This page covers information including testing, symptoms and what Yerin Eleanor Duncan is doing to reduce the risk in our clinics and programs. This page will be updated daily as new information is available about coronavirus or COVID-19.
If you have any other questions that aren’t covered here, please give us a call or send us a message on our Facebook page.
Please note, we are changing some of our services due to social distancing rules.
From Monday 16 March the following programs will be paused until further notice:
- What is Coronavirus or COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that causes by symptoms including fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath.
The virus can spread from person to person by inhaling droplets from coughing, or from transfer from touching hands/surfaces and then touching your face or mouth. This is why washing hands, coughing into tissues/shirt/elbow and not hands, and where possible staying 1.5m away from others, can prevent infection.
- What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Symptoms of coronavirus can vary, but generally include a fever, cough, fatigue/tiredness, a sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty smelling.
- Am I at risk of getting coronavirus?
Currently, people at risk of coronavirus are those who have been overseas in the last 14 days, or anyone who has been in contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus in the last 14 days. This is the current Australian definition of “at risk” and may change when person to person transmission is confirmed in different areas of Australia.
- Is the risk of getting coronavirus higher for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?
The risk of catching coronavirus is the same for everyone. It depends on how careful you are in washing hands regularly, coughing into tissues/elbows/shirt and not hands, and maintaining distance between people where possible. This is the same for all people around the world.
We know our people have higher rates of chronic health conditions. People with conditions like diabetes, heart and lung disease, cancer and the elderly (world figures suggest anyone over 60) need to be particularly careful. If people in this group are infected, there is more chance of serious health complications.
This means practicing good hand and cough hygiene as above, and social distancing – carefully consider need to attend public events and public spaces.
The Australian Government is currently recommending that people who are Indigenous, over the age of 50 and who have existing health conditions should self-isolate at home.
- How do I reduce my risk of getting coronavirus?
You can reduce your risk of contracting Coronavirus by practicing good hygiene and social distancing.
As of 15 May 2020, the Australia Government has eased restrictions in NSW as follows:
Despite the eased restrictions, social distancing and good hygiene practices still need to be applied, including:
- What should I do if I think I have coronavirus?
If you have symptoms of coronavirus and have travelled overseas in the last 14 days, or have been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days, you should call us to discuss your health before coming into the clinic.
- Where can I get tested?
The current triage criteria for testing are those people who are at the highest risk. Please call us if you are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms and meet the following criteria. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, please call 000 to call for an Ambulance and follow their instructions.
If required, our GP will provide a pathology request form to direct you to the nearest Douglass Hanly Pathology site that is conducting these tests.
All patients must have a pathology request form for coronavirus testing prior to calling the pathology COVID-19 Booking Hotline on 1800 026 622 (9am–4pm Monday–Friday) for an appointment.
There is also a drive through testing located at Taylors Street, The Entrance operating between 9:00am and 3:45pm – no appointment is necessary.
- What does the test involve?
The test for coronavirus is a simple throat and nose swab and is very quick. It is done by a doctor or QML tester who will be wearing protective gear to ensure they stay well enough to continue testing and caring for people.
- I am worried about coronavirus and I want to be tested but I don’t meet the criteria, what do I do?
We need to ensure we have enough resources to test those most at risk and likely to contract the virus first.
At the moment, we are only testing those with symptoms and who have either travelled overseas in the last 14 days or have been in contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus in the last 14 days. This advice will change over time and we will update everyone as more information becomes available.
- What should I do while I wait for my test results?
You should self-isolate in your home until your test results are available. The facility you were tested at will call you with your results as soon as they are available and will advise you on the next steps. You can read more about what self-isolation is here.
- What do I do if I my test comes back positive and I have coronavirus?
When your test results are available the testing facility will call you with your results and instructions on what you need to do if you have tested positive. This could include self-isolation at home, or, isolation at the hospital, depending on your other health conditions and how well you are.
- What is Yerin doing to reduce the risk of coronavirus in the clinics?
We are taking the threat of coronavirus very seriously. We have a pandemic plan, which is multi-staged and reassessed daily based on advice from NSW Health and the Federal Government, along with rates of coronavirus on the Central Coast region.
As our response changes to coronavirus and the confirmed cases on the Central Coast, we will update this page, along with our Facebook page.
- Are Yerin’s other programs still running?
Our Dental Service will be closing from 30 March until it is deemed safe to reopen. During this time emergency dental assessments are available by contacting CCLHD Oral Health services on 1300 789 404.
Our face to face support from Programs has reverted to providing telephone support and follow up to minimise any risks both to clients and their families as well as the Yerin team member. We encourage our clients to be in touch with their Yerin worker to ensure that any issues or concerns can be assisted with. A program worker can assess the need for a limited home visit on a case by case basis.
If you need to speak with one of our counsellors, please call us on the main Yerin number and book a phone appointment or if urgent, please advise the reception or program staff member.
As government policy and advice changes, we will be reviewing our limited Home Visiting service. This could mean some of our services may temporarily move to online or over the phone consultation. As this changes, we will update all clients via our website and our social media channels.
- Can I fill my scripts without coming to the clinic?
You can call your pharmacist and ask them for scripts. The pharmacy will contact your doctor and organise for the scripts to be sent to the pharmacy. Please note that if your medications have changed because of a recent hospital visit, or you have not been to Yerin within the last 4-6 months, you will be asked to make an appointment to ensure we can safely prescribe your medicine. Your doctor at Yerin will contact you by phone and discuss your current medication requirements and will organise the scripts directly with the pharmacy.
Certain scripts (for example drugs of dependence) cannot be renewed in this way.
- I am worried about running out of medications
The GP will ensure you have enough scripts to access medication into the future. Please do not overstock medications, as this will mean other members of the community miss out on their medications and without this, you are putting their health at-risk. Let’s be a responsible and considerate community.
Please don’t follow the same behaviour we saw with people stocking toilet paper – don’t stock medications – there is enough supply in the country.
- Do I need to wear a face mask?
If you have coronavirus infection, you will be given a mask.
If you are at high risk (unwell with risk factors as above) you will be offered a mask.
As long as there is no documented local transmission of the virus in the local area, the requirements for masks beyond this are unclear. People may choose to wear a mask if they have one if they are unwell. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, there is a current shortage of face masks, so we need to limit the number we give out. If you have specific questions on this, you can ask our team in person, through Facebook or over the phone.
- Are there any cases of Coronavirus on the Central Coast?
Currently, there are over 90 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Central Coast. NSW Health are providing daily updates on the number of cases and the locations in NSW, which we are monitoring closely.
When more cases are confirmed in our region and based on Government advice for future lockdown, our services may change. We will keep you informed on this page on our website, along with our Facebook page, or over the phone.
- Can you be reinfected if you’ve already had coronavirus?
It appears on current evidence that those who have had the virus once will develop immunity. There is only one confirmed case worldwide of reinfection occurring.
- If someone in my home is in self isolation, what should I do?
There are two kinds of self isolation:
Quarantine – person is well but fits the criteria for testing and is waiting on the result of a test and has been asked by a doctor to isolate for 14 days after contact or after air travel.
If the person is well and not coughing, the risk is very small. This is the time to remind household members of the importance of washing hands frequently, wiping down surfaces, coughing into a tissue/shirt/elbow, and where possible staying 1.5m apart. Monitor the person to see if they develop symptoms (fever above 37.5 degrees, cough, shortness of breath). If they do, call the clinic for advice.
Ask for advice from schools or workplaces regarding isolation of family members in this case.
Avoid household attendance at big gatherings as much as possible.
Medical isolation – a person is coughing and high risk, and is either waiting on a result or has returned a positive result for coronavirus.
If the person is sick, they need to stay in one room and bathroom if possible. The household needs to be washing hands frequently, wiping down bathroom and eating surfaces, asking everyone including the sick person to cough into a tissue/shirt/elbow, and where possible staying 1.5m apart. This includes not sharing smokes or other items that the person is putting in their mouth.
Avoid household attendance at big gatherings as much as possible.
Follow individual workplace and school advice, which will usually be to stay home.
If people have coronavirus, any worsening often occurs around day 5. If they become more unwell with shortness of breath, call the clinic for advice.
- I am on home isolation and I am feeling anxious, stressed or concerned, where can I get help?
Our team are still available to you via phone, including our Social and Emotional Wellbeing team. You can also look online for materials, we are posting regularly about activities to do at home with kids and how to stay in a good headspace during the outbreak.
A great resource we have found is from the World Health Organisation on how to stay calm during the outbreak.
- I am not sick, but I am worried about my community, how can I help?
The best way to help is to take care of yourself – practice good hand hygiene and avoid crowds. You can also check in on Elders in our community by phone where possible.
If you visit, consider keeping everyone safe by avoiding or minimising contact and staying 1.5m apart or in the open air.
Call your family and friends, if you are well, you could offer to pick up groceries for people and leave them at their door.
During isolation, it is also important to check in on people, FaceTime people who live alone or are at risk and ensure they have adequate supplies of important medications, food and cleaning products.
- Where can I find more information?
We will be updating this page with new information as it comes out.
But you can also find information from the NSW Health website NSW Health COVID-19 information, they provide daily updates on what is happening in NSW and tips to minimise the spread of the virus.