Novel Coronavirus Update for Families 


Novel Coronavirus Update for Families 

We will continue to update families with new information as it comes to hand. The Leadership Executive are actively discussing possible developments and beginning to plan for these. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we remain in contact with the Department of Health and Human Services and Catholic Education Sandhurst as we make decisions about actions and advice for our community.

The Department of Health and Human Services have extensive and updated information available at this site - For the Victorian public – coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Some of this information is summarised below. They have also setup a dedicated Coronavirus hotline 1800 675 398 for the public.

Overseas Immersions and Study Tours Advice from Catholic Education Sandhurst is currently ‘that overseas school excursions should not proceed until further notice, except to New Zealand and Canada’. We currently have no indication as to when this advice might cease. At this point we are continuing to plan and organise as though the trips will go ahead, by doing this we can monitor the changing situation and make a firm decision about whether the trips go ahead or not when more advice comes in. We will keep parents and students informed of these changes as they develop. We are currently seeking advice regarding further payments and financial compensation should the trips be cancelled. We will be making contact with the individuals involved within the next week or so.

Ten ways to reduce your risk of coronavirus

• Wash hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.

• Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.

• Isolate yourself at home if you feel sick. If you take medication ensure you have adequate supplies.

• Phone your GP first if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do.

• Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep, and now is the time to quit smoking. Call the Quitline 137 848.

• Don't wear a face mask if you are well.

• Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol.

• Get the flu shot (available April).

• Shaking hands is optional!

How the infection is spread

COVID-19 spreads through close contact with an infected person; mostly face-to-face or within a household. It cannot jump across a room or be carried for long distances in the air so we should all go about our lives as normal. Close contact means greater than 15 minutes face-to-face or the sharing of a closed space for more than two hours with a confirmed case. A close contact could include any person meeting any of the following criteria: 

• living in the same household or household-like setting (for example, a boarding school or hostel)

• direct contact with the body fluids or laboratory specimens of a confirmed case

• a person who spent two hours or longer in the same room

• face-to-face contact for more than 15 minutes with the case in any other setting not listed above.

Advice for people who have travelled overseas

• The situation is evolving rapidly as we find out more about this disease. Increasing numbers of countries are reporting cases with rapid increases in many places.

• As such travellers returning from any country outside Australia are now considered at risk of COVID-19.

• At this stage, only returning travellers from Iran, South Korea and China should self- isolate.

• If you are arriving in Australia from Italy, you must present for health screening at the border as directed. Unless you are instructed to, you do not need to isolate at home.

• If you have returned from international travel in the last 14 days and begin to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or respiratory illness, you should call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice.

• For the most up-to-date information on travel restrictions visit: Smart Traveller or the Australian Department of Health coronavirus websites.