If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), please call the dedicated hotline on:
Last updated: 16 April 2020, 3:30pm
What we are doing
cohealth is well prepared to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), cohealth’s Leadership Network and Infection Control Committee are working together to:
- test people for COVID-19
- coordinate an evidence-based approach, and
- ensure we are well prepared to respond to all potential scenarios.
All incoming clients are screened to determine if they may be at risk. We are supporting anyone at risk to seek medical advice through DHHS.
How will this affect appointments?
We are taking action to continue protecting the health of our clients and the broader community. This includes providing innovative solutions to the way we deliver services to ensure we continue to provide safe, high-quality care.
cohealth has introduced video and telephone appointments to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission and protect the health of our clients and the broader community.
Our health centres remain open and doctors are offering face-to-face appointments for high priority clients. The following services are also providing face-to-face support in urgent or exceptional circumstances:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services
- Alcohol and other drugs services
- Dentists and oral health
- Homelessness services
- Hospital Admission Risk Program
- Occupational therapy
- Refugee health
Group based community programs will stop to reduce risk of transmission.
We will contact you to let you know how your appointment may be affected.
We can also discuss your health needs and how best to support you during this time.
For more information, go to cancellations and appointments.
What is COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which can cause illness in humans or animals. Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that can cause an infection in people, including a severe respiratory illness.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms reported include:
- breathing difficulties such as breathlessness
- sore throat
- fatigue or tiredness
Most people who contract COVID–19 will suffer only mild symptoms. Elderly people and people with pre-existing medical conditions are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms.
If you are elderly or have pre-existing medical conditions, please take extra care to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19.
For more information, read the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) factsheet on the DHHS website for people aged over 65 years (Word).
How can you protect yourself?
- wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and running water. See advice from DHHS on how to wash your hands (PDF)
- use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol
- avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when you cough or sneeze
- minimise physical contact with others where possible
- wear a P2 or N95 respirator mask only if you suspect you have COVID-19
- for healthy people, only wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected COVID-19
- stay at home if you feel unwell (see advice on how to self isolate below)
- seek medical attention if you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing
- call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398 to get advice on what to do and where to go for medical attention.
Who is most at risk?
You are at most risk if you have:
- been overseas in the past 14 days
- had close contact with a person who has COVID-19
What is the best way to self-isolate?
DHHS have developed these resources to support Australians who have been asked to self-isolate due to COVID-19:
What to do if you are in need of supplies for self-isolation?
The Victorian Government is providing emergency relief packages for vulnerable Victorians needing to self-quarantine due to coronavirus.
The relief packages include:
- food items (such as long-life milk, pasta, cereal, canned vegetables and sugar)
- personal care items (such as soap, toothpaste and deodorant)
- additional items (such as nappies or baby formula), depending on the needs of the household.
Emergency relief packages can be accessed by calling Victoria’s dedicated coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398. The hotline can also refer people to other support services if needed.
You can also find information about free food, food parcels and vouchers available from organisations within the central, Northern and Western areas of Melbourne on our Free food services page.
What to do if you are feeling unwell?
You should go to a coronavirus assessment centre to be tested if you have:
- a fever (38c or above)
- night sweats or chills
- chest infection
- sore throat
- shortness of breath
- runny nose
If you have serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call 000 – ask for an ambulance and tell the operator if you’re concerned you may have COVID-19.
For general coronavirus advice, call the Victorian Government’s dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398.
Where are the coronavirus assessment centres?
You have a few options on where to get tested. You can:
- Make an appointment to get tested for coronavirus at cohealth’s respiratory clinic located at the cohealth centre in Laverton. Appointments are available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. It is important that you book an appointment in advance by calling 03 9448 5547 or using the online booking portal (external link).
- Visit one of the cohealth centres listed below.
Testing is available Monday to Friday.
Hours: 9:30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4:30pm.
We would prefer that you make an appointment, however it is not essential.
- Get tested at one of the other coronavirus assessment centres clinics across Victoria. For a list of assessment centre locations, go to the Department of Health and Human Services website.
What to do if you have plans to travel overseas?
If you have plans to travel outside of Australia, the current Australian Government advice is to reconsider travel plans.
For the most up-to-date travel advice visit Smart Traveller.