Protecting yourself from becoming infected with COVID-19
The best way to avoid infection is to avoid contact with the virus. To do this
- wear a face mask whenever outside of the home
- avoid close contact with anyone who is showing signs of a respiratory illness
- regularly wash your hands thoroughly —with soap if available, otherwise with hand sanitiser
- ensure you wash your hands thoroughly after touching hard surfaces or having contact with animals
- avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if you have not washed your hands
Common symptoms include
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath
It can take up to 14 days after a person has been infected for symptoms to appear. Currently, it seems the elderly, people with a chronic disease (such as diabetes, chronic lung disease, kidney failure or people who are immuno-compromised) may be at a higher risk of developing a serious case of COVID-19.
In some situations, you must isolate yourself, even if you have no symptoms. These situations include
- if you have COVID-19
- you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
- you are awaiting results of a COVID-19 test
- you have symptoms of a respiratory illness and you are waiting for an appointment to be tested for COVID-19.
Contact the COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice about self-isolation If you develop symptoms, you may leave home to seek medical care, but please ensure you call before visiting your doctor or hospital emergency department and that you let them know about your symptoms or situation.
While the annual flu vaccine does not protect against Coronavirus (COVID-19), it is recommended that everyone receive the influenza vaccine, from May onwards, for protection against the regular flu.