Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a current health issue affecting many countries across the world, including Australia.
The World Health Organisation has declared the current outbreak of the coronavirus a pandemic. For the most up-to-date information regarding the coronavirus please visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.
Symptoms of novel coronavirus
The virus can cause an infection in people, including a severe respiratory illness. Symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Affected people may experience, fever, flu like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and headaches and difficulty breathing.
Information on Council Services impacted by coronavirus click here.
Everyone should follow good hygiene practices and other measures to protect against infections. These measures include:
- Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue over nose and mouth or into your elbow
- Isolate yourself if you are feeling sick and phone your GP first if you need medical attention
- Do not wear a facemask if you are well
View a fact sheet for more information on self-isolation(PDF, 238KB)
Victorians should act now to reduce the risk of infection from coronavirus (COVID-19). The State Department of Health and Human Services has recommended a number of actions you can take to help reduce the risk of infection and slow the spread of coronavirus.
One way to slow the spread of viruses is social distancing. As a general rule, stay 1.5 metres away from anyone else – about the length of two arms.
Stage 3 restrictions are now in effect. They will be in place for four weeks and reviewed as required.
Gatherings will be restricted to no more than 2 people except for members of your immediate household and for essential work or education.
There are only 4 reasons to be out:
◾ shopping for what you need - food and essential supplies
◾ medical, care or compassionate needs
◾ exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements
◾ work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely
Visits with friends for social purposes, long days at the beach or in the park, and trips to the shops for items that aren’t required are not allowed.
Stage 3 restrictions are enforceable with police in Victoria able to issue on-the-spot fines of over $1600 for individuals who flout the rules.
Everyone should take steps to prepare for the possibility of transmission of coronavirus in Victoria in the coming weeks or months.
People should plan how they and their family and businesses would manage if they are isolated due to the virus. For dairy farmers this will include how their business will function and their workforce are protected.
- Have a plan to stay home for an extended period if you are required to quarantine
- Have medications, food and fluids on hand
- Look out for at-risk neighbours, friends or family members
Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for public gatherings and visits to vulnerable groups
As the current circumstances can be distressing, please be aware of your own emotions and those of people around you.
If you need support, contact one of these services:
Red Cross Support Fact Sheet (DOCX, 74KB)
Red Cross is offering a COVID Connect service which engages a Red Cross Volunteer who will continue social calls to provide support and community connection to people who are feeling socially isolated as a result of COVID-19.
The service can be accessed by calling 1800 733 276, or registering for follow-up via the link connect.redcross.org.au/covid-connect/
Black Dog Institute
Further support services
It can be tempting to use alcohol or
drugs in times of stress, or if you're just
bored in self-isolation.
Are you hitting the bottle to much?
You can do a self-assessment online or
call 24 hours a day, seven days a week,
for free and confidential support.
Phone: 1800 888 236
If you are experiencing, or at risk of sexual
assault, domestic or family violence, this
is a confidential service available 24 hours
a day, seven days a week.
Phone: 1800 737 732
If you are at immediate risk of
physical harm, call 000.
Bethany supports victims of family violence and
change perpetrator behaviour, people experiencing
financial stress, those effected by problem
gambling and other addictions, and more.
Phone: 1300 510 439
Colac Area Health
Family Support Service
The Family Support Service is available
to families with children aged 0-18 years.
Phone: 5232 5140 or 5232 5180
Are you or someone in your household
punting too much? If your income has
suffered due to coronavirus, gambling
isn't going to cover your living costs.
Gamblers Help offers free and
confidential support, 24/7.
Phone: 1800 858 858
Older Person’s COVID-19 Support Line
Set up to provide information, support and check on older Australians during the period of social distancing measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. COTA Australia, National Seniors, Dementia Australia and the Older Person’s Advocacy Network have banded together to deliver this service with support from the Australian Government.
Senior Australians, their families and carers can freecall 1800 171 866 if they:
- would like to talk with someone about what COVID-19 means for them or a loved ones
- are feeling lonely or distressed
- are caring for a someone and need some information or a listening ear about what COVID-19 means for your circumstances
- are worried about COVID-19 means for their usual aged care service
- are worried about a friend or family member living with dementia.
- are unable to access information on the internet and would like up-to-date advice.
Home care services providers can also use the number and dial option 1 to refer home care clients who would like a call from an independent organisation to check on their wellbeing.
The service will include outbound and inbound calls to provide contact, reassurance and practical advice on connecting to services to maximise social engagement and wellbeing whilst at home.
Victorians self-isolating due to coronavirus with no access to food and essential supplies will receive emergency relief packages under a State Government program.
This is a last resort for people in mandatory self-isolation, who have little or no food, and no network of family and friends to support them. Each household that meets the criteria will receive a two-week supply of essential goods.
It 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.
Energy bills and COVID-19
The Minister for Energy, Environment, and Climate Change has issued a media release reminding Victorians that energy retailers must provide assistance to any household that contacts them because they are having trouble paying their bills.
If you are concerned about coronavirus in Victoria, call the Department of Health and Human Services coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
For the latest information on coronavirus in Australia and other resources, such as guidance on isolation visit Department of Health and Human Services or health.gov.au.
The Federal Department of Health has launched a new coronavirus app and WhatsApp channel. The app is now available for Apple and Android devices. The WhatsApp channel can be accessed at aus.gov.au/whatsapp . These new platforms provide a trusted source of information for Australians looking for the latest advice.