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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Understanding the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and what you can do to prevent the spread

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals and humans. These illnesses can range from the common cold to more severe diseases. These viruses are transmitted between animals and people. The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19 and was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) is diagnosed through a test which is ordered if you meet the criteria for being a suspected case. The test is done on swabs from the back of the nose or throat or fluid from the lungs. The tests look for evidence of virus particles.

In the first instance, to get medical advice, call your local general practitioner or ring Healthdirect on 1800 022 222. They will be able to discuss your symptoms and travel history with you, to help decide if you need testing and where to go to get this completed.


Those at risk include people who have:

  • been in contact with a person with COVID-19
  • visited or transited through mainland China, Iran, South Korea or Italy in the last 14 days
  • visited another country at risk of COVID-19 in the previous 14 days (this is changing daily)

Last updated: 10/3/2020

What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?

Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

In severe cases, someone may have symptoms of pneumonia or severe respiratory distress.

Following exposure, if someone is going to become unwell, most do so within 14 days.

If you develop fever or respiratory symptoms, please call your GP practice, or call Healthdirect on 1800 022 222. 

Last updated: 10/3/2020

Is there a cure for coronavirus?

There are currently no vaccines available to protect against the coronavirus (COVID-19). There is also no specific treatment for COVID-19. It is a virus and therefore antibiotics will not work. The treatment is generally supportive and most symptoms will resolve on their own, after a few days. Those with serious disease or complications will be treated in a hospital.

Last updated: 10/3/2020

How do you prevent the spread of the coronavirus?

The virus is spread through close contact with an infected person, contact with droplets from an infected person's sneeze or cough or touching surfaces or objects that have cough or sneeze droplets on them (from an infected person) and then touching your mouth or face.

Most COVID-19 cases appear to be spread from people who have symptoms. To avoid getting the virus, it is important to wash your hands regularly with soap and water, avoid touching your mouth and face, avoid close contact with those who are sick, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw your tissue away. If you have a confirmed diagnosis, it is important to isolate yourself to prevent spread.

Last updated: 10/3/2020


COVID-19 screening clinics are in operation at several hospitals across the region. Most do not have contact details so call the Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080 to get instructions on the exact location, hours and in some cases reference numbers to confirm eligibility for testing. Try to arrive at least half an hour before closing.

  • Royal Prince Alfred Hospital: 8.00 am - 10.00 pm daily (last arrival time is 9pm) Access via Gloucester Drive and follow signs
  • Concord Hospital: 8.00 am - 6.00 pmdaily - across road from ED in Sports Institute Building
  • Canterbury Hospital: 8.00 am - 10.00 pm daily - access via the After Hours GP entrance
  • St Vincent’s Hospital: 10.30am - 6.00pm Enter via main hospital entrance and follow the green line to the Flu Assessment Clinic.(*All non-emergency presentations for testing of children should go to Sydney Children's Hospital or Royal Prince Alfred Hospital)
  • Sydney Eye Hospital:8 Macquarie St, Sydney, 00am - 6.00pm Monday to Friday in the quadrangle 'bicentennial clinic'. Outside of these hours, you can attend the Emergency Department
  • Prince of Wales Hospital: 10.00am - 8.00pmdaily - access via Building 14B Avoca St, Randwick
  • Redfern Health Centre:103 – 105 Redfern St00am – 4.00pm Monday - Friday
  • St George Hospital: 8.00am - 6.00pm daily - Gray Street Kogarah  
  • Sutherland Hospital: 8.00am - 8.00pmdaily,  Ground Floor, old Emergency Department, Kareena Road entrance, then follow signs from ED.
  • Sydney Children’s Hospital,Randwick: 00pm – 9.00pm Monday – Friday, 1.30pm – 9.00pm Saturday, Sunday

The services are staffed by Emergency Department clinicians for patients suspected of COVID-19 infection. Patients should meet testing criteria as specified under triage. Reference number may be required from Coronavirus Help Line 1800 020 080


Last updated: 30/3/2020


  • The Weston Creek Walk-in Centre: 24 Parkinson St, Weston. Open 7:30 am – 10:00 pm daily, including public holidays.
  • The Drive Through Respiratory Assessment Clinic at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC, Flemington Rd & Northbourne Ave, Mitchell). Open 9:30 am - 6:00 pm daily (last car accepted at 5pm). You must be driving or a passenger in a registered motor vehicle or motorbike to attend this clinic. It cannot be accessed from public transport or on foot.


Last updated: 30/3/2020


There are two clinics operating from 9am until 9pm every day at:

  • Gold Coast University Hospital
  • Robina Health Precinct Building 


Last updated: 31/3/2020


Assessment centres have been established at a number of Victorian hospitals. Patients who have symptoms compatible with COVID-19 may present to these assessment centres. You don't need to call ahead (unless stated otherwise below) if you attend one of the following clinics:

Metropolitan health services

  • Alfred Hospital         
  • Austin Hospital
  • Box Hill Hospital - Eastern Health            
  • Casey Hospital - Monash Health
  • Dandenong Hospital - Monash Health
  • Frankston Hospital - Peninsula Health
  • Monash Medical Centre, Clayton - Monash Health
  • Northern Hospital
  • Royal Children's Hospital
  • Royal Melbourne Hospital - Melbourne Health
  • St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne
  • Sunshine Hospital - Western Health

Regional health services

  • Ballarat Base Hospital - Ballarat Health Services
  • Barwon Health North, Geelong - Barwon Health (please call (03) 4215 4445 prior to attending)
  • Bacchus Marsh - Djerriwarrh Health Services
  • Benalla Health
  • Bendigo Hospital
  • Echuca Hospital - Echuca Regional Health
  • Maryborough District Health Service
  • Melton - Djerriwarrh Health Services
  • Mildura - Sunraysia Community Health Services (pre-call 5021 7653)
  • Phillip Island Health Hub - Bass Coast Health
  • Shepparton Hospital - Goulburn Valley Health
  • Swan Hill District Health
  • Wangaratta Hospital - Northeast Health
  • Warrnambool - South West Healthcare (pre-call 5563 1666)
  • Western District Health Service - Hamilton
  • Wimmera Health Care Group – Horsham
  • Wodonga Campus - Albury Wodonga Health
  • Wonthaggi Hospital - Bass Coast Health


Last updated: 30/3/2020


Metropolitan Clinics

Regional Clinics

Drive-through COVID-19 collection centres are located at:


Last updated: 30/3/2020


  • Royal Darwin Hospital
  • Palmerston GP Super Clinic
  • Howard Springs - drive-through testing clinic (by appointment only through the NT Centre for Disease Control (CDC))
  • Tennant Creek Hospital 
  • Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation
  • Central Clinic and Mall Medical 
  • Central Australia Aboriginal Congress


Last updated: 27/3/2020


Clinics are located in Hobart, Launceston, Burnie and Latrobe.

These clinics are NOT open for walk-up testing. Anyone who thinks they may need testing should contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738. Your GP can also refer you to the clinic, as long as they have assessed you as a patient and determined that you require testing. If seeing your GP, you MUST call ahead and mention your symptoms and any travel details.


Last updated: 29/3/2020


8.00 am to 8.00 pm daily

  • Armadale Health Service– Ground Floor, 3056 Albany Highway Mount Nasura
  • Fiona Stanley Hospital– Bedbrook Row, north-eastern end of hospital, Murdoch
  • Joondalup Hospital– Car Park P4, Regents Park Road
  • Rockingham General Hospital– Elanora Drive Cooloongup
  • Royal Perth Hospital– Ground Floor, Ainslie House, 48 Murray Street, Perth
  • St John of God Midland Hospital– Yelverton Drive Midland
  • Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital– C Block, Hospital Avenue, Nedlands

10.00 am to 4.00 pm daily

  • Bunbury Health Campus – 30m left of the main entrance 

Patients in regional areas with documented evidence should go to a public hospital, health service or remote health clinic.


Last updated: 25/3/2020

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