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Barwon Health / Coronavirus (COVID-19)

DHHS hotline 1800 675 398

General Practitioners (GPs) are usually the first contact point if you are concerned about COVID-19. You may also call the Department of Health and Human Services hotline available 24/7 on 1800 675 398.

In a medical emergency, go to the emergency department or call 000. Please let the emergency services know in advance that you are concerned about COVID-19.

A number of screening services are available in the Geelong region for people with symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Norlane: Barwon Health North
  • Belmont: Kardinia Health
  • Newcomb: 4Cyte Pathology
  • Newtown: Australian Clinical Labs
  • North Geelong: 4Cyte Pathology 
  • Ocean Grove: Bellarine Respiratory Clinic (at Epichealth)
  • Torquay: Torquay Community Health Centre

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, chills or sweats, runny nose or loss or change of smell. In certain circumstances headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may also be considered.

Appointments are required at most centres. You can book an appointment at a screening service by contacting them on the details below.

If you are tested at a Barwon Health clinic, you will receive a call or text message in the next 24 to 48 hours to let you know the result. During times of peak demand, results may take a little longer.

Download: 

Screening Services 

 

The most common coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms reported are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills or sweats
  • Runny nose or loss or change of smell

In certain circumstances headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may also be considered.

Many people who contract coronavirus (COVID–19) will suffer only mild symptoms. Elderly people and those with pre-existing medical conditions may experience more severe symptoms

Who is most at risk of coronavirus?

There are three groups in the community who are most at risk of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

  • Overseas travellers and close contacts

If you have recently travelled overseas or have had close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) you are at the highest risk of infection. 

  • Elderly or have pre-existing medical conditions

Many people will suffer only mild symptoms; however, early indications are that the elderly are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms.

People with underlying illnesses that make them more vulnerable to respiratory disease, including those with diabetes, chronic lung disease, kidney failure and people with suppressed immune systems are also at a higher risk of serious disease.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are a high risk group for coronavirus (COVID-19) due to higher rates of pre-existing medical conditions.

Testing is now available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who show symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) such as respiratory symptoms or fever.

The Department of Health and Human Services recognises that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Victorians prefer to be treated at Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.

While we recognise that some ACCOs will currently not be able to perform coronavirus (COVID-19) testing, the department is working closely to support ACCOs to fill this important role within the community.

Anyone who thinks they may have coronavirus (COVID-19) can call the hotline 1800 675 398.

I am feeling unwell, what should I do?

If you have serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call 000 and ask for an ambulance and tell them if you also have a fever or a cough, sore throat or respiratory illness. 

If you begin to feel unwell, and have a fever or a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or respiratory illness you should get tested for coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Contact the 24-hour hotline 1800 675 398 or call your doctor and mention your symptoms and risk factors. They will determine if you need to be tested for coronavirus (COVID-19).

I have been tested for COVID-19, what happens next?

It is important that you remain at home in isolation until we notify you of your test result. You will receive a call or text message within three to five days to let you know your result. Sometimes it may take longer.

COVID-19 worker support payment

If you have been instructed by the Department of Health and Human Services to self-isolate or quarantine at home because you are either diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) or are a close contact of a confirmed case, you may qualify for the $1500 COVID-19 worker support payment.

The requirement to self-isolate or quarantine at home can cause a financial burden for some people who are not earning money during this time.

Financial support during this time can help, making it easier for you to do the right thing and stay at home when diagnosed.

Click here to find out if you are eligible.

Where can I find out more information?

Call the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398 to discuss any questions you have. If you need a translator first call 131 450, then request the hotline on 1800 675 398.

For Victorian updates about COVID-19, go to: www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

For national updates: www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

Find out more:

Last Modified: Thursday, 22 October 2020

Questions or concerns about COVID-19?

DHHS Victorian Coronavirus hotline

  • Ph 1800 675 398