Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. Some people recover easily, others may get very sick very quickly. There is evidence that it spreads from person to person. Good hygiene can prevent infection.


What is coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can make humans and animals sick. They cause illnesses that can range from the common cold to more severe diseases.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China.


Symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick very quickly. People with coronavirus may experience:

  • fever
  • flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue
  • shortness of breath

Who is at risk

Anyone who has been in close contact (being face to face for at least 15-mins, or been in the same closed space for at least 2-hrs) with a confirm COVID-19 case

Anyone returning from any foreign country on/after 16th March 2020:

Anyone returning from China, Iran, Italy or South Korea in the last 14-days:

  • Staff who remain overseas and are unable to return.
  • Anyone who has compatible illness (flu-like symptoms), whether having travelled internationally or not.

Health authorities have confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia. For the latest number, read WHO coronavirus health alert.

How it spreads

There is evidence that the virus spreads from person-to-person.

The virus is most likely spread through:

  • close contact with an infectious person
  • contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
  • touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face


Surgical masks in the community are only helpful in preventing people who have coronavirus disease from spreading it to others. If you are well, you do not need to wear a surgical mask as there is little evidence supporting the widespread use of surgical masks in healthy people to prevent transmission in public.

Everyone should practise good hygiene to protect against infections.

The following documents will help you to prevent the virus:

HCA Coronavirus Protocol

As you will now be aware from recent news reports there has been an escalation in the outbreak of the respiratory illness caused by novel coronavirus (COVID-19) first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The message from HCA is to remain vigilant and ensure you are practicing good hand hygiene and infection prevention techniques and ALWAYS follow the direction of the health service you are engaged at.

The following documents will help you to understand our protocols:

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