What you need to know about coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath. The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection. Find out who is at risk and what you should do if you think you have COVID-19.

How it spreads

The virus can spread from person to person through:

  • close contact with an infectious person (including in the 24 hours before they started showing symptoms)
  • contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
  • touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face

COVID-19 is a new disease, so there is no existing immunity in our community. This means that COVID-19 could spread widely and quickly.

To help reduce the spread and protect those who are most at risk, it is important that you take the recommended steps to protect yourself and others.

If you think you have COVID-19

If you are sick and think you have symptoms of COVID-19, seek medical attention. If you want to talk to someone about your symptoms first, call the Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  1800 020 080

You should also take the below action:

  • See your doctor immediately. Contact your clinic prior to visiting and take direction from them. If you have a mask, wear it to protect others
  • Follow all self-isolation practices as instructed by your doctor.
  • You must notify your local Synaco branch immediately, and Synaco will inform your host client.

Protect yourself and others

N.B. Australians have been advised do not travel overseas at this time

Good hygiene

Everyone must practise good 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 properly
  • washing your hands often with soap and water, including 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 away from people

Social distancing

One way to slow the spread of viruses is social distancing. For example:

  • staying at home when you are unwell
  • avoiding large public gatherings if they’re not essential
  • keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people whenever possible
  • minimising physical contact, especially with people at higher risk such as older people and people with existing health conditions
  • links to mental health online and phone support
  • resources and services that can help if you’re experiencing mental health concerns or trying to support someone else

Should you have any concerns or questions, please contact a Synaco representative on 8120 4840.

Always report any incidents and near misses to Synaco and your host site immediately; it’s important to remember that safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Stay safe.