If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days: 1800 675 398
Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.
If you think you may have COVID-19, it is important you call ahead before presenting to your GP or health service.
What you need to know about COVID-19
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath and fatigue. The virus can be spread from person to person, but good hygiene and social distancing can prevent infection.
For more information on COVID-19, what you can do to reduce your risk of coronavirus infection and what to do if you are feeling unwell.
For a COVID-19 easy English resource click here(PDF, 437KB)
For a Self isolation easy English resource click here(PDF, 317KB)
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 you should:
- wash your hands often with soap and running water
- cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth
- don’t shake hands, hug or kiss when greeting people
- use an alcohol based hand sanitiser with more than 60 percent alcohol
- undertake regular cleaning of high touch surfaces
- continue habits like exercise, drinking water and getting plenty of sleep
- get the flu shot from the beginning of April
- isolate yourself for 14 days if you’ve come back from an overseas holiday
- isolate yourself at home if you feel unwell
- phone 1800 675 398 if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19 available.
Helping our young people
Children and young people will be seeing and hearing the pandemic unfold through a variety of sources and may be feeling confused and uncertain, and responding in different ways. The information and links below will assist in understanding what you might need to look out for, how to talk to your young person about the pandemic and where to seek some additional guidance and support.
World Health Organisation: Helping Children cope with stress during the COVID-19 outbreak.(PDF, 51KB)
Beyond Blue – hints on how to talk to young people about scary stuff in the news: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_URnXXK4Ag&feature=youtu.be
Kids Helpline is open to people aged 5 to 25 to answer your call, email or webchat. Parents, there are some great resources on the website to provide some support or guidance on a range of topics: https://kidshelpline.com.au/
Looking after your mental health
Remind yourself that this is a temporary period of isolation to slow the spread of the virus. Remember that your effort is helping others in the community to avoid contracting the virus. Stay connected with friends, family and colleagues via email, social media, video conferencing or telephone. Connect with others via online forums, such as the Beyond Blue forums thread:
For more information on looking after your mental health during this time you may like to check out the following information:
Beyond Blue – looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak
Mental Health Helplines
If you are in an emergency, in danger or you or someone close to you has seriously harmed themselves, call triple zero (000) for emergency services.
If you are not in an emergency situation, but you need immediate help, call one of the following helplines that offer crisis support and counselling over the phone:
- Lifeline – call 13 11 14 for this free, 24-hour Australia-wide crisis support and suicide prevention service.
- Suicide Call Back Service – call 1300 659 467 for this free service for people having suicidal thoughts, family or friends affected by suicide and healthcare professionals treating suicidal people.
- Suicide Line – call 1300 651 251 for free and anonymous support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week across Victoria.
Other helplines that you might find useful include:
- SANE Australia Helpline – call 1800 18 7263 for information about mental illness, treatments and support for you and your carer.
- Mensline Australia – call 1300 78 99 78 for telephone support, information and referrals for men dealing with relationship issues, or visit their website.
- Beyond Blue - call 1300 22 4636 for telephone support, information and resources for people dealing with depression or anxiety, or visit their website.
- Kids Helpline - call 1800 55 1800 free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for you people aged 5 to 25.
- Parentline Victoria - call 13 22 89 (cost of a local call) Open 8am to midnight 7 days per week. Phone service for parents and carers of children from birth to 18 years old offering confidential and anonymous counselling and support on parenting issues: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/parents/services-for-parents/Pages/parentline.aspx
Disaster is no excuse for family violence
It is known that the risk and incidence of family violence increases significantly during and after an emergency.
Family violence and other support services are still operating online and telephone serices are available to provide assistance.
Centre for Non-Violence - free call 1800 884 292 throughout the Loddon area
National Sexual Assult and Family Violence helpline 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or visit https://www.1800respect.org.au/ for information or NRS: 1800 555 677 Interpreter: 13 14 50
Safe Steps 24 hours family violence response and support service free call 1800 015 188
Men's Referral Service 1300 766 491 Monday - Friday 8am - 9pm and weekends 9am - 5pm
The Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria has an online services directory and an online directorate containing contact details and further information on services in the family violence and related sectors around Victoria https://www.dvrcv.org.au/talk-someone/victorian-services