Information and Advice on Coronavirus

There is an outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus called ‘novel coronavirus’ or ‘2019nCoV’. This has so far mostly only affected people who live in/have visited mainland China, or those who have had close contact with sick people with the novel coronavirus infection. Communities@Work is following advice from the Department of Health.

Last Updated: 10:46 AM, 4 February 2020

Latest News on Coronavirus in Canberra and ACT

ACT Health has announced significant change in the measures being taken to protect the community against novel coronavirus. Cases have been confirmed in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Victoria.

There are currently no confirmed cases in Canberra and the surrounding areas of the Australian Capital Territory.

Please follow the ACT Health page for regular updates and advice. 

In line with national health advice, ACT health is taking a highly precautionary approach. 

Coronavirus information for parents of children in school or child care

The recommendation is that parents and carers ensure that any child returning from mainland China (not including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), or who have transited through mainland China on or after 1 February 2020, is isolated at home and should not attend school until 14 days after they were last in mainland China.

This recommendation does not apply retrospectively. It applies only to children who were in mainland China on or after 1 February 2020.

This new recommendation is in addition to that the parents and carers of children should ensure that any student is isolated at home and should not attend education and care services for 14 days following exposure to any confirmed novel coronavirus case AND/OR after leaving Hubei Province.

Coronavirus information on isolation

Being isolated at home means that children need to stay at home for the full period, unless they need medical attention. They cannot go into public areas, and should not use public transportation, ride share or taxis. Visitors to the home should be discouraged.

Please refer to this Fact Sheet from the Commonwealth Health Department for Home Isolation Guidance (pdf download). 

The ACT Chief Health Officer also advises that the Australian Government continues to closely monitor the evolving situation and this advice will be updated, as necessary

You can find more information on the ACT Health website.

The International Education Unit is offering the necessary supports to both international students and host families. For those schools who were due to receive international students this week, the IEU will be in touch with details of those students who have remained in China, and for those students who are currently in Australia but remaining in isolation.

Advice for parents of children excluded from school or childcare 

Symptoms of coronavirus include, but are not limited to: fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath.

If your child is a close contact of a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, please contact the Communicable Disease Control (CDC), ACT Health on (02) 5124 9213 during business hours or by paging (02) 9962 4155 after hours. CDC will assess and advise on what to do next.

If you can’t contact CDC, see a doctor. Phone the doctor before attending and tell them that you are a contact of a confirmed case of novel coronavirus.

If your child has travelled to mainland China in the 14 days before the start of the symptoms, contact your GP for an assessment. When you call your GP’s practice, tell the staff that your child has been in mainland China in the 14 days before the start of your symptoms, so that they can be prepared for your visit.

Good practices to prevent the spread of coronavirus

The ACT Health recommends practising good hand and general hygiene:

  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or directly into a tissue and throw the tissue in a bin, and
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after using the toilet, and
  • Avoid close contact with others

For more information, refer to the Australian Government Department of Health website. 

You can also download the Information Sheet (pdf) provided by ACT Health here.

What is Coronavirus?

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).

There is an outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus called ‘novel coronavirus’ or ‘2019-nCoV’. This has so far mostly only affected people who live in/have visited Hubei Province, China, or those who have had close contact with sick people with the novel coronavirus infection.

The length of time that a person is infectious, that is, can spread the infection to others, is not yet confirmed. There is emerging information that some people may be infectious for a short period before they develop symptoms or have very minimal symptoms.

However, this information is very limited and preliminary. While this is believed to be uncommon, this is the reason that the Australian government are taking precautionary steps in asking some returned travellers and contacts of cases to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

Communities@Work is closely monitoring the situation and will strive to update this advice as per updates provided by the Australian Government.

How is Communities@Work managing the current situation?

Communities@Work’s management team is closely monitoring the situation. We are providing information to our clients and will update this page if the situation changes.

Communication
In case of any changes to the situation, or any issue to be brought to attention to families of our children’s services, or clients from other services, we will directly communicate via email. We will also update this page, and post on the Communities@Work Facebook Page.


Contact Us

If you need any further information, please contact the main switch.

Tuggeranong Community Centre
245 Cowlishaw St
Greenway ACT 2900

Gungahlin Community Centre
47 Ernest Cavanagh Street
Gungahlin ACT 2912

Phone: (02) 6293 6500
Email: admin@commsatwork.org
Get in Touch


Please follow the ACT Health page for regular updates and advice. If any cases of coronavirus in Canberra are confirmed, the ACT health page will be updated foremost.

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