Information for our community about novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
Now is the time to think about the community we live in. Please make sure to cooperate, respecting and protecting our public health, in an urge to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
SayStay is working closely with our partners, agents and students to provide support and orientation in these difficult times. Our recommendation for everyone scheduled to arrival in the coming weeks is to postpone the travel to Australia. We are offering flexible options and we will support students who wish to defer their arrival, please seek assistance of your agent, school or talk to us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are committed to following our government public health policies and we will assess issues and impacts of this matter regularly, keeping our community updated and informed along the way. If you have any question or concern about coronavirus prevention, please visit: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/take-action/coronavirus-prevention
Stay positive and if you have any questions, please reach out!
As the situation continues to change, our response will change as well.
Below are the official self-quarantine health instructions from the QLD government:
What does self-quarantine mean?
Self-quarantine means staying in your home, hotel room or provided accommodation, and not leaving for the period you are required to quarantine. Only people who usually live in the household should be in the home. Do not allow visitors into the home.
Does this mean my family or other people I live with need to self-quarantine?
Other members of the household are not required to self-quarantine unless they meet one of the criteria for self-quarantine outlined above. If you develop symptoms and are suspected to have novel coronavirus, members of the household will be classified as close contacts and will then need to be in self-quarantine.
How do I get things I need while in self-quarantine?
The Queensland Government is partnering with the Australian Red Cross, to ensure people have access to support during their period of self-quarantine. This service includes a regular telephone call to check-in on the person’s wellbeing and to identify any practical support they may need help with. For example, organising the delivery of groceries, access to educational materials, replacement of medications etc.
People who are self-quarantined must call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for further advice and to register for support. Staff at 13 HEALTH can connect people through to a local public health unit and other health support services.
What happens when I end my 14 days of self-quarantine?
If you have self-quarantined for 14 days without any symptoms, you are free to go about your usual activities and return to work, school, childcare, TAFE and university.
If you require a medical certificate, you will need to see a GP.
You should seek medical attention immediately if you develop symptoms while in self-quarantine.
How does novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spread and how can I stop myself from getting it?
Knowing how novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads can help you stop yourself and others from becoming sick.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is called SARS-CoV-2. Every time we have a new confirmed case of COVID-19, it means that SARS-CoV-2 has spread from one person to another.
How does COVID-19 spread from person to person?
Like any living organism, viruses like to multiply and spread to make sure they’ll survive. SARS-CoV-2 spreads from person to person through droplets that an infected person sneezes or coughs out.
These droplets carrying SARS-CoV-2 can enter your body through the mucous membranes (wet parts) of your face – your eyes, nose and mouth – which provide a direct pathway to your throat and lungs. The good news is that it can’t get in through other parts of your body like your skin or your hair, but you might be surprised just how easily it can get to the mucous membranes of your face.
First of all, the droplets from someone’s cough or sneeze might fall directly into your eyes, nose or mouth if you’re close enough to the infected person, letting the virus enter your system straight away.
Or, the droplets might fall onto a surface where you then put your hands. If you don’t wash your hands, you could move the virus into your eyes, nose or mouth and become infected. The infected person might also get the droplets on their hands if they cough or sneeze into them, and the place them on a surface, where you pick them up.
Direct membrane-to-membrane contact can also spread the virus. This could happen by kissing. The virus can also be spread by sharing items that go in your mouth, eyes or nose, like cutlery, cups, straws, water bottles or cosmetics.
Can COVID-19 spread through the air?
So far, studies show that people are mainly catching COVID-19 through these droplets, rather than the virus hanging out in the air. This is good news, because it means if an infected person is in a room, breathes for a while, then leaves the room, the virus isn’t lurking in the air waiting for the next person to come in. If with further study we find out this information has changed, we’ll let you know.
Following these simple actions could prevent you and those around you from becoming sick.
How can I protect myself from catching COVID-19?
Washing your hands often and properly is the best way to stop yourself from catching COVID-19. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (or the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice). Clean your hands often, particularly before you eat and after you go to the toilet. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
You should also try not to touch your face. This can be harder than it sounds, because we naturally touch our faces often! See if you can pay attention to how often you put your hands on your face, and then gradually try to do it less.
If someone is sick and coughing or sneezing, you should try to stand 1.5 metres away from them, to stop any droplets getting into your system. How far is 1.5 metres? It’s about the length of a shopping trolley, a giant tortoise or the height of Kylie Minogue. Imagine keeping one of these things between you and anyone who seems to be unwell.
We’re also asking that people who are sick, with any kind of virus, stay at home when they’re unwell so they don’t cough or sneeze any droplets onto other people or surfaces others might touch.
As people around the world continue to study COVID-19, we might find out more about the virus and how it spreads. For now, this advice is the best way to protect yourself from the disease.