COVID-19 is a new strain of Coronavirus that has not been seen before in humans.
COVID-19 is an airborne virus which can be contracted if you come into close contact with an infected person or an area they have recently been in. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they expel contaminated droplets from their nose and mouth. The virus can be spread to other people who come into contact with the contaminated droplets, either through close proximity to an infected person or by touching objects or surfaces holding contaminated droplets.
People living with a disability or underlying conditions can be more vulnerable to infection and can have more serious complications.
Good hygiene can help protect your health. We have listed some hygiene guidelines to use for as long as COVID-19 is still present in our community:
- Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds before and after every activity
- Practice social distancing as much as possible. When you are with other people try to keep 1.5 meters between you and them
- Avoid handshakes, hugs, or kisses as much as possible
- Keep a distance from anyone who has flu-like symptoms or a cold
- Cover your mouth with your elbow or with a clean tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Avoid crowds
- Limit the number of visitors at your home
- Have your annual flu vaccination (unless advised otherwise from your doctor)
What to do if you feel sick
COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild to severe and can include a sore throat, coughing, fever, headache, shortness of breath and other flu-like symptoms. If you are unwell or have flu like symptoms you should speak to your doctor, over the phone if possible. You can also contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.
If you are struggling to breathe you should treat it as an emergency and contact emergency services.