FOR most people who contract COVID-19, or coronavirus, the infection will be mild.
But for some people, the infection can be serious, particularly for people aged over 80 and for those with pre-existing medical conditions.
During these uncertain times, it won’t be governments or politicians who will be able to provide all the tools to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
It will be local people in local communities who can make the biggest contribution to helping protect the vulnerable.
Remember, these people are our friends and our family members – parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, workmates, neighbours. They may be friends undergoing treatment for various illnesses, who are immune-compromised.
This is a time to take care of each other as a community, and take the advice of medical professionals seriously.
It’s not a time to panic, but to take action and implement measures which have been demonstrated to work in other parts of the world.
It won’t be easy or without sacrifices, but if we support each other we will slow the spread of COVID-19, to enable our health sector to provide the best care it can to the people who will need it.
Hopefully our community can be a leader in showing how it’s done.
See a doctor immediately if you have these symptoms and have travelled overseas in the past 14 days or have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Before your appointment, call ahead and advise of your symptoms and recent travel so necessary precautions can be taken.
For information on COVID-19, phone the Coronavirus Helpline or visit www.healthdirect.gov.au/coronavirus.
The best way to avoid infection is to avoid contact with someone with COVID-19, and to not travel to high-risk countries.
As with other communicable diseases, people with symptoms should stay at home, except to get medical care, and avoid using public transport.
Everyone should practise good hand and cough hygiene.
The Australian Government is advising that organised and non-essential gatherings must be limited to 500 people.
Non-essential meetings or conferences of critical workforces, such as healthcare professionals and emergency services, should also be limited.
This advice does not include (other) workplaces, schools, universities, shops, supermarkets, public transport and airports at this stage.
If you have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 (including in the 24 hours before they became unwell), a public health officer will contact you daily while you are at risk of infection, to monitor you for symptoms. You must isolate yourself in your home for 14 days after your last contact with the confirmed case.