution

gay sauna sydney 357 coronavirus stock photo
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A gay sauna in Sydney has started taking the temperatures of all patrons on entry as a precaution against the risk of coronavirus infection.

In a Facebook post last weekend, venue 357 Sydney City Steam quipped it’s the “first sauna in Australia to not allow you entry if you’re too hot.”

“At 357 we want you to feel safe, so every client will have a non-touch thermometer test to make sure you have no fever before entering our venue,” the venue wrote.

“It takes one second on entry so play safe and with confidence. We care about you at your venue 357.”

A spokesperson said, “357 is taking your safety seriously. To help with this, we are checking everyone’s temperature before entry, using a non-contact thermometer.

“We all need to help protect the vulnerable in our community by reducing contact if we are unwell.

“It’s a simple check that takes a few seconds and will make a huge difference for everyone.”

As well as turning away patrons with a fever, the sauna echoed official advice to wash hands regularly, cover coughs and sneezes and stay at home if unwell.

“We have put a number of measures including frequent disinfection throughout the club and have hand sanitisers available in key locations.”

Australia’s Department of Health says they have confirmed 112 cases of coronavirus nationwide as of March 11. Three have died.

Advice for LGBTIQ community during coronavirus crisis

This week, the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations has published a fact sheet with coronavirus guidance for LGBTIQ and HIV communities.

“COVID-19 is more serious for older people and those with a compromised immune system,” the AFAO advises.

“This includes people with HIV who have a low CD4 count and people who have cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, hypertension, asthma and diabetes.

“If you’re taking medication, it’s a good idea to make sure you have at least one month’s supply.

“This is because you may need to stay at home if you feel unwell. Talk with your doctor if you need extra scripts.

“If you’re taking PrEP and are concerned about maintaining your three-monthly appointments, talk to your doctor for more options.”

AFAO says as Australia imports many medicines from India and China, the coronavirus may interrupt the supply of generic medicines.

“The Therapeutic Goods Administration is working to ensure Australia’s medicine supply,” AFAO said.

“People with HIV should consider having an extra months’ supply of HIV medication to accommodate a need to self-isolate, or delays in supply.

“This is also the case for people with other health conditions.

“There is no need to stockpile over the counter medication such as paracetamol or Ibuprofen. Only buy what you need.”

‘HIV medication does not prevent coronavirus’

AFAO warned there was “no reliably confirmed evidence” HIV medications treat coronavirus despite reports of scientific trials.

“Being on anti-viral medication for HIV (including PrEP), hepatitis C or hepatitis B, has not been shown to provide protection from COVID-19,” they said.

AFAO called for everyone to get in touch with people worried about coronavirus or in need of support and ask what you can do to help.

“As communities we have a long proud history of looking out for each other,” they said.

“This is a good time for us to show the best of our communities.”

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