Covid-19 Information for Roebourne Residents
There is a lot of information currently circulating regarding the Coronavirus. We would like to inform you of some facts regarding this illness.
Coronavirus usually causes an upper respiratory tract illness much like the common cold. Patients with this new coronavirus have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath according to the CDC. There is no specific treatment for coronavirus, yet most infected patients will recover fully on their own.
Below is more information on how you can protect yourself from Covid-19.
Karratha Health Campus and Roebourne District Hospital are the local testing centres for COVID-19 . You will need to phone the clinics prior to attending to check for opening hours and requirements.
COVID-19 COMMUNITY RESPONSE
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt urged residents in remote communities to follow health advice to protect against the potential health impacts of COVID-19, stressing the importance of residents not travelling between remote communities and not gathering in large numbers for funerals or other purposes.
Mr Wyatt emphasised that residents in remote communities should remain vigilant, and pay close attention to the advice of their health providers, especially people with pre-existing conditions such as respiratory disease, vascular disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease and diabetes.
How can we help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Follow these tips from the World Health Organisation to keep yourself safe and help contain the spread of the virus.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth, and nose.
- Avoid contact with people who are vulnerable. And if you can’t, wear a mask.
- Cover your cough with the bend of your elbow.
- Disinfect surfaces you regularly use.
- If you feel unwell, stay at home and call your healthcare provider.
- Only share information from trusted sources.
video courtesy of AusMed
STAY SAFE, STAY AT HOME
If you require medications we will deliver them to you. Call (08) 91 82 0851 Option 4
Due to the current health emergency MHS pharmacy has placed limits on the amount of medications we give out to ensure our supplies reach all the people who need them.
ABUSING THE PHARMACIST WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
After travelling back from Perth STAY SAFE, STAY AT HOME to avoid any possible spread of infection.
IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMPS DO NOT COME INTO THE CLINIC. CALL AND WE WILL ASSESS AND ADVISE WHAT TO DO.
We are now offering telephone appointments with a doctor for the following patient groups:
Anyone over the age of 70
ATSI people over 50
Patients with any illness like diabetes/ kidney/lung/heart/liver sickness
Patients with cancer
Children less than 1 year old
Call (08) 91 82 0851 Option 1
Call and DO NOT come in.
We are also offering telephone appointments with a doctor for patients who have:
1. Travelled outside the area and are feeling sick OR
2. Have been in contact with a suspected or confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Call (08) 91 82 0851 Option 4
Call and DO NOT come in.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a coronavirus and COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses known to cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak in Hubei Province, China.
How is this coronavirus spread?
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 metre (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
IT CANNOT JUMP ACROSS A ROOM OR BE CARRIED FOR LONG DISTANCES IN THE AIR
Can CoVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?
The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other colds and flus and include:
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
While coronavirus is of concern, it is important to remember that most people displaying these symptoms are likely suffering with a cold or other respiratory illness – not coronavirus.
What do I do if I develop symptoms?
If you develop symptoms within 14 days of arriving in Australia or within 14 days of last contact with a confirmed case, you should arrange to see your doctor for urgent assessment. You should telephone the health clinic or hospital before you arrive and tell them your travel history or that you have been in contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus. You must remain isolated either in your home, hotel or a health care setting until public health authorities inform you it is safe for you to return to your usual activities.
What are the criteria for getting tested for COVID-19?
- You have returned from overseas in the past 14 days and you develop respiratory illness with or without fever
- You have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days and you develop respiratory illness with or without fever
- You have severe community-acquired pneumonia and there is no clear cause
- You are a healthcare worker who works directly with patients and you have a respiratory illness and a fever
If you meet any of these criteria, your doctor can request you are tested for COVID-19. It is important to remember that many people with symptoms similar to COVID-19 will not have the virus. Only suspected cases are tested to ensure our labs are able to cope with the demand. There is no need to test people who feel well and do not meet the criteria above.
Who needs to isolate?
All people who arrive in Australia from midnight 15 March 2020, or think they may have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, are required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Someone I live with is getting tested for COVID-19. Should I self-isolate and get tested as well?
If a household member is a suspected case, you may need to be isolated. This will be determined by your public health unit on a case-by-case basis. Your public health unit will contact you if you need to isolate.
What does isolate in your home mean?
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must stay at home to prevent it spreading to other people. You might also be asked to stay at home if you may have been exposed to the virus.
Staying at home means you:
- do not go to public places such as work, school, shopping centres, childcare or university
- ask someone to get food and other necessities for you and leave them at your front door
- do not let visitors in — only people who usually live with you should be in your home
You do not need to wear a mask in your home. If you need to go out to seek medical attention, wear a surgical mask (if you have one) to protect others.
You should stay in touch by phone and on-line with your family and friends.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing is one way to help slow the spread of viruses such as COVID-19. Social distancing includes 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 and minimising physical contact such as shaking hands, especially with people at higher risk of developing serious symptoms, such as older people and people with existing health conditions.
There’s no need to change your daily routine, but taking these social distancing precautions can help protect the people in our community who are most at risk.
Who is most at risk of a serious illness?
Some people who are infected may not get sick at all, some will get mild symptoms from which they will recover easily, and others may become very ill, very quickly. From previous experience with other coronaviruses, the people at most risk of serious infection are:
· People with compromised immune systems (e.g. cancer).
· Elderly people.
· Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as they have higher rates of chronic illness.
· People with chronic medical conditions.
· People in group residential settings.
· People in detention facilities.
· Very young children and babies.*
*At this stage the risk to children and babies, and the role children play in the transmission of COVID-19, is not clear. However, there has so far been a low rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases among children, relative to the broader population.
How is the virus treated?
There is no specific treatment for coronaviruses. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care.
How can we help prevent the spread of coronavirus?
Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and keeping your distance from others when you are sick is the best defence against most viruses. You should:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet.
- Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- If unwell, avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people).
- Exercise personal responsibility for social distancing measures.
Can I visit family and friends in aged care facilities?
The outbreak of any virus in aged care facilities can cause significant problems. However COVID-19 is a health risk for older people. In order to protect older people, restrictions apply. Do not visit aged care facilities if you have:
- returned from overseas in the last 14 days
- been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- have a fever or symptoms of a respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, shortness of breath)
From 1 May you must have your influenza vaccination in order to visit an aged care facility.
The Government has also announced that aged care facilities must take extra precautions when it comes to visits, including:
- Ensuring visits are kept short.
- Ensuring visits are kept to a maximum of two visitors, including doctors, at a time.
- Ensuring that visits are in a resident’s room, outdoors, or in a specific area designated by the facility and not in communal areas.
- There be no large group visits or gatherings, including social activities or entertainment.
- School groups of any size are not to visit.
- Children under the age of 16 are not permitted, except in special circumstances.
If visiting family and friends in residential aged care facilities is not possible, it’s important to keep in touch via phone and video calls, send postcards, photos or artwork, or videos.
Can I go to public gatherings such as concerts and sporting events?
As of Sunday, 29 March 2020:
- Public gatherings, excluding household members, have been reduced to maximum of two people. Check State and Territory websites for further enforcement information.
- Everyone should stay home unless you are: shopping for essentials, receiving medical care, exercising or travelling to work or education.
- People aged over 70, aged over 60 with pre-existing conditions or Indigenous people aged over 50 should stay home wherever possible for their own protection.
What about indoor events like the gym, bars, movies and restaurants?
Gyms, bars and cinema are now closed. Restaurants remain operational but customers can only get take away food.
What about public transport like planes, buses, trains, ride shares and taxis?
All Australians should reconsider non-essential travel. While the risk of contracting COVID-19 on a plane is low, non-essential travel is not recommended.
Most public transport is considered to be essential. However the Government does recommend that employers offer flexible working arrangements to minimise the number of people catching public transport at any one time. Long distance services carry a higher risk of infection and should be reconsidered at this time.
The Spirit of Tasmania is considered an essential service and will still operate.
If possible, sit in the back seat of taxis and ride share vehicles.
Group transport of at-risk people, including older people should be avoided where possible.
My workplace has more than 100 people. Can I still go to work?
Yes, you can still go to work. The Government currently recommends that organised, non-essential gatherings be limited to a maximum of 100 people. This advice does not include workplaces, schools, universities, shops, supermarkets, public transport and airports. If you are unwell, you should stay home to avoid spreading germs to others.
Should I be taking my kids out of childcare or school?
No, at this stage the Government recommends continuing essential daily activities including school and childcare. If your child is unwell, you should keep them home to avoid spreading their germs to others.
So far, information from around the world indicates that children who develop COVID-19 have very mild symptoms and very little transmission appears to occur between children.
Singapore is currently providing a strong example of the benefits of keeping child care and schools operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schools should ensure their hygiene practices are appropriate and that children are educated about and encouraged to practice social distancing wherever possible.
What about sports and activities?
Major sporting events and community activities may be postponed or cancelled depending on the size of the event and the expected number of attendees.
Community sport can continue at this stage. However, only essential participants should attend activities, i.e. players, coaches, match officials, staff and volunteers involved in operations and parents/guardians of participants
How long does the virus survive on surfaces?
It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).
If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose
Is it safe to receive a package from any area where COVID-19 has been reported?
Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.
Should I wear a face mask?
You do not need to wear a mask if you are healthy. While the use of masks can help to prevent transmission of disease from infected patients to others, masks are not currently recommended for use by healthy members of the public for the prevention of infections like coronavirus.
TIPS FOR CARING FOR MOB
Elders and family and friends who have other health and medical conditions can be at higher risk of contracting Coronavirus.
FOOD, MEDICINE and ESSENTIAL ITEMS – check what they have at home and make sure that if they take regular medication they have extras on hand. Picking up groceries or medicine for them is a helpful way to reduce the changes of them coming into contact with COVID-19.
CREATE AN EMERGENCY CONTACT LIST – have a list of emergency contact numbers handy and a plan for if they fall ill so they know what to do if they feel unwell, including contact numbers for local GP’s or medical centre.
STAY CONNECTED – even though self-isolation is being encouraged it’s important we stay connected. Pick up the phone and have a yarn with family & friends and check in regularly on each other during this time.
LIMIT COMMUNITY GATHERINGS – it is better to self-isolate than risk exposing others so be cautions and stay connected in other ways.
For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au
Call the National Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
The phone number of your state or territory public health agency is available at www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts
If you have concerns about your health, speak to your doctor.
Please read the “Covid-19 and Roebourne Restrictions” brochure below for more info:
Covid-19 & Roebourne Restrictions
A lot of us are feeling no good and worried right now with everything happening.
We don’t know exactly what COVID-19 (the virus) means for us and our families and it’s confusing when everything changes all the time.
Here at Mawarnkarra, we are working hard every day to keep our community safe. We are here for you and we won’t be leaving you. We have smart doctors and nurses and all our staff are working together to make sure this virus doesn’t reach our community. Together, we will come through this.
But for this to happen, we need your help.
We need your help to follow the rules that the government has set for us.