SA Health is working closely with the health sector, the Commonwealth Government and international agencies to respond appropriately to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Find information and resources at: www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/novelcoronavirus
Call the Coronavirus Health Information Line (24/7) on 1800 020 080 if you are seeking advise on the virus. In a medical emergency, call 000 (triple zero).
SA Health Chief Public Health Officer, Associate Professor Nicola Spurrier:
“Hi, I’m Associate Professor Nicola Spurrier, South Australia’s Chief Public Health Officer.
I would like to reassure South Australians that we are taking serious action to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
This virus is new, and the number of cases and its impact, particularly in China, is growing. So it’s understandable that there is anxiety in our community and this is a normal reaction to events such as this.
However, there are a number of misunderstandings about how the virus is transmitted and the risks it pose.
Spread of coronavirus occurs through close contact with an infected person – this is mostly face-to-face contact for prolonged periods of time.
From what we know about the virus so far, it cannot be carried for long distances in the air.
Face masks are not currently recommended for use by healthy members of the public for the prevention of infections like novel coronavirus.
Only people who have been asked to wear a mask should do so.
People who are sick should stay at home, but if it’s necessary for them need to leave the house, such as to seek urgent medical care, they should wear a mask.
Whilst the current outbreak in China is a concern, the situation in Australia is significantly different.
We have only had two confirmed cases in South Australia and we have no current evidence of transmission within our community.
I also want to address some false assumptions that are being made about coronavirus and people of Asian appearance.
Coronavirus does not discriminate – anyone can be at risk of catching the virus. This is very clear from people who have contracted the virus in other countries.
The Chinese community in South Australia have been incredibly helpful in supporting us at SA Health. They have been sharing information and encouraging infection control measures to protect all of us. We all need to actively reach out to the Chinese and broader Asian community at this extremely difficult time for them, and support the businesses and events that are such an important part of our identity and culture in South Australia.
Racism and xenophobia have no place in the response to this or any emerging infectious disease.
We greatly appreciate their actions and they deserve our support in return.”
你们好！ 我是南澳大利亚公共健康办公室首席长官、副教授妮可拉·思博利尔（Nicola Spurrier）。