Information on Coronavirus for the Goulburn Valley Community

Friday 6 March 2020

Information on Coronavirus for the Goulburn Valley Community

Goulburn Valley Health (GV Health) is prepared in case the Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads to the Goulburn Valley region and has a number of key messages to help the community protect against infection.

Two students currently in Shepparton on an international school exchange program are being investigated for possible Coronavirus infection. On the advice of the Department of Health and Human Services these students have self-isolated in the care of one of their teachers and are awaiting the results of their tests, which are likely to be known in the next 24 hours.

GV Health’s Executive Director Medical Services & Chief Medical Officer, Dr John Elcock said other students from Shepparton schools are not at this point considered to have been in contact with a confirmed case and are not required to take any specific measures or to self-quarantine.

“While there are only a small number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in Victoria there is a high probability that the virus will spread and impact more Victorians,” Dr Elcock said.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the new coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

“All of us can play our part in containing the spread of this virus by doing a couple of simple things.

“You should pay close attention to good hand hygiene. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially before eating and after using the toilet.

“Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or cough into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue into a bin and then wash your hands with soap and water afterwards.

“If you have travelled to (including transit through) a country considered to pose a risk of transmission in the 14 days before onset of illness or if you have had close or casual contact in the 14 days before illness onset with a confirmed case of COVID-19 we recommend you call the Coronavirus hotline, “Dr Elcock added.

Countries that are at higher risk include Mainland China (excludes Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), Iran, Italy and South Korea. Countries deemed as moderate risk are Cambodia, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulties such as breathlessness
  • Cough
  • Sore throat, and
  • Fatigue or tiredness.

Dr Elcock said that it is not necessary for anyone to wear face masks if they are well.

“Face masks are not recommended for use by members of the public in Victoria.

“Stocks of masks will be in high demand in health services and GV Health’s supply will be kept for staff and patients.

“It is also important that if your feel unwell with any of the listed symptoms that you call the Coronavirus hotline which is serviced by Nurse-On-Call on 1800 675 398.

“We ask that you keep Triple Zero (000) calls for emergencies only.

“In the case you need to come to the Emergency Department please call ahead on 5832 2322 so we can meet you in the car park with a face mask before entering the health service,” Dr Elcock said.

Media Contact:

Jodie Fleming

GV Health Senior Media & Communications Advisor

Ph: (03) 5832 3495 or 0419 395 962

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