COVID-19 - Information for community
Keeping communities across Australia healthy and safe is one of the Government’s top priorities during this period of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
This page is intended to help community members find reliable sources of information about COVID-19. The information on this page is from:
- The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services
- The Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews
- The Australian Department of Health
Other reputable sources of information include:
- The World Health Organisation (WHO)
- SEMPHN’s providers of health or allied services
Below are key resources to help you.
Stay home. Protect the health system. Save lives.
The Department of Health and Human Services is asking Victorians to stop looking for loopholes. The advice is clear, by staying at home you’re saving lives.
If you can stay at home – you must stay at home.
There are only five reasons to leave home:
- shopping for what you need - food and essential supplies
- medical, care or compassionate needs
- exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements
- work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely
- visiting friends and family (maximum gathering of five visitors in your home, or 10 people at an outdoor gathering)
If you are in immediate danger at home, call 000.
If you are escaping harm or are at risk of harm from family violence, you can leave your home. You will not be fined if you are leaving a dangerous situation.
Family violence support is available. Click here for more information.
These new restrictions and a renewed State of Emergency will be in place until 11:59pm on Sunday 31 May. Read more about the easing of restrictions here.
What can I do to stay healthy?
- Wash your hands
- Distance yourself from others by 1.5 meters, unless they live in your household
- Stay home as much as you can
- Take care of your mental health
- Download the COVIDSafe app, so you can be contacted if a person near you has tested positive to COVID-19.
How do I know if I have Coronavirus?
Click the picture below to see HealthDirect’s symptom checker for coronavirus and more.
If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call 000 for urgent medical help.
- sore throat
- shortness of breath
The common cold, the flu and Coronavirus disease are not the same. Click here to view a poster explaining the different symptoms.
I think I have COVID-19, what do I do?
- Use HealthDirect’s symptom checker (above) to learn more about your symptoms. If you have serious symptoms like difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000).
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms, call your local doctor to see if testing is available.
- If testing is not available at your GP, make an appointment at a COVID-19 GP Respiratory Clinic.
Where can I get tested for COVID-19?
SEMPHN is working with health services across south eastern Melbourne to provide access to clinics where you can safely get tested for COVID-19.
Where are the respiratory clinics in south eastern Melbourne?
Prahran Town Hall, 255A Chapel St, Prahran
Contact: 03 9525 1300
|Carrum Downs Medical Centre||113b Hall Road, Carrum Downs||
Contact: 03 9782 6088
|Rosebud Skin Cancer Centre||1079 Point Nepean Road, Rosebud||Contact: 0436 033 507
|Port Melbourne Medical Centre||Shop 1/405 Bay St, Port Melbourne||Contact: 8686 0500
How are COVID-19 GP Respiratory Clinics selected?
There is a rigorous process including a site inspection before approval. On occasion, these sites have been set up near other facilities and local spaces, and are structured to keep the local community as safe as possible. With the COVID priority now on testing and understanding the spread of the virus, screening and respiratory clinics are more important than ever. General practices are also involved in local community testing.
How do I book an appointment?
Booking ahead for an appointment at the COVID-19 GP Respiratory Clinics helps the clinics maintain the standards for physical distancing. Only people who have symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested.
Where else can I get tested for coronavirus in south eastern Melbourne?
View the map of available testing centres in Victoria by clicking here.
If you have been tested at a metropolitan retail (shopping centre) testing site, you can call the dedicated Onsite Doctor Results Hotline on 03 8669 0255 if you have been waiting more than five days for results. This hotline opened on 18 May 2020 and will operate from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, until 5 June 2020.
Hospital assessment centres have been established at a number of Victorian hospitals. You don't need to call ahead if you attend one of the following metropolitan clinics:
- Alfred Hospital
- Casey Hospital - Monash Health
- Dandenong Hospital - Monash Health
- Frankston Hospital - Peninsula Health
- Monash Medical Centre, Clayton - Monash Health
Do I need a referral?
No, you do not need a referral from your GP to book an appointment at one of these clinics.
Is it safe to attend?
Yes, it is safe to attend the clinics. These clinics are set-up to maintain social distancing.
Suspected cases are identified during a pre-screen and managed appropriately. You may be asked to stay in your car until someone comes out with a mask.
Personal protective equipment is available and will be used in line with clinical guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services.
What happens at a respiratory clinic?
- A doctor or a nurse will assess your respiratory condition and identify if you meet the testing criteria for COVID-19.
- If you do meet the criteria, they will test you using swabs, collecting a sample from your nose or throat.
- They will tell you when to expect your results back and will let you know how you will be contacted about the results.
- They will give you a plan of care before you leave. This may include advising you to self-isolate in your home until the results of the test come back, seeing your doctor, providing a script to take to your pharmacy, etc.
Can I still go to see my doctor?
Yes, general practices remain open to provide care for patients.
Don’t delay seeking medical help. One of the key reasons you’re allowed to leave your home is to get medical care if you need it. Call your local general practice to make an appointment, they may ask you if you have COVID-19 symptoms before arranging an appointment.
Call 000 if you or someone you care for needs emergency care.
Telehealth consultations via phone or video are available for patients vulnerable to COVID-19. Your GP is able to request pathology at those appointments.
I have a question about staying at home
All people in Australia, are asked to stay at home to stop the virus from spreading to friends, families, neighbours and communities.
Click here to find answers about what you should and should not do.
If you are in immediate danger at home, call 000.
If you are escaping harm or are at risk of harm from family violence, you can leave your home. You will not be fined if you are leaving a dangerous situation. Family violence support is available. Click here for more information.
You can also leave your home for medical emergencies to access the care you need.
I want to talk to someone who knows more about coronavirus
- National Coronavirus Hotline: 1800 020 080. Call this line if you are seeking information on coronavirus. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) is for people who do not speak English and for agencies and businesses that need to communicate with their non-English speaking clients. Call 131 450, or visit the website.
- Alternatively, you can call your local general practice.
I'm looking for support in my community
The following is a list of available community supports per Local Government Area (LGA) in south eastern Melbourne during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the supports include food relief, housing, health and wellbeing supports, and more.
Click on the name of your LGA to learn more.
- Mornington Peninsula
- City of Port Phillip
- Greater Dandenong
- Glen Eira
These resources are not affiliated with South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (SEMPHN) but are being shared as a resource for health professionals to refer to, or for community members to access. For more information about the services, please contact the services or local councils for more information. SEMPHN can not answer questions about the resources above.
I still need access to mental health or alcohol and other drug treatment services. Where can I go?
Many businesses and services have been affected by the pandemic. Below is a list of services that offer support unrelated to COVID-19, and are available in south eastern Melbourne. This is not a complete list of active services in the catchment. If you accessed a particular service before COVID-19, please call them directly to find out more about their availability.
Mental health services
Call SEMPHN's Access & Referral team on 1800 862 363 to find out more about which free mental health services are available. You may need a GP mental health plan to access the service.
Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) treatment services
- Call SEMPHN's Access & Referral team on 1800 862 363 to find out more about which free AOD treatment services are available.
- Family Drug Help is taking referrals for online support programs, and is taking Helpline calls on 1300 660 068. The Helpline is available 24 hours per day.
Information for older Australians
The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line provides information, support and connection to Older Australians.
Older Australians, their families, friends and carers can FREECALL 1800 171 866 if they:
- would like to talk with someone about the COVID-19 restrictions and its impact on them
- are feeling lonely or are worried about a loved one
- are caring for someone and need some information or a listening ear
- need help or advice about changing the aged care services they are receiving
- need help to access new care services or essential supplies such as shopping
- are concerned about themselves, a friend or family member living with Dementia
- would like to arrange a one-off regular wellbeing check for themselves, or someone else.
The Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) is a free service that coordinates volunteer visits to provide ongoing friendship and companionship to eligible older people who are lonely or socially isolated. With increased isolation during the pandemic, the CVS is supporting phone and virtual friendships. For anyone who would like to register to receive a visitor; refer someone to receive a visitor; or for any volunteers who would like to make a connection, visit the CVS website https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/community-visitors-scheme-cvs.
The National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP) is a free, independent and confidential service supporting older people who receive or are applying for government-subsidised aged care by providing advocacy services and support to resolve issues with their aged care, helping them to understand and access the aged care system, and informing them of their aged care rights. NACAP can be accessed via phone 1800 700 600 or by visiting https://opan.com.au/.
Coronavirus explained in my language
- COVID-19 translated information from the Department of Health and Human Services
- Resources in 50 languages for the general public in Australia, collected by EthnoLink
- The New South Wales government health website also includes resources in English and other languages.
- SBS has COVID-19 news and information in 63 languages.
- Enliven has a few translated resources and information in plain English.
- COVID-19 news in Auslan
Events and Education See all
Webinar (AM): Victorian Integrated Care Community of Practice Event - Casey, Cardinia and Dandenong RegionsSee event
South Eastern Melbourne PHN acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land our catchment covers, the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people. We pay respect to them, their culture and their Elders past, present and future, and uphold their relationship to this land.
While the Australian Government Department of Health has contributed to the funding of this website, the information on this website does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government and is not advice that is provided, or information that is endorsed, by the Australian Government. The Australian Government is not responsible in negligence or otherwise for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.