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Information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) #1

18 March 2020

2020/03 PDF: 185 KB
Relevant: All Jervis Bay Territory Residents
Topic: Information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by the novel Coronavirus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath. The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection.

For more general information, consult the Department of Health website: health.gov.au/covid-19 or call the Coronavirus Health Information Line: 1800 020 080. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.

Information is also available from HealthDirect: call 1800 022 222 or visit: healthdirect.gov.au/coronavirus.

Advice for Jervis Bay Territory residents

Residents of Jervis Bay Territory are subject to the same precautionary health advice regarding COVID-19 as other Australian residents.

As at Monday 16 March, there has been one confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Illawarra Shoalhaven region. The case is a returned traveller who has had contact with another confirmed case and has been in self-isolation since returning to Australia.

Anyone who arrives into the country from overseas must now self-isolate for 14 days, after measures came into effect at midnight, 15 March 2020. If you experience respiratory symptoms during this period, you should contact your GP to arrange for testing. It is important to call your GP beforehand to arrange testing.

If you have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should also arrange testing with your GP.

You can also call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 022 222 or Health Direct on 1800 022 222 for advice on whether you require testing.

As at March 16, 2020, Wollongong Hospital has opened a COVID-19 Assessment Clinic. Similar clinics will be established at Shellharbour and Shoalhaven Hospitals at a future date. For further details call 4222 5078 or go to: www.islhd.health.nsw.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media/news/covid-19-assessment-clinics-now-open-wollongong-hospital

If you have serious and severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call 000 for urgent medical assistance.

At this stage, the Australian Government has advised schools will not be closed and students should attend school as normal.

Who is most at risk?

Based on current information, those most at risk of serious infection are:

  • people with compromised immune systems (such as people who have cancer)
  • elderly people
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (as they have higher rates of chronic illness)
  • people with chronic medical conditions
  • people in group residential settings

How to protect yourself and others?

Basic prevention action includes thorough hand washing with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand gel, covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow, and avoiding contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Australian Government is also placing limits on organised gatherings and visits to vulnerable groups.

Detailed prevention information is on the Department of Health website: www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/what-you-need-to-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19#protect-yourself-and-others

For further information on the Australian Government response to COVID-19 visit: www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/government-response-to-the-covid-19-outbreak

Further information

The numbers to contact for further information are:

For general information

Coronavirus Health Information Line: 1800 020 080

If you have travelled overseas in the past 14 days or have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19:

Call HealthDirect 1800 022 222 for further information on testing, or call your GP.

Wollongong Hospital COVID-19 Assessment Clinic: 4222 5078

If you have serious and severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call 000 for urgent medical assistance.