health update

coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

If you suspect you may have COVID-19, please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398. You can ask for an interpreter in your language

Some appointments and health services will stop or change to reduce the risk of transmission. For more information, go to cancellations and appointments.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) update

 

If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), please call the dedicated hotline on:
1800 675 398.

You can ask for an interpreter in your language.

 

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

Last updated: 16 March 2020, 4:00pm

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: 

  • 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
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • 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:

  • fever
  • breathing difficulties such as breathlessness
  • cough
  • 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 to do if you have travelled overseas?

If you have recently returned from international travel, you must:

  • stay at home for 14 days after arriving in Australia, except when seeking medical care
  • not use public transport or taxis
  • not go to work, school, childcare or university
  • not go to other public places like shopping centres
  • not allow visitors into your home
  • stay in a different room to other people in your household as much as possible
  • call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice

What to do if you have come into contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?

If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you must:

  • stay at home for 14 days after contact, except when seeking medical care
  • not use public transport or taxis
  • not go to work, school, childcare or university
  • not go to other public places like shopping centres
  • not allow visitors into your home
  • stay in a different room to other people in your household as much as possible
  • call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice

What is the best way to self-isolate?

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.

What to do if you are feeling unwell?

If you have recently returned from overseas or had close contact with a person who has COVID-19, and:

  • begin to feel unwell
  • develop a fever
  • get shortness of breath
  • develop a respiratory illness

There are three options:

1) Ring the coronavirus hotline (1800 675 398) to explain your situation. You will be guided on next steps and how to best receive medical care.

2) Only if you show symptoms, go to one of the designated coronavirus assessment centres, with a mask on, to be tested. More information about assessment centres can be found below.

3) Contact your own GP for medical advice and support.

Call ahead to your GP or emergency department so they can prepare appropriate infection control measures.

If you have serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call 000 – ask for an ambulance and tell the operator your recent travel history or if you have had close contact with a person who has COVID-19.

Where are the coronavirus assessment centres?

Assessment centres have been established at 13 Melbourne hospitals. You may visit one of these centres if you have symptoms of COVID-19. You don’t need to call ahead if you attend one of the following clinics:

  1. The Alfred Hospital
  2. The Royal Melbourne Hospital
  3. St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne
  4. Albury Wodonga 
  5. Austin Hospital
  6. Barwon Health – Geelong
  7. Box Hill Hospital
  8. Monash Clayton
  9. Northern Hospital
  10. Peninsula Health – Frankston
  11. Sunshine Hospital
  12. Wonthaggi Hospital
  13. Ballarat Base Hospital

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.

What to do if you need a translator?

  1. call 131 450 
  2. request the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 
 
For the latest information on COVID-19 in Victoria, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.
If you have general questions about coronavirus, call the information hotline on 1800 020 080.

COVID-19 screening

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