About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some coronaviruses cause illness in humans and others cause illness in animals. Human coronaviruses generally cause mild illness, such as the common cold. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously found in humans. Outbreaks of new coronavirus infections among people are always a public health concern and the situation is evolving rapidly.

An infected person spreads COVID-19 through contaminated droplets when they are coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands, surfaces or objects.

Staying healthy

We know that people with disability are often more vulnerable to illness than the general community. Practising good hygiene will help you to remain healthy during this time. You should:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after an activity, including your service with Northcott. Wash for at least 20 seconds (if you sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to yourself twice, this is 20 seconds). If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub (sanitiser).
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Avoid handshakes, kissing and other physical contact wherever possible.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Use a clean tissue and dispose of it afterwards, or cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Limit the number of visitors to your home.
  • Avoid large crowds of people.
  • Practise social distancing.
  • Have your annual flu vaccination (unless your doctor advises against this).

What to do if you are sick

If you are feeling unwell, it may or may not be COVID-19. Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild flu-like symptoms (such as fever, headache, coughing, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath) to pneumonia.

Some people will recover easily, while others may get very sick, very quickly. Stay home if you are sick and make an appointment with your doctor if needed.

You can also call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.

More information