Latest Advice on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

 13 March 2020

Novel Coronavirus advice english version

Update

The situation and information about the COVID-19 virus is changing rapidly. 

We are closely monitoring the progress of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and working with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

More cases of COVID-19 are expected in Victoria as this illness continues to spread worldwide and we will keep you informed about the impacts to our Monash community.

The DHHS has a handy checklist to assess your risk for COVID-19.

Self-assessment for risk of coronavirus (COVID-19 (pdf, 56KB))

Watch the below video from Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton for more: 

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that can cause an infection in people, including a severe respiratory illness.

The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

What you can do

There are things you can do to reduce the spread of the virus.

  • Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
  • Isolate yourself at home if you feel sick. If you take medication ensure you have adequate supplies.
  • Phone your GP first if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do.
  • Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep, and now is the time to quit smoking. Call the Quitline 137 848.
  • Don't wear a face mask if you are well.
  • Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol.
  • Get the flu shot (available April).
  • Shaking hands is optional!

Who is most at risk?

Anyone who has been in Iran, mainland China, Italy or South Korea in the past 14 days or is a close or casual contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 is at the highest risk of infection. 

If you have been in Iran, mainland China, Italy or South Korea (excluding Hong Kong SAR, Macau and Taiwan) in the past 14 days you are advised to:

  • stay at home (self-quarantine)
  • avoid public settings - this means you should not attend work, school, childcare or university or go to other public places such as restaurants, cinemas or shopping centres and should not use public transport or taxis
  • do this for 14 days after leaving mainland China, Iran, Italy or South Korea (other than when seeking medical care)
  • only people who usually live in the household should be in the home. Do not allow visitors into the home
  • you should stay in a different room to other people as much as possible.

Close contact with a confirmed case

  • If you have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus disease (COVID-19) 
  • stay at home (self-quarantine).

If you feel unwell

  • If you are in any of these risk categories and begin to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or respiratory illness during your period of isolation (self-quarantine), you should seek immediate medical attention. 
  • Call ahead to your GP or emergency department and mention your travel to mainland China or Iran before you arrive at the doctor’s office so they can prepare appropriate infection control measures. 
  • If you have serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call 000 and ask for an ambulance and tell the operator your recent travel history.

Travelled or transited through Cambodia, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand

Other countries that are considered a risk include Cambodia, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand.

If you have travelled to any of these countries in the last 14 days and begin to feel unwell - develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or respiratory illness - call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice.  Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only. 

Are a healthcare or residential aged care worker and transited or travelled to high-risk countries?

Due to the number of confirmed cases in mainland China, Iran, Italy and South Korea, healthcare and residential aged care workers are identified as a higher risk for COVID-19. 

Any healthcare worker or residential aged care worker who has been in these countries in the previous 14 days should not go to work until they have been well for 14 days after leaving those countries. 

Elderly or have pre-existing medical conditions

Many people will suffer only mild symptoms, however, early indications are that the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart and lung disease are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms.

Symptoms 

Many people who contract COVID–19 will suffer only mild symptoms. However early indications are that the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms. 

The most common symptoms reported include:

  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulties such as breathlessness
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue or tiredness.

This poster (pdf, 2MB) provides lots of information to assist you.

Fact Sheet (docx, 60KB)

For more information:

Department of Health and Human Services

World Health Organization

 

   

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