Today, the 14 daily newspapers of publisher ACM lend their trusted voice to calls from the Prime Minister, state premiers and health authorities for every Australian to join the fight against coronavirus by following official advice to just stay home.
The front pages of The Canberra Times and such key regional mastheads as the Newcastle Herald, Illawarra Mercury, The Border Mail, The Courier in Victoria and The Examiner in Tasmania feature a simple but powerful visual message to highlight the critical role that every individual plays in the nation's efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 infections.
With a highly infectious disease, no natural immunity in the population and no vaccine to inoculate people, governments around the world have urged, and in some cases, mandated, that people keep away from each other to slow the spread.
Under the headline "In your hands" and a symbolic depiction of Australia, ACM's newspapers implore readers "for the sake of the country you love, now is the time to protect yourself and others" by following official advice to practise social distancing, observe proper hand hygiene and stay home.
The message will also appear over the coming days in ACM social media feeds and on the front pages of 150 other local newspapers - a network stretching into every state and territory.
Communities around the country are relying on ACM's local news sites and newspapers to keep them informed about the latest developments in the growing national health and economic emergency.
ACM publications also want to help keep readers and their families safe.
By following official health advice every individual Australian can be doing their bit to help slow the spread of COVID-19 which in turn helps frontline medical staff and ultimately saves lives.
The community safety push comes as new modelling shows that coronavirus could continue to spread virtually unchecked unless eight out of 10 Australians stay home and avoid non-essential social interactions to "flatten the curve" of accelerating infections.
The University of Sydney simulation shows that 80 per cent compliance with advice on physical distancing could control COVID-19's spread in Australia within 13 weeks.
Study author Mikhail Prokopenko told the ABC that changing behaviours did not rely on hoping for a vaccine.
"We can do it," he said. "We are still in control of our lives and the lives of other people if we do it like that."
To read the federal Department of Health's official guidance on how to protect yourself and others, go here.
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