The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has published advice regarding cases of a novel coronavirus, referred to as 2019-nCoV, associated with Hubei Province in China. There are several confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Victoria.
Football Victoria strongly advises its clubs, associations and participants to follow the advice of the Department of Health and Human Services.
If you have travelled from mainland China on or after 1 February 2020, or have been in Hubei Province, China in the past 14 days:
- stay at home (self-quarantine)
- avoid public settings - this means you should not attend work, school, childcare, university or football-related activities or go to other public places such as restaurants, cinemas, shopping centres or football matches/events and should not use public transport
- do this for 14 days after landing in Australia (other than when seeking medical care)
If you have been in close contact with someone who already has novel coronavirus:
- stay at home (self-quarantine)
- avoid public settings for 14 days after you last came into contact with them
If you fall into the risk groups above and begin to feel unwell and develop a fever, shortness of breath, a cough or respiratory illness during your period of isolation (self-quarantine), you should seek immediate medical attention.
Call ahead to your GP or emergency department and mention your travel history before you arrive.
If you are concerned call the Department of Health and Human Service’s coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
What is the novel coronavirus?
The virus can cause an infection in people, including a severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever with a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath. Cases of this coronavirus have now been reported in other Chinese provinces and several other countries, including Australia.
As of 1 February 2020, the case definition for a person suspected to have contracted novel coronavirus has been expanded. Any person who has an acute respiratory infection and has been in mainland China or has had close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus in the 14 days prior to onset of illness should be tested for the infection.
How do I help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus?
Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence. The most important actions are:
- Pay close attention to good hand hygiene: Wash your hands often 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 afterwards.
- Face masks are not recommended for use by members of the public in Victoria, although anyone who wants to be cautious can of course choose to wear one.
Current travel advice
The Australian Government has announced travel restrictions and has advised that visitors from mainland China who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents, or their dependents will not be allowed entry into Australia. The Australian Government has also recommended that Australians should not travel to mainland China at the current time.
Where can I find further information and updates?
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services continues to monitor the situation and provide useful information and resources for Victorians.
Football Victoria strongly advises accessing the Department of Health and Human Services website and checking for updates.
The following websites provide information that is updated as the situation develops:
- Department of Health and Human Services: Information for the public – novel coronavirus
- Better Health Channel (Victorian Government): Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
- Department of Health (Australian Government): Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
- Smartraveller (Australian Government): Novel coronavirus outbreak
- World Health Organization: Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Commonwealth and state government agencies, including the Australian Department of Health and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, have established mechanisms to respond to matters such as this.
Football Victoria will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated information as it becomes available.