COVID-19 Household Planning
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. Some people recover easily, others may get very sick very quickly. There is evidence that coronavirus spreads from person to person. Good hygiene can prevent the spread of infection in your household, the workplace and the community.
How is coronavirus spread?
Coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:
• direct close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared
• close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes
• touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.
How can we help prevent the spread of coronavirus?
Everyone must practice good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene to protect against infection and prevent the virus spreading. Good hygiene includes:
• covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
• disposing of tissues after use
• washing your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet
• using alcohol-based hand sanitisers
• cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
• if you are sick, avoiding contact with others and staying more than 1.5 metres from people
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The symptoms of COVID-19 are like other colds and flus and include:
• sore throat
• difficulty breathing
While coronavirus is of concern, it is important to remember that most people displaying these
symptoms are likely suffering with a cold or other respiratory illness, not coronavirus.
What should you do if you develop symptoms?
If you develop symptoms, you should isolate yourself and seek medical help from your local health service, including Nunkuwarrin Yunti. Telephone the health service before arriving and tell the staff about:
• your symptoms
• any travel history
• any recent contact with someone who has COVID-19.
You will be asked to take precautions when you attend the health service. Follow the instructions you are given. If you have a face mask, you should wear it to protect others.
Your doctor will tell you if you should be tested and they will arrange for the test.
If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19, you need to self-isolate to prevent it spreading to other people.
Who needs to isolate?
You must self-isolate for 14 days if you:
• have been diagnosed with COVID-19;
• a member of your household has been diagnosed;
• think you may have been in close contact with a confirmed case; or
• if you have been overseas and arrived in Australia from midnight 15 March 2020.
If you need to travel to your location for isolation (for example, travelling from Nunkuwarrin Yunti to home), you should use a personal mode of transport to minimise exposure to others. You should go straight to your isolation location i.e. do not stop at the supermarket or pharmacy on the way.
What does isolate in your home mean?
If you or a member of your household have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must stay at home to prevent it spreading to other people. You might also be asked to stay at home if it is suspected you have been exposed to the virus.
Staying at home means you:
• do not go to public places such as work, school, shopping centres, childcare or university
• ask someone to get food and other necessities for you and leave them at your front door
• do not let visitors in — only people who usually live with you should be in your home
You do not need to wear a mask in your home. If you need to go out to seek medical attention, wear a surgical mask (if you have one) to protect others.
Stay in touch with your family and friends by phone and on-line.
Preparing for isolation
To prepare yourself and other members of your household for home isolation, you should:
• create a list of your current health conditions and medications;
• store a reasonable supply of food and other household items. Keep on hand only you’re your household may require for the isolation period; do not over stock. This will ensure supplies are available for everyone in the community;
• ensure you have a supply of any required prescription and over-the-counter medications at hand;
• talk with your family and friends about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.