What you need to know

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). 

Latest news

20/11/2020: South Australia new COVID-19 cases

There are 34 active cases of COVID-19 in South Australia. 

As this situation is rapidly evolving, we encourage you to visit the SA Health website for the most up to date information and latest news.

Find out more

1/10/2020: Changes to Telehealth

Commencing 13 March 2020 and extending until 31 March 2021, temporary Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) telehealth items have been made available to help reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 and provide protection for patients and health care providers.

What are the changes?

From 1 October 2020, GPs and other Medical Practitioners providing COVID-19 telehealth services are not required to bulk bill (an out of pocket cost for the service) their patients.

Why are the changes being made?

The Government has extended its national COVID-19 emergency health response for a further six months, to 31 March 2021. This will ensure that patients continue to have access to key health initiatives, including Medicare-subsidised telehealth services.

The temporary MBS telehealth items allow people to access essential Medicare funded health services in their homes and reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19 within the community.

Find out more here.

What is coronavirus and COVID-19?

This new coronavirus disease, which originated in Hubei Province in China late in 2019, is named COVID-19 and it has been assessed as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.  

Current status in Australia
Last updated: 14/10/20
There have been 27,317 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including  899 deaths in Australia. 

Key advice 

Stay home and get tested if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) no matter how mild: including fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of sense of smell or taste. Go home straight after your test and self-isolate while you wait for the results. You must not go to a workplace until you get your results.

Top tips for staying well this winter

Preventing the spread

Social distancing

Social distancing is one of the most important strategies for slowing the spread of COVID-19, as well as other viruses. These viruses typically spread via droplets so the more space between you and others, the harder it is for viruses to spread. While many states and territories have eased restrictions around Australia, the recent spike in Victoria is a timely reminder of the importance of continuing to practice social distancing. When you go out, maintain 1.5 metres between yourself and others, practice good hand hygiene and avoid touching your face.

Home hygiene

It’s also important to consider additional preventative cleaning measures to keep nasty bugs out of your home. You may also like to hang our free poster on your front door or window, which kindly asks people to stay away if they are unwell or to take additional precautions should they be invited in.

Maintain Healthy Habits

Physical Health

It’s important to include exercise and a healthy diet into your daily routine for both for your physical health and emotional wellbeing. While you may not be able to participate in your normal exercise routine or classes, it’s important to stay active and maintain your exercise habits while at home.

Find out more

Mental health

During this uncertain time, you may experience a range of emotions. It’s important to prioritise not only your physical, but emotional wellbeing during this time. We encourage you to use digital platforms to stay connected to your loved ones and try and maintain as much of a normal routine as you can. Read more tips and advice for looking after your wellbeing from Clinical Psychologist Debra Sandford.

Managing your condition

Now more than ever, it’s important to continue accessing your usual healthcare to manage your condition and symptoms. Telehealth and medicine delivery services may be available to you during this time. These services can help reduce your need to leave your house and reduce your exposure to viruses and bugs. Read more advice on how to best manage your condition through winter.

Vaccinate against flu and pneumonia

It is more important than ever to be vaccinated against influenza and, if indicated, pneumonia. While these vaccines won’t protect you from COVID-19, they will help to reduce the severity of flu and pneumonia which can cause complications with your current condition and lower your immune system, making you more susceptible to other illnesses. Make an appointment with your GP or pharmacist today. Please ensure you call ahead to ask what measures are in place to protect vulnerable community members from exposure to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Expert Working Group

We’ve formed an COVID-19 Expert Working Group with some of the leading respiratory experts in the country. This group will meet regularly to support our team in providing you with the most up-to-date information, support and guidance, and to answer your most asked questions. Sign up for our email newsletters on COVID-19.