20 March 2020
As the rapid outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues in Australia, NECA Education & Careers is committed to providing a safe working environment for all its staff, students, and stakeholders. We are watching and monitoring the current outbreak in Australia and feel that now is a suitable and appropriate time to communicate the essential COVID-19 precautionary information to assist with preventing further infection of the COVID-19 virus.
Clearly Australia, indeed the whole world, is in uncharted waters. While we don’t know how the situation will play out, it’s important that everyone plays their part and takes the necessary precautions as recommended by medical experts.
Australia’s first-class health system includes mechanisms of early detection and effective internal management of cases and contacts. Australian Government agencies together with state and territory governments are working to coordinate a response that includes:
- Application of travel restrictions
- Application of 14-day quarantine periods to individuals at risk of developing the coronavirus
- Continuing to screen travellers who arrive in Australia from high risk countries such as China, Italy, South Korea, and Iran.
- Tracing and investigating coronavirus cases.
- The application of enhanced border measures at International Air and Sea Ports, including announcements and signs.
We have assembled the information below from a number of trusted sources to assist with the prevention of the COVID-19 virus. Further information can be found at Australian Govt Dept of Health and Health Victoria.
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:
- Flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue
- Shortness of breath
Who is at risk?
The majority of cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) are in Wuhan City in Hubei Province, China. However, it has now spread to over 100 countries.
In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are those who have:
- Recently been to mainland China or Iran
- Been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of coronavirus.
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.
Everyone should practice good hygiene to protect against infections. Good hygiene includes:
- Washing your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water or a hand sanitiser.
- Using a tissue and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use the crook of your elbow if you don’t have a tissue
- Dispose tissues into a bin then wash your hands
- Avoiding close contact with others, such as touching.
If you become unwell and think you may have symptoms of coronavirus, please seek urgent medical attention. Tell your doctor about your symptoms and travel history. The recommendation is that you call ahead to the doctor’s surgery rather than attend unannounced. If you must leave home to see a doctor, wear a surgical mask (if you have one) to protect others.
Going forward, the following must be obeyed:
- Unwell students and staff must remain at home until symptoms have resolved
- Students and staff who have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) must also remain away
- Staff and Students are only to return to work once they have been medically cleared (with a clearance certificate)
- Students who are unwell should notify Student Services on 03 9381 1922 or via email
- GTO apprentices or trainees who are unwell must notify their Industry Careers Consultant and host employer.
If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call 000 for urgent medical help or call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line for more information on 1800 020 080.
When it comes to health, everyone wants what’s best for themselves and their families. To this end, I ask that anyone who is diagnosed with coronavirus and/or has come into contact with someone who has had the virus, that they be transparent and notify NECA Education & Careers as soon as possible.
– Philip Green
Chief Executive Officer
NECA Education & Careers