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). 

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: 31/08/20
There have been 25,744 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including  652 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.

COVID-19 State and Territory Information

  • Victoria

    Current status in Victoria 
    Last updated: 31/08/20
    There are 2,830 active cases of COVID-19 in VIC.

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

    Visit Victoria Health

    Latest news

    16/08/2020 –  Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos, MP extended the current Declaration of State of Emergency through to 11.59pm 13 September 2020. The State of Emergency provides the Chief Health Officer with additional powers to issue directions to help contain the spread of coronavirus and keep Victorians safe. To find out more click here.

    12/08/2020 – A new Call-to-Test service will provide in-home coronavirus testing to Victorians who would otherwise be unable to get tested. This includes older Victorians, Victorians with a disability, carers and those with an illness that might prevent them from leaving home. For eligible callers located in Melbourne, testers will visit within 48 hours.

    5/08/2020 – The Victorian Government will pause all Category 3 and non-urgent Category 2 elective surgery in regional Victoria. This announcement follows the recent decision to pause all Category 3 and non-urgent Category 2 elective surgery in metropolitan Melbourne.

    Find out more

    2/08/2020 – Melbourne move into stage 4 restrictions from 6pm on 2 August 2020. During this time a curfew will be implemented across Melbourne from 8pm to 5am. The only reason to leave home during these times will be work, medical care and caregiving.

    Other restrictions coming into place as of 6pm 2 August 2020:

    • Shopping for essentials will be limited to one person per household per day. A five-kilometre limit will apply
    • All Victorian students will move to remote learning from Wednesday 5 August
    • Exercise will be limited to one hour a day within a five-kilometre radius of your home. Group size will be limited to two, regardless of if you are in the same household or not.

    31/07/2020 – Face coverings will be mandatory for all Victorians from Sunday night, 2 August 2020. Members of the public will be exempt from wearing a facemask if they qualify for one of the following reasons:

    •  Going for a run
    •  Have medical issues that make mask wearing difficult
    •  Have a job that is not amenable to mask wearing
    •  Are a child aged under 12 years old.

    For more information on the use of facemasks in Victoria, visit: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/face-masks-covid-19. For advice for people living with lung disease and lung cancer, please follow the link below.

    Find out more

  • New South Wales

    Current status in New South Wales 
    Last updated: 31/08/20
    There are 391 active cases of COVID-19 in NSW.

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

    Visit NSW Health

     Latest news

    4/08/2020 – NSW Health has advised that new NSW border entry permits with QR codes are being issued to Victorian and NSW residents who need to cross the border for medical care. Residents are authorised to travel only if the medical or hospital service is not available in their state or cannot be accessed remotely. Patients are required to provide certification from a medical practitioner that the services are necessary to treat or maintain their health. They must travel by the most practicable direct route to the place where the service is provided and back to their home again.

    Find out more

    2/08/2020 – NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant strongly recommends wearing a mask:

    • If it hard to maintain 1.5 metres of physical distance from others
    • On public transport
    • In supermarkets and shops
    • In places of worship
    • In indoor venues with a higher risk of transmission, where practical
    • If working in cafes, restaurants pubs and clubs and other venues with a higher risk of transmission.

    Wearing a mask in any of these settings is not mandatory but is highly recommended, especially in areas where there has been community transmission.

    For more information on the use of facemasks in New South Wales, visit: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/face-masks. For advice for people living with lung disease and lung cancer, please follow the link below.

    Find out more

  • Western Australia

    Current status in Western Australia
    Last updated: 31/08/20
    There are 15 active cases of COVID-19 in WA. 

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

    Visit WA Health

    The WA Government have not recommended the use of facemasks at this stage. If you would like more information and advice around the use of face masks for people living with lung disease and lung cancer, please follow the link below.

    Find out more

  • Queensland

    Current status in Queensland 
    Last updated: 31/08/20
    There are 40 active cases of COVID-19 in QLD. 

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

    Visit QLD Health

    Latest news

    24/08/2020 – As cases in QLD have started to increase the QLD Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young urged people living in the Greater Brisbane region, particularly in Ipswich, to start wearing face masks when social distancing is difficult. If you would like more information and advice around the use of face masks for people living with lung disease and lung cancer, please follow the link below.

    Find out more

  • South Australia

    Current status in South Australia
    Last updated: 24/08/20
    There are 9 active cases of COVID-19 in SA. 

    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.

    Visit SA Health

    Latest news 

    4/08/2020 – From Wednesday 5 August, gatherings at homes in South Australia will be limited to 10 people. Additionally, the standing consumption of food and drink will no longer be permitted.

    The South Australia Government have not recommended the use of facemasks at this stage. If you would like more information and advice around the use of face masks for people living with lung disease and lung cancer, please follow the link below.

    Find out more

  • Other areas in Australia

    While restrictions have eased in ACT, WA, TAS and NT it’s important for everyone to remain vigilant and continue following the COVIDSafe advice, including:

    • Stay 1.5 metres away from other people whenever and wherever we can
    • Maintain good hand washing and cough/sneeze hygiene
    • Stay home when we’re unwell, and get tested if we have respiratory symptoms or a fever.

    Keep up to date with the latest information in your area by following state and territory advice.

    Facemasks 

    Health experts are also now recommending face masks in areas of Australia where community transmission of COVID-19 is high. You should follow the advice of your state or territory government to determine if it is necessary for you to wear a mask when you leave home.

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.