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FAQs: COVID-19 (formerly known as Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV))

This information is not medical advice and should be used as a guide only. Contact your local GP if you are concerned about any symptoms you may have.

How do I minimise individual risk of infection?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. Precautionary measures that can reduce risk of exposure to all respiratory viruses including the new coronavirus are as follows:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • stay home when you are sick
  • cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, dispose of the tissue in the rubbish
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • seek medical advice if required.

What if I have travelled to China?

All travellers returning to Australia from Hubei Province prior to 01 February 2020 must isolate themselves for 14 days from the time of leaving Hubei Province.

All Travellers who have arrived from or transited through mainland China on or after 1st of February must isolate themselves until 14 days after leaving China.

All persons who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must isolate themselves for 14 days after the last contact with the confirmed case.

Further information for Travellers arriving in Australia from mainland China and self isolation can be accessed via the links below:

https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/02/novel-co...

https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/02/novel-co...

What do I do if I am coming out of quarantine?

Information on self isolation and quarantine is available on the Australian Department of Health and Aging and State and Territory Government Health websites. Individuals should seek advice from their GP or Public Health Unit prior to returning to work.

What do I do if I am planning or returning from overseas travel?

The Australian government travel advisory is at ‘level 4 – do not travel to China’.

It is recommended that travellers to other international destinations also monitor the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) Smartraveller website and the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Situation report, for updated information and awareness of countries, territories or areas with reported confirmed cases.

The Smartraveller website provides risk minimisation strategies for travellers before, during and after travel. Information for travellers returning to Australia from mainland China can be accessed via the links listed above.

Staff travelling for work should speak with their manager and refer to company policy on overseas travel and pre-travel health advice. Staff undertaking personal travel should inform their employer and seek specialised pre travel health advice.

https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/2...

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/travel-a...

How long does COVID-19 survive on surfaces? Is it safe to receive a package from China or any other place where the virus has been identified?

It has not been determined how long the virus survives on surfaces, however preliminary information suggests it might survive for a few hours.

The WHO has stated that it is safe to receive packages from China or any other place where the virus has been identified.

More information can be accessed via the link below.

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

What are my resources as a frontline worker?

COVID-19 resources are readily available from the WHO, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Australian Department of Health and Aging as well as State and Territory Public Health Units. As information about this new virus continues to evolve, frontline workers should regularly monitor and review information to ensure they remain up-to-date.

https://www.health.gov.au/news/coronavirus-update-at-a-glance

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/novel-coronavirus-2019-n...

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technica...

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/index.html