Latest information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the ACT

Please continue to check this page regularly for further updates.

On Tuesday 11 February 2020, the World Health Organization announced the official name for the new coronavirus disease as “COVID-19”. The CO stands for corona, the VI for virus and the D for disease.

COVID-19 causes a spectrum of illness including fever and/or respiratory symptoms (e.g.  cough, sore throat or shortness of breath). Most cases are mild. Currently, there is no specific treatment. There is evidence that it spreads from person to person, so good hygiene is important in preventing infection.

Read our COVID-19 – the basics factsheet (21 February 2020) for more information.

Please continue to check this page regularly for further updates.

Current status

28 February 2020, current as at 12:18 PM AEDT – Australian Eastern Daylight Time (Daylight Saving Time)

  • 0 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ACT

     
  • 105 people tested negative so far

You can call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 if you are seeking information on COVID-19. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

了解新型冠状病毒(正式名称:COVID-19)的详情可联络冠状病毒卫生信息热线(Coronavirus Health Information Line),电话:1800 020 080。热线每周7天,每天24小时开放工作。
我们还根据最新疫情防控和卫生建议,为首都特区(ACT)华人居民编制了中文资料和信息,可供下载。

What you need to know

The ACT Health Directorate is taking a highly precautionary approach to managing the spread of COVID-19, which is in line with the latest national health advice.

This advice is to isolate yourself if you are at risk of getting the virus based on the following:

  • If you have been in Hubei Province in the past 14 days, you need to isolate yourself for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province
  • If you have been in, or transited through, mainland China on or after 1 February 2020, you need to isolate yourself for 14 days after leaving mainland China
  • If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case, you need to isolate yourself for 14 days after your last contact with that person

You do not need to isolate yourself if you:

  • Left mainland China before 1 February 2020 and did not travel in Hubei Province
  • Have only travelled in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan

The ACT Health Directorate has well established processes and procedures in place for the management of infectious diseases in the ACT. We are working in partnership with the Australian Government Department of Health and our state and territory counterparts to monitor and respond to the situation.

What we know about COVID-19

There is an outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus, COVID-19, which has so far mostly affected people who live in or who have visited mainland China, or those who have had close contact with sick people with the COVID-19 infection.

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can affect humans and animals. In humans, coronaviruses can cause mild illness, such as the common cold and gastrointestinal infections, as well as more severe illness, such as that caused by SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever and respiratory symptoms, including cough, sore throat and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia with severe acute respiratory distress. Current estimates of the time it takes for symptoms to develop from when a person is infected (i.e. the incubation period) range from 2-14 days.

For more information, visit the Department of Health website.

How is COVID-19 spread?

At this point in time, experts believe it’s likely that COVID-19 originated in an animal species, and then spread to humans.

COVID-19 can spread from person to person, but it is not yet understood how easily that occurs.

There is emerging information that some people may be infectious for a short period before they develop symptoms or have minor symptoms. While this is believed to be very uncommon, it does mean that close contacts of confirmed cases and recent travellers from mainland China, may be infectious before they develop obvious symptoms.

Other human COVID-19 strains can also be spread from person to person through coughing or sneezing or via contaminated hands from a person who is sick with the illness.

Health advice for schools and childcare centres

The ACT Health Directorate is taking a highly precautionary approach to managing the spread of COVID-19, which is in line with the latest national health advice. This advice is for young children, students and staff to isolate themselves if they’re risk of getting the virus based on the following:

  • If they have been in Hubei Province in the past 14 days, they need to isolate themselves for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province
  • If they have been in mainland China on or after 1 February 2020, they need to isolate themselves for 14 days after leaving mainland China
  • If they have been in close contact with a confirmed case, they need to isolate themselves for 14 days after their last contact with that person

Students and staff DO NOT need to self-isolate if they:

  • Left mainland China before 1 February 2020 and did not travel in Hubei Province
  • Have only travelled in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan

The ACT Health Directorate has well established processes and procedures in place for the management of infectious diseases in the ACT. We are working in partnership with the Australian Government Department of Health and our state and territory counterparts to monitor and respond to the situation.

More information:

Health advice for universities

The ACT Health Directorate is taking a highly precautionary approach to managing the spread of COVID-19, which is in line with the latest national health advice. This advice is for university students and university staff to isolate themselves if they’re risk of getting the virus based on the following:

  • If they have been in Hubei Province in the past 14 days, they need to isolate themselves for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province
  • If they have been in mainland China on or after 1 February 2020, they need to isolate themselves for 14 days after leaving mainland China
  • If they have been in close contact with a confirmed case, they need to isolate themselves for 14 days after their last contact with that person

Students and staff DO NOT need to self-isolate if they:

  • Left mainland China before 1 February 2020 and did not travel in Hubei Province
  • Have only travelled in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan

The ACT Health Directorate has well established processes and procedures in place for the management of infectious diseases in the ACT. We are working in partnership with the Australian Government Department of Health and our state and territory counterparts to monitor and respond to the situation.

More information:

Information for travellers

Information for healthcare workers in the ACT

Healthcare workers in ACT public hospitals as well as General Practitioners (GPs) across Canberra are well prepared with precautionary advice to assist them identify any suspected cases of this infection.

ACT health professionals will be updated regularly on the case definition for COVID-19, testing and infection control advice. Please refer to the Chief Health Officer Alerts, as well as for resources, to assist you in your clinical practice.

Translated documents and information for ACT’s Chinese community
们已经根据最新的健康建议更新有关新型冠状病毒的翻译产品

For more information in simplified Chinese, please go to the Federal Department of Health’s website.

What does it mean to self-isolate?

Being isolated at home means that you need to stay at home for the full period of 14 days.

This means you cannot go to:

  • work
  • school
  • public areas

You should not use:

  • public transportation
  • ride share or taxis

Visitors to the home should be discouraged.

If you are self-isolating but you need to leave your home for medical attention , you must call the Communicable Disease Control Information line on (02) 5124 9213 during business hours or (02) 9962 4155 after hours. This is so that appropriate and safe travel arrangements can be made for your arrival at the health service. This call must be made if you need to:

  • see your general practitioner;
  • go to an emergency department; or
  • see an alternative health practitioner like an actupuncturist or medicinal herbalist, such as Chinese medicine practitioners.

More information:

什么是“自我隔离”?

“自我隔离”就是您不能离开自己的家,并与外界隔离不能少于14天。

也就是说,在自我隔离期间,您不能外出前往:

  • 工作场所;
  • 学校;
  • 公共场所。

您不能搭乘:

  • 公共交通;
  • 共享车或出租车。

您也不应该在家中接待访客。
如果在自我隔离期间必须外出就医,您必须首先联络传染病防控信息热线(Communicable Disease Control Information),工作时间可致电:(02) 5124 9213,非工作时间可致电:(02) 9962 4155。这样做的目的是以便能够安排恰当的交通,让您安全地前往医疗服务设施。如果您有以下需要,则必须预先致电:

  • 去看您的家庭医生(GP);
  • 去诊所医院急诊;或 
  • 去看其他另类或替代卫生保健服务人员,例如中医(针灸师或中药师)。
     
Frequently Asked Questions
Page last updated on: 28 Feb 2020