COVID-19 Information

From 11.59pm on Wednesday 5th August regional Victoria are in Stage 3 Stay at home restrictions.
Stay informed on what this means for you and your family.

Recommendations for using a cloth face mask

It is mandatory that you wear a face covering in a regional area if you leave your home and are not able to keep 1.5 metres away from other people, like when you are shopping.

For up-to-date Victorian health advice regarding COVID-19 visit www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

Download the COVIDsafe app

Other ways to stay up to date:

If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398. Please note this line is receiving high demand.  Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398.  Please note this line is receiving high demand.  Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

Bass Coast Health

https://www.gha2.net.au/bch
T: (03) 5671 3333

Gippsland Southern Health

https://www.gshs.com.au
T: (03) 5667 5555

South Gippsland Hospital

https://southgippslandhospital.com.au
(03) 5683 9777

Bass Coast Shire Council

https://www.basscoast.vic.gov.au
T: (03) 5671 2211

South Gippsland Shire Council

https://www.southgippsland.vic.gov.au
T: (03) 5662 9200

Financial Support

COVID-19 Extreme Hardship Support Program
can provide financial relief to meet urgent needs of people who do not have access to Victorian & Commonwealth Government income support (including Job Seeker and Job Keeper), such as temporary and provisional visa holders and undocumented migrants.

COVID-19 worker support payment will provide a one-off $1,500 payment designed to financially support Victorian workers who, as of 20 June, have been instructed by the department to self-isolate or quarantine at home because they are either diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) or are a close contact of a confirmed case.

Care Packages

Those in mandatory self-isolation running short on food and unable to have any dropped-off by friends are eligible for a food and personal care package. To request a pack call Victoria’s dedicated Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398

Support for Businesses and Jobs

The $1.7 billion economic survival and jobs package will help businesses and workers survive the impacts of the pandemic, including full payroll tax refunds, applications for commercial rent relief, paying outstanding supplier invoices and waiving liquor licensing fees.

JobKeeper Payment

The Government has announced a $130 billion JobKeeper payment to help keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the significant economic impact caused by the Coronavirus.

Around 6 million workers will receive a fortnightly payment of $1,500 (before tax) through their employer.

The payment ensures eligible employers remain connected to their workforce and will help businesses restart quickly when the crisis is over.

Support for Businesses

The Australian Government is supporting Australian businesses to manage cash flow challenges and retain employees. Assistance includes cash flow support to businesses and temporary measures to provide relief for financially distressed businesses.

Income support for individuals

Expansion of eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. To be paid to both existing and new recipients of JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.

Payments to support households

Two separate $750 payments will be made to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. The first payment will be made from 31 March 2020 and the second payment will be made from 13 July 2020.

Temporary early release of superannuation

The Government is allowing individuals affected by the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.

Legal

Victoria Legal Aid can provide help over the phone 1300 792 387 (please note that there may have longer wait times). Advice can also be provided through a live webchat service here.

Work Rights

Job Watch has released a Q&A on employment rights in relation to COVID-19.

Not-For-Profit Business Support

Board/Governance Impacts

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has released fresh guidance of what organisations should do if they're struggling to hold regular board meetings of officially complete their Annual Information Statement.

Support Group

An online peer support group on Facebook for people working in Australian not-for-profits has been established. You’re encouraged to ask questions of each other, share important information, and provide and receive guidance during this difficult time.

Supporting Older Adults

Evidence shows that COVID-19 poses a great risk to older people and those with existing chronic conditions. Keep informed on supporting our older people during this time.

Help Age International

Dementia Australia

Supporting children

Coronavirus is hard to explain to little ones. They can be confused, overwhelmed and anxious. Here are some resources to help navigate these discussions.

Emerging Minds
UNICEF Australia
Black Dog Insitute

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) are working hard to support Members and Aboriginal communities with daily and weekly update

NACCHO
VACCHO
Australian Government – indigenous.gov.au
Department of Health and Human Services – COVID-19 information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

CALD communities

COVID-19 translated information has been developed for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, health professionals and industry. Information includes factsheets and promotional materials.

Ethnolink – information about COVID-19 in 51 languages
Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) – News about COVID in 63 languages
Department of Health - Translated coronavirus (COVID-19) resources
Department of Health and Human Services - Translated coronavirus (COVID-19) resources
Enliven - Easy English Resources

Hearing and Vision Impairment

Deaf Australia – COVID updates Blog
Expression Australia (former Victorian Deaf Society) - Auslan video updates
Vision Australia – news and assistance for the vision impaired

Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

It is reasonable for people to be concerned or even stressed about the coronavirus outbreak. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.
 
Sharing the facts about COVID-19 and understanding the actual risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful. There are a number of great resources available to help you navigate this difficult time.

Being part of a community can have a positive effect on mental health and emotional wellbeing. Community involvement provides a sense of belonging and social connection. It can also offer extra meaning and purpose to everyday life. (head to health)

But what does this mean for the communities across Bass Coast and South Gippsland when we are required to socially distance ourselves, and for some of us to socially isolate?

Here are some tips to remain connected when your practicing social distancing or you are in quarantine:

  • Think about how you can interact with others without putting your health (or theirs) at risk. Can you speak to your neighbours from over a fence or across balconies?
  • If you have access to it, use technology to stay in touch. If you have a smartphone, use the video capabilities - seeing someone’s facial expressions can help increase connection.
  • Check in with your friends, family, and neighbours regularly. Wherever you can, assist people in your life who may be more vulnerable (for example, those with no access to the internet or who cannot easily use the internet to shop online).
  • Spend the time connecting with the people you are living with. If you are in a lock down situation, use this time to improve your existing relationships.
  • Manage your stress levels. Exercise, meditate and keep to a daily routine as much as you can.
  • It’s not just family and friends who require support, but others in your community. Showing kindness to others not only helps them but can also increase your sense of purpose and value, improving your own well-being.

Source: The Conversation

The following links provide advice on staying connected:

With more people staying at home to reduce the community spread of COVID-19, there may be an increased risk for victim survivors experiencing family violence.
Services are still operating to help women and children in family violence situations, including crisis accommodation.

If you feel unsafe or are concerned for someone’s safety, please call Police on 000

Safe Steps
T: 1800 015 188

1800 Respect (National Sexual Assault, Family Violence Counselling)
T: 1800 737 731

With Respect 1800LGBTIQ specialist LGBTIQ family violence service 1800 542 847

Other Key Contacts:

  • The Orange Door – 1800 319 354 (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (closed public holidays)
  • Victims of Crime Helpline - 1800 819 817 or text 0427 767 891 (8am to 11pm every day)
  • Child Protection - 13 12 78 (5pm to 9am Monday to Friday, 24 hrs on weekends and public holidays)
  • Sexual Assault Crisis Line - 1800 806 292 (24 hours a day, seven days a week)
  • Men’s Referral Service - 1300 766 491 (8am to 9pm Monday to Friday; 9am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday)
  • Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
  • w/respect - 1800 542 847 (5pm to 11pm each Wednesday and 10 am to 10pm on Saturday and Sunday)
  • MensLine Australia - 1300 78 99 78 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
  • Headspace 1800 650 890
  • Relationships Australia 1300 369 630

For up to date information and resources for Health Profesionals please visist Department of Health and Human Services.

Free Online infection Control Training for COVID-19 for workers across health, aged care, disability and childcare sectors.

Department of Health and Human Services (Victorian Government)

The Department of Health and Human Services have an updated web page with information about coronavirus (COVID-19) including facts, updates, symptoms, resources and advice for the public, health professionals, education services and the media. Please click on the below links for information and advice on the coronavirus.

Information, updates and advice about the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
About coronavirus (COVID-19) - symptoms, travel and what to do to reduce the risk of infection
Coronavirus (COVID-19) interactive self-assessment tool
Coronavirus (COVID-19) promotional material
Department of Health and Human Services – Stakeholder Pack, Get Tested Campaign – translated materials

Department of Health (Australian Government)

The Department of Health are providing daily updates and information, answering questions about the latest news, providing current facts and figures, travel advice, key contact and phone numbers. Click on the links below for information and advice on the Coronavirus.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) news, updates and advice
Coronavirus (COVID-19) frequently asked questions
Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources

The World Health Organisation is continuously monitoring and responding to the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters

The current situation is evolving rapidly, therefore the information published on our website is correct at the time of publishing. We will endeavour to update information as it comes to hand.