What you need to know – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
We need to work together to help stop the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Sourced from www.health.gov.au
Get tested as soon as you feel sick
COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of taste, loss of smell.
To protect people most at risk and slow the rate of community transmission:
Non-essential organised outdoor gatherings having changing limits and may depend on the area (please check NSW Health for further information).
Non-essential organised indoor gatherings having changing limits (please check NSW Health)
Non-essential meetings or conferences of health care professionals and emergency services should be limited
Reconsider if you need to visit residential aged care facilities and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Further information for residents of residential aged care services, their family members and visitors can be found at
From midnight Sunday 15 March 2020, all travellers coming into Australia will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
From 18 March 2020, all Australians are advised not to travel overseas. Go to
www.smartraveller.gov.au for further information.
These precautions are most important for people over 60 and those with chronic disease.
People who have returned from anywhere overseas are required to self-isolate for 14 days. During this time, you should monitor your health closely. If you develop symptoms including a fever and cough, you should seek medical attention, remembering to call ahead.
People who have been in close contact with a confirmed case or been in a hot spot of coronavirus should monitor their health and get tested.
While coronavirus is of concern, it is important to remember that most people displaying symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, tiredness, loss of sence of smell and taste must get tested and stay away from others.
What is a coronavirus and COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses known to cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). This new coronavirus
originated in Hubei Province, China and the disease is named COVID-19.
How is this coronavirus spread?
Coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:
Direct contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared.
Touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from from a person with the infection, and then touching your mouth or face.
How can we help prevent the spread of coronavirus?
Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and keeping your distance from others is the best defence against most viruses.
Wear a mask when indoors, as directed by NSW Health.
Socially distance, stay 1.5m away
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet.
Keep areas clean and disinfected
Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and wash your hands or use sanatizer.
If unwell, get tested and avoid contact with others.
Exercise personal responsibility for social distancing and wearing a mask.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing is one way to help slow the spread of viruses such as COVID-19. Social distancing includes staying at home when you are unwell and keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people whenever possible. It is important to minimise physical contact
especially with people at higher risk of developing serious symptoms, such as older people and people with existing health conditions.
Government restrictions apply for organised outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people and indoor gatherings of more than 100 people that are not essential.
Who needs to isolate?
If you are unwell, are awaiting a test result, have been in a hotspot or area of contact. See list of venues and areas here: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates#latest-covid-19-case-locations-in-nsw
What does isolate in your home mean?
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must stay at home to prevent it spreading to other people. You might also be asked to stay at home if you may have been exposed to the virus.
Staying at home means you:
– do not go to public places such as work, school, shopping centres, childcare, university or places of worship
– ask someone to get food and other necessities for you and leave them at your front door
– do not let visitors in, only people who usually live with you should be in your home
– Keep your household safe, stay in a seperate area of the home
You do not need to wear a mask in your home. If you need to go out to seek medical attention, wear a surgical mask to protect others.
For more information, visit www.health.gov.au/covid19-resources
What do I do if I develop symptoms?
If you develop symptoms (fever, a cough, sore throat, runny nose, tiredness or shortness of breath, lack of smell or taste) get tested straight away and wait for your results in isolation.
You must remain isolated either in your home, hotel or a health care setting until public health authorities inform you it is safe for you to return to your usual activities
Who is most at risk of a serious illness?
Some people who are infected may not get sick at all, some will get mild symptoms from which they will recover easily, and others may become very ill, very quickly. From previous experience with other coronaviruses, the people at most risk of serious infection are:
people with compromised immune systems (e.g. cancer)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as they have higher rates of chronic illness
people with diagnosed chronic medical conditions
very young children and babies*
people in group residential settings
people in detention facilities.
*At this stage the risk to children and babies, and the role children play in the transmission of COVID-19, is not clear. However, there has so far been a low rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases among children, relative to the
How is the virus treated?
There is no specific treatment for coronaviruses. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses.
Most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care.
Should I wear a face mask?
Face masks are now manditory in public indoor spaces. See here: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules/common-questions-face-masks
For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au
Call the National Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days
a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
The phone number of your state or territory public health agency is available at
If you have concerns about your health, speak to your doctor or call the covid help line.
For Disability Support regarding covid you can call the Australian Governement Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787.
THC are working hard to ensure our clients, their families and our staff are kept as safe as possible during these times. All staff wear masks and some activities and movements may be limit to reduce the risks. If you would like to talk to someone at THC with regard to the pandemic, please call the main number or email THC@thc.org.au. During this time the office is closed and most staff are working from remotely.