Coronavirus - information for the community

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Information on the coronavirus

For the latest information from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on the novel coronavirus please visit their website


The Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Victoria. It is important to remain aware of the signs and symptoms and be vigilant to ensure that the virus does not spread.

Please read the following information, based on information provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) 

What are the symptoms of the novel coronavirus?

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms such as fever, coughing, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Sore throat and headache have also been reported.

What can I do to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus?

The easiest way to protect yourself and your family is to pay attention to good hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue, or cough into your elbow, dispose of the tissue into a bin and then wash your hands afterwards. Wash your hands regularly, after using the toilet and before eating.

As a precaution, people who have been in mainland China (excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) are advised to self-isolate if they were in mainland China on or after 1 February 2020, when the risk of human to human transmission across many provinces of mainland China was identified to have significantly increased.

The Australian Government has announced travel restrictions and has advised that visitors from mainland China who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents or their dependents will not be allowed entry into Australia. The Australian Government has also recommended that Australians should not travel to mainland China at the current time.

Should I wear a face mask?

The DHHS does not currently recommend face masks for use by members of the public in Victoria for the prevention of infections like novel coronavirus.

What should I do if I suspect I have the novel coronavirus?

This virus can cause an infection in people, including a severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever with a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath. Cases of this coronavirus have now been reported in some other Chinese provinces and several other countries.

As of 1 February 2020, the case definition for a person suspected to have contracted novel coronavirus has been expanded. Any person who has an acute respiratory infection and has been in mainland China or has had close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus in the 14 days prior to onset of illness should be tested for the infection.


Call the Department of Health and Human Service’s dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398 if you develop these symptoms. This hotline is serviced by Nurse-on-Call.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.