Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) FAQ

How can we help prevent the spread of coronavirus?

You can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections by making sure you

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Avoid contact with others if you are feeling unwell
  • Exercise personal responsibility for social distancing measures.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other colds and flus and include:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • 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 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.

Who needs to isolate?

All people who arrive in Australia from midnight 15 March 2020, or think may they have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

How to self-isolate?

Self-quarantine is important for protecting your family, friends and our community.

Self-quarantine means you must stay in your home, hotel room, or other accommodation for 14 days. If you are at home, only people who usually live in your household should be with you.

You should stay in an area of the home away from others (preferably with your own bathroom, living and sleeping area) to protect other household members. During this time, you should not allow visitors into your home, hotel room or accommodation. Other people who live in your home can go about their usual activities but if possible, they should avoid being in the same room as you.

If you live in a private house or apartment you can go into your own garden or onto your own balcony.

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

How to manage while in home quarantine

Ask your family/friends/others for assistance, such as to obtain groceries or replace medication. You may also consider using on-line shopping to order groceries and contacting your local pharmacy directly to organise supply of regular medication. Ask people making deliveries to your home/accommodation to leave the items at the door or in your letterbox. If you are unable to access food, medication or other essential items during home quarantine via family, friends or on-line shopping, contact your local Public Health Unit who will refer you to the appropriate agencies. Contact details for Pilbara Public Health Unit is 9174 1660.

What to do if you become unwell while you are in self quarantine

If you become unwell, contact your doctor or Public Health Unit for advice. Let them know you are in self-quarantine due to possible COVID-19 exposure. Call ahead if you are going to a doctor or hospital emergency department as you will need to wear a mask and be kept away from other people. If you require urgent medical assistance call 000.

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.

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 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.


Last updated: 17 April 2020