As you may be aware, the World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a pandemic, acknowledging the virus will likely spread to all countries around the world.
To help slow the spread of coronavirus in Australia and keep you and your loved ones safe, there are some important things you can do now.
1. Call to book
All consultations are currently being carried out over the phone, known as telehealth. Your doctor will assess if your healthcare needs can be managed at home or if you need to come in. You can book online or call us. Please do not come to the clinic without booking first.
We’ve made this temporary change to ensure patients with serious health conditions, including those who may have contracted coronavirus, are prioritised. It also helps contain the spread of coronavirus and protects other patients and staff.
In addition, we’ve set up dedicated Respiratory Clinics to take care of patients with respiratory-like symptoms like colds and chest infections. We’ve also set up Flu Clinics for flu vaccinations.
While we manage our call volumes at this busy time, we appreciate your patience and understanding.
2. Wash your hands often
One of the best ways to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth and nose.
Watch the video below for the correct way to wash your hands with soap and water.
Want to see how germs can spread so easily?
In the following 10-minute video ‘experiment’, watch what happens when fake germs are placed on just a few kids’ hands. It’s a great reminder for all of us!
3. Cover your mouth and nose
Cough or sneeze into your elbow or cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.
This is because when someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus.
4. Keep your distance
In addition to practising good personal hygiene as basic measures against the coronavirus, you should also practise what is known as social distancing.
This involves staying at least one and a half metres away from other people, especially if they’re coughing or sneezing.
Do your bit by avoiding handshaking and other physical greetings, buying goods and services online, reconsidering outings and avoiding large gatherings and visits to vulnerable groups.
You must self-isolate if:
- you have COVID-19
- you’ve been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or
- you arrived in Australia after midnight on 15 March 2020.
Refer to this government website for more information about self-isolation.
6. Stay safe in our clinic
When you come to our clinic, please don’t bring additional people into the waiting room. If a family member needs help with translating, it’s best to do it over the phone. If you really need to accompany a family member, do the translating on the phone from inside your car and then come in if there are any issues.
If you have a child, bring your own items (e.g. toy, iPad) for your child to play with. This is because we’ve removed our toys from the waiting room.
Every little thing helps to stop the spread of the virus.
7. Practise good health habits
Changes to our daily lives, like social distancing, can affect our mental health, fitness and occupational health.
Many people will be spending much more time in their home, so we need to think about how to adapt our daily lives.
Here’s a great guide to help you navigate the change.
8. Look after yourself and each other
Staying healthy should be your number one priority right now. It’s also important to reach out to elderly relatives and neighbours to help them reduce their risk.
There are lots of myths about coronavirus. It’s therefore important that you keep following the advice of doctors and healthcare practitioners, as well as the state and federal government.
Together, we’ll get through this.
Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.
Last updated 22 March 2020