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Barwon Health / Coronavirus (COVID-19)

DHHS hotline 1800 675 398

For people who have concerns about COVID-19, General Practitioners (GPs) are usually the first contact point. People may also call the Department of Health and Human services hotline available 24/7 on 1800 675 398.

Barwon Health has a screening service for people concerned they may have COVID-19. The first step in accessing this service is to complete the online registration screening tool or, if you do not have access to the internet, by phoning 4215 4445 between 8am and 9.30pm.

You should only complete this screening tool if you have symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose or loss of smell. If you are concerned about COVID-19 but do not have symptoms, you do not need to complete the survey tool. This is not an automated screening tool. Your responses will be reviewed by a healthcare professional from Barwon Health:

  • If you meet criteria for testing you will be contacted by a Barwon Health staff member to arrange an appointment for testing.
  • If you do not meet the current testing criteria, you will not be contacted.

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.

Download: Testing informtion sheet

Screening Services 

 

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

  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulties, breathlessness
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue or tiredness.

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 are in any of the most at risk categories and begin to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or respiratory illness either during your period of isolation (self-quarantine), or in the 14 days since arriving home from international travel, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Call ahead to your GP or emergency department and mention your overseas travel before you arrive at the doctor’s office so they can prepare appropriate infection control measures.

If you have serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call 000 and ask for an ambulance and tell the operator your recent travel history.

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.

Please read the information sheet about COVID-19 testing for more information. 

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: Monday, 13 July 2020

Questions or concerns about COVID-19?

Victorian Coronavirus hotline

  • Ph 1800 675 398

Barwon Health COVID-19 Screening Clinic

  • Ph 4215 4445