Updated: March 31, 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is increasingly having an impact on the global community and is a rapidly evolving issue.
Government organisations, public health units and the World Health Organisation (WHO) continue to provide accurate, timely and detailed updates relevant to the whole community.
The resource below is intended to provide a broad overview of the currently available information from the Australian Federal Government related to the virus and what measures and precautions members of the Australian little athletics community should put in place. Please note, however, that given the present circumstances the information provided by the Australian Federal Government is constantly changing in response to this rapidly evolving issue. This is therefore a general guide only and does not intend to provide specific advice in respect to the Government measures, the nature of COVID-19 or hygiene measures or social distancing measures recommended by the Australian Government to seek to reduce the risk of contracting COVID -19 .
(State governments have enacted their own strict measures to limit any non-essential activities. Please check with your relevant state or territory government authority for your local restrictions.)
Latest athletics-specific advice:
Support measures for clubs, employees & participants:
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. Some people recover easily, others may get very sick very quickly. There is evidence that it spreads from person to person. Good hygiene can prevent infection.
COVID-19 was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China.
The most common symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath. It can be difficult to tell the difference between COVID-19 and other common respiratory illness particularly in the early stages of illness. Individuals should consult with their doctor by calling ahead. The doctor can take a thorough history, including travel history, perform a physical exam and make a recommendation regarding testing for COVID-19.
How unwell does COVID-19 make you?
COVID-19 results in a spectrum of illness ranging from possible asymptomatic carriage, common cold to severe cases requiring hospital admission. In a small minority of cases, COVID-19 can be fatal.
How contagious is COVID-19 and how does it spread?
Analysis of the number of cases from the Diamond Princess suggests that COVID-19 is more contagious than seasonal influenza.
This can change based on the circumstances the outbreak is occurring in and it is expected this will be refined over time as more is known.
The virus is transmitted primarily through respiratory droplets. There is ongoing research to determine if there are other possible modes of transmission such as faecal or through the air.
What is currently known about the clinical course of infection?
The estimated incubation period is between 1-14 days but is about five days on average. The incubation period is the time from when exposure to the virus occurs until symptoms start. Symptoms can persist for longer than three weeks, although the duration of illness will be highly variable.
How do I reduce my risk of getting COVID-19?
Hand hygiene remains the single best action individuals can take to reduce their risk of acquiring any respiratory or gastrointestinal tract infection. While COVID-19 is a global concern the number of cases of influenza globally far outweighs the number of COVID-19 as reported on the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS). Annual influenza vaccination remains an important infection prevention measure.
You should be vigilant with frequent hand washing using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. Make sure you adhere to ‘illness etiquette’. If you are coughing and sneezing, do so away from people into a tissue, your elbow or hands. If you cough or sneeze into your hands, make sure you wash your hands afterwards. Seek medical review early if you are feeling unwell.
Who is most at risk?
In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are those who have:
Based on what we know about coronaviruses, those most at risk of serious infection are:
Everyone must practise good personal hygiene to protect against infection and prevent the virus from spreading.
Good hygiene includes:
One way to slow the spread of viruses is social distancing. There are practical things you can do, to protect those more susceptible to the virus.
Social distancing in the workplace
To reduce the spread of germs in the workplace:
Surgical masks in the community are only helpful in preventing people who have coronavirus disease from spreading it to others.
If you are well, you do not need to wear a surgical mask. There is little evidence that widespread use of surgical masks in healthy people prevents transmission in public.
Keep up to date with developments
Coronavirus Health Information Line
Call this line if you are seeking information on coronavirus (COVID-19). The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
There are no upcoming events at this time.