For the most up-to-date information regarding the Novel Coronavirus, including specific health and medical advice, please visit the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
If you suspect you may have coronavirus (COVID-19), please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398.
COVID-19 — what is it and what does this means for our community?
A state of emergency has been declared in Victoria due to the serious risk to public health posed by COVID-19. We will monitor, follow and act on the advice of the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria (DHHS), Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, and Emergency Management Victoria. We will continue to provide the Glen Eira community with updates via Glen Eira News, social media and visit our web page by clicking on the button below.
The World Health Organisation defines COVID-19 as an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads.
What are the symptoms?
The most common COVID-19 symptoms reported are:
- Breathing difficulties, breathlessness
- Sore throat
- Fatigue or tiredness
If you suspect you may have COVID-19, please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398.
How does COVID-19 spread?
Health authorities around the world believe the virus is spread from close contact with an infected person, mostly through face-to-face interactions or between members of the same household. People may also pick up the virus from surfaces contaminated by a person with the infection.
COVID-19 is spread by people when they cough or sneeze. That’s why the best way to protect others is to practice good personal hygiene.
Measures you should take to reduce your risk of COVID-19
- Practice social distancing — keep a full arm-span (about 1.5 metres) between yourself and other people where possible.
- 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. Dispose of the tissue.
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
- Continue healthy habits — exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep and don’t smoke.
- Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with more than 60 per cent alcohol.
- Stay at home if you feel sick, and undertake physical distancing as outlined in the section below.
If you are socially-isolating at home, this is not a time to have people over at your house for a barbecue or dinner. It is important you avoid all unnecessary gatherings.
Protect yourself against the flu
With the spread of COVID-19, health services and emergency departments are likely to be under pressure. While the flu shot does not provide immunity against COVID-19, the Department of Health and Human Services is advising all Victorians to get the flu shot to reduce their risk.
Children, the elderly, pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and those with a weakened immune system are at higher risk of complications associated with the flu.
Everyone over six months of age should get an annual flu shot to ensure they are protected during the peak flu season, which usually runs from June to September. None of the vaccines available in Australia contain live influenza viruses, so they cannot cause the flu.
How to look after your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak
Beyond Blue recognises and understands the feelings of anxiety, distress and concern many people may be experiencing in relation to the COVID-19 and offers the following wellbeing advice.
Managing your mental health while in self-isolation or quarantine
There are several ways to support your mental health during periods of self-isolation or quarantine.
- Remind yourself that this is a temporary period of isolation to slow the spread of the virus. Remember that your effort is helping others in the community avoid contracting the virus.
- Stay connected with friends, family and colleagues via email, social media, video conferencing or telephone.
- Engage in healthy activities that you enjoy and find relaxing.
- Keep regular sleep routines and eat healthy foods.
- Try to maintain physical activity.
- Establish routines as best possible and try to view this period as a new experience that can bring health benefits.
- For those working from home, try to maintain a healthy balance by allocating specific work hours, taking regular breaks and, if possible, establishing a dedicated work space.
- Avoid news and social media if you find it distressing.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed or stressed by news of the outbreak. We encourage people who have experienced mental health issues in the past to:
- activate your support networt
- acknowledge feelings of distress
- seek professional support early if you’re having difficulties.
If you are suffering from mental health issues, Beyond Blue offers short-term counselling and referrals by phone and webchat on 1300 22 4636.
How can I stay up-to-date with the latest information?
For the most up-to-date information regarding the COVID-19, including specific health and medical advice, please visit the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services’ website https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19