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What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.


Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

What are the symptoms?
  • Runny nose

  • Sore throat

  • Cough

  • Fever

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

If you do show signs of the above symptoms, please stay at home and call the health service for further advice.

How is Coronavirus (COVID-19) Spread?

The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person and other people touch these objects and surfaces then touch their eyes, nose and mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay at least 1.5 meters away from a person who is sick.

What can I do to protect myself and my families to prevent the spread of disease?
  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

  • Basic hygiene in the home—cleaning and wiping down house-hold furniture with disinfectant. (any disinfectant is recommended but make sure to read the instructions on the bottle before use)

  • Maintain at least 1 meter distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

  • Avoid social/cultural gatherings with family, relatives and friends—e.g. tombstone openings, funerals, birth-days etc.

  • Minimise visits to Elders

  • Minimise travel to family living on communities or in Torres Strait.

Those who are at risk
  • Elders in the community

  • Parents with young children under the age of 1 years old

  • Expecting mothers

  • People with chronic disease eg.

    • Diabetes

    • High Blood Pressure

    • Cardiovascular Disease

    • Respiratory Disease

    • Cancer


Our role as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service is to take the necessary precautions to stop the spread of the disease.

Please be aware that all patients presenting to ATSICHS Mackay will be screened prior to entering the service.

In preventing the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), ATSICHS Management and GP team have decided that consultations will be done via phone and through telehealth if showing symptoms of COVID-19.

For more information please refer to the following links

Australian Government Department of Health – Current situation and case numbers

Australian Government – News, updates and advice from government agencies

Qld Government – News and updates from Qld Government

Qld Health – Current status and contact tracing alerts

NACCHO – Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and information

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