COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

What is 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. 

NSW State Government Hotline: 13 77 88

A 24/7 hotline has been set up to handle COVID-19 inquiries. The hotline can provide the latest updates on restrictions, cost of living assistance, financial support for businesses or rules around social distancing.

HEALTH DIRECT 24 hour health information line: 1800 022 222

Health Direct is a government funded telephone and online health service which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Call 1800 022 222 to talk to a registered nurse about your health concerns or visit the website

How does COVID-19 spread?

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


​​What are the symptoms?

IMPORTANT: If you have severe difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000) immediately and tell the call handler and the paramedics on arrival about your recent travel history and any close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19.

The symptoms of COVID-19 can vary, below are some of the most common symptoms. If you are unsure if you meet the criteria, go to the Health Direct web page.

  • A high temperature.

  • A new and consistent cough (this means you are coughing repeatedly).

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Body aches.

  • Sore throat.

​If you are unsure, use the healthdirect symptom checker.

What should I do if I have symptoms?

If you are experiencing severe symptoms and are having trouble breathing, phone 000 immediately.  If you believe you are experiencing symptoms but it is not an emergency, phone a doctor or the 24 hour information hotline (1800 020 080).

Even if you are well, and have had no known contact with a person with COVID-19, stay home.

  • Viruses cannot move on their own. People move viruses. 

  • Social distancing is one way to help slow the spread of viruses such as COVID-19.

  • If you must leave your home, keep a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people.

  • Minimise contact especially with people at higher risk of developing serious symptoms, such as older people and people with existing health conditions

If you are ill, or have been told to self-isolate, you must stay at home. 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. For more information, please visit or NSW Health.

Need to talk to someone?

The National Coronavirus Help Line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please phone 1800 020 080.​ If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.

How does COVID-19 spread?

Coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:

  •       Direct close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared.

  •       Close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes.

  •       Touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.

Should I wear a face mask?

As at 5 April 2020, the advice from NSW Health regarding face masks is:

People who have symptoms and might be infected with COVID-19 are required to stay in isolation at home and should wear a surgical face mask when in the same room as another person and when seeking medical advice to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to anyone else.


Health care workers who are caring for patients with suspected COVID-19 should use appropriate personal protective equipment to protect themselves against COVID-19. For more information refer to Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) - Coronavirus COVID-19.

Returning from Overseas Travel

People who have returned from anywhere overseas are required to self-isolate for 14 days. During this time, you should monitor your health closely. If you develop symptoms including a fever and cough, you should seek medical attention, remembering to call ahead.


People who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus should also self-isolate, monitor their health and seek medical advice. While coronavirus is of concern, it is important to remember that most people displaying symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or tiredness are likely suffering with a cold or other respiratory illness – not coronavirus.

Where do I go to get advice?

We need to work together to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).  While the Federal Government is working with the states and territories, the details around health regulations, what you can and can’t do under the public health orders, is different between each of the states. 

​For information from the Federal Government go to (please note the current hyperlink on this section goes to the NSW site)

For information from the NSW Government, go to


If you have severe difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000) immediately

and tell the call handler and the paramedics on arrival about your recent travel history and any close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19

***IN LANGUAGE RESOURCES: Click here.***


Further in language resources from Community and Cultural Connections can be accessed here.

SBS have also created a great resource with COVID-19 information here

Office address: 2/12 Elgin Street, Maitland NSW 2320 | Mail: PO Box 920, Maitland NSW 2320

Phone: 02 4933 1617 | Fax: 02 4933 4782 | Email:

Authorised by Jay Suvaal, Country Labor Party, 9/377 Sussex Street, Sydney NSW 2000

  • YouTube - White Circle