What you need to know about COVID-19 – 26 March 2020
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus is part of a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to a rarer form such as COVID-19. COVID-19 is a new strain that had not previously been identiﬁed in humans until the recent outbreak in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.
What are COVID-19 symptoms?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) advises that common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing diﬃculties.
Who is at risk?
In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are those who have recently been in a and people who have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19. If you have concerns about your risk level the Department of Health and Human Services have released a Self-assessment for risk of coronavirus (COVID-19).
What should I do to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Federal Department of Health recommends that everyone should practice good hygiene. Good hygiene includes:
- covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
- disposing of tissues properly
- washing your hands often with soap and water, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet
- using alcohol-based hand sanitisers
- cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
- if you are sick, avoiding contact with others and staying more than 1.5 metres away from people
- cleaning and sanitising frequently used objects such as mobiles, keys and wallets
The Department does not recommend surgical masks for healthy members of the public. A surgical mask will not protect you against the virus.
More information about protective measures can be found on the World Health Organisation website.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing includes ways to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. It means less contact between you and other people.
Read the Australia Federal Government’s social distancing advice to learn how to practice social distancing. Deakin will implement social distancing measures consistent with Department of Health guidance. See the FAQs in the section ‘Deakin’s response to COVID-19’ to find out more.
What is self-isolation?
Self-isolation is staying at home to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 to others. You must self-isolate if:
- You have COVID-19
- You have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
- You arrived in Australia after midnight on 15 March 2020
I live with other people. How can I self-isolate?
You can still self-isolate when you live with other people. To self-isolate, the Department of Health (Federal) advises that:
- only people who usually live in the household should be in the home. Do not allow visitors into the home
- there is no need to wear masks in the home
- you should not attend public places, in particular, work, school, childcare or university
- where possible, get others such as friends or family, who are not required to be isolated to get food or other necessities for you
- if you must leave home, such as to seek medical care, wear a surgical mask if you have one
- you follow the above advice on practising good hygiene.