COVID-19 Information, Support & Resources

Melville Cares is currently undertaking measures to keep clients, volunteers and staff safe in this COVID19 pandemic.

We are continually receiving and updating our advice from various experts such as the Federal and State Government Health Departments. Our support staff have received COVID19 infection control training and are being updated on required best practice during this time on a daily basis

We are ensuring to minimise risk of spreading COVID19 by requesting that all of our clients, volunteers and staff advise us immediately if they test positive to the virus, or need to self-isolate as per the Health Dept guidelines, or have come into contact with any person displaying flu like symptoms.

Our team have remodelled our service delivery to keep people safe. Various new look social supports have been put in place online or via telephone. We appreciate your patience and understanding in respect to these changes. We assure you that you are not alone or forgotten in these times.  

All urgent matters are managed via our phone system by calling 9319 0900.

Please refer to the links provided below for updates to keep you informed and connected during this period in isolation. 

Please stay safe everyone! You matter to us. 

The team at Melville Cares.

Australia Government Department of Health – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for older Australians:

COVID-19 – Frequently asked questions:

What is a coronavirus and COVID-19? 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses known to cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). This new coronavirus originated in Hubei Province, China and the disease caused by the virus is named COVID-19. 

How is this coronavirus spread? 

COVID-19 is most likely to spread from person-to-person through: 

  • Direct close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared. 
  • Close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes. 
  • Touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face. 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other colds and flus and include: 

  • Fever 
  • Sore throat 
  • Cough 
  • Fatigue  
  • Difficulty breathing 

While coronavirus is of concern, it is important to remember that most people displaying these symptoms are likely suffering with a cold or other respiratory illness – not coronavirus. 

What do I do if I develop symptoms? 

If you develop symptoms within 14 days of arriving in Australia or within 14 days of last contact with a confirmed case, you should arrange to see your doctor for urgent assessment.  

You should telephone the health clinic or hospital before you arrive and tell them your travel history or that you have been in contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus. You must remain isolated either in your home, hotel or a health care setting until public health authorities inform you it is safe for you to return to your usual activities. 

Should I be tested for COVID-19? 

Your doctor will tell you if you should be tested. They will arrange for the test.  

You will only be tested if your doctor decides you meet the criteria: 

  • You have returned from overseas in the past 14 days and you develop respiratory illness with or without fever 
  • You have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days and you develop respiratory illness with or without fever 
  • You have severe community-acquired pneumonia and there is no clear cause 
  • You are a healthcare worker who works directly with patients and you have a respiratory illness and a fever 

Frequently asked questions – Version 3 (16/03/2020) 

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) 1 

If you meet any of these criteria, your doctor can request you are tested for COVID-19. It is important to remember that many people with symptoms similar to COVID-19 will not have the virus. Only suspected cases are tested to ensure our labs are able to cope with the demand. There is no need to test people who feel well and do not meet the criteria above. 

Who needs to isolate? 

All people who arrive in Australia from midnight 15 March 2020, or think they may have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, are required to self-isolate for 14 days.  

Someone I live with is getting tested for COVID-19. Should I self-isolate and get tested as well? 

If a household member is a suspected case, you may need to be isolated. This will be determined by your public health unit on a case-by-case basis. Your public health unit will contact you if you need to isolate. For more information, read our fact sheet on home isolation.  

What does isolate in your home mean? 

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must stay at home to prevent it spreading to other people. You might also be asked to stay at home if you may have been exposed to the virus. 

Staying at home means you:  

  • do not go to public places such as work, school, shopping centres, childcare or university 
  • ask someone to get food and other necessities for you and leave them at your front door 
  • do not let visitors in — only people who usually live with you should be in your home 

You do not need to wear a mask in your home. If you need to go out to seek medical attention, wear a surgical mask (if you have one) to protect others. 

You should stay in touch by phone and on-line with your family and friends. For more information, read our fact sheet on home isolation 

What is social distancing? 

Social distancing is one way to help slow the spread of viruses such as COVID-19. Social distancing includes staying at home when you are unwell, avoiding large public gatherings if they’re not essential, keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people whenever possible and minimising physical contact such as shaking hands, especially with people at higher risk of developing serious symptoms, such as older people and people with existing health conditions.  

There’s no need to change your daily routine, but taking these social distancing precautions can help protect the people in our community who are most at risk. 

Who is most at risk of a serious illness? 

Some people who are infected may not get sick at all, some will get mild symptoms from which they will recover easily, and others may become very ill, very quickly. From previous experience with other coronaviruses, the people at most risk of serious infection are: 

  • People with compromised immune systems (e.g. cancer). 
  • Elderly people. 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as they have higher rates of chronic illness. 
  • People with diagnosed chronic medical conditions. 
  • People in group residential settings. 
  • People in detention facilities. 
  • Very young children and babies.* 

*At this stage the risk to children and babies, and the role children play in the transmission of COVID-19, is not clear. However, there has so far been a low rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases among children, relative to the broader population.  

How is the virus treated? 

There is no specific treatment for coronaviruses. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care. 

How can we help prevent the spread of coronavirus? 

Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and keeping your distance from others when you are sick is the best defence against most viruses. You should: 

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet. 
  • Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser. 
  • If unwell, avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people). 
  • Exercise personal responsibility for social distancing measures. 

Can I go to public gatherings such as concerts and sporting events? 

Currently, Australia does not have widespread community transmission of COVID-19. To help slow the spread, the Australian Government has advised, effective from Monday 16 March that organised, non-essential gatherings should be limited to 500 people. 

Non-essential meetings or conferences of critical workforces, such as health care professionals and emergency services, should also be limited. This advice does not include workplaces, schools, universities, shops, supermarkets, public transport and airports. 

To protect vulnerable Australians, the Government has also advised reducing visitors to all residential aged care facilities and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

These precautions are most important for people over 60, particularly if they have a chronic disease. 

My workplace has more than 500 people. Can I still go to work? 

Yes, you can still go to work. The Government currently recommends that organised, nonessential gatherings be limited to a maximum of 500 people. This advice does not include workplaces, schools, universities, shops, supermarkets, public transport and airports. If you are unwell, you should stay home to avoid spreading your germs to others.  

Should I be taking my kids out of childcare or school? 

No, at this stage the Government recommends continuing essential daily activities including school and childcare. If your child is unwell, you should keep them home to avoid spreading their germs to others.  

What about community sports and activities? 

Major sporting events and community activities may be postponed or cancelled depending on the size of the event and the expected number of attendees. You can continue to engage in smaller community sports and activities that are part of your daily life.  

Should I wear a face mask? 

You do not need to wear a mask if you are healthy. While the use of masks can help to prevent transmission of disease from infected patients to others, masks are not currently recommended for use by healthy members of the public for the prevention of infections like coronavirus.  

More information  

For the latest advice, information and resources, go to  

Call the National Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.   

The phone number of your state or territory public health agency is available at 

If you have concerns about your health, speak to your doctor. 

Further resources:

City of Melville COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update:

Click here to download the WA COVID-19 Agency Advisory 13:

WA Council of Social Service – Community Services COVID-19 resources:

Dementia Australia COVID-19 Resources:

Australian Department of Health 23/04/2020:

We need to support each other now more than ever. Whether it’s picking up groceries for a neighbour or checking up on an old friend, we can all do our bit to help out.

Learn more:


ACT Mindfully (Russ Harris)
eBook: FACE COVID – using ACT to respond effectively to COVID-19.

Australian Psychological Society 
Info sheet: Tips for Coping with Coronavirus –
Info sheet: Maintaining Your Mental Health During Social Isolation –

Beyond Blue 
Webpage: information on how to look after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak –

Black Dog Institute
Webpage: 10 tips for managing anxiety during COVID-19 –
Info sheet: Tips to Manage Anxiety During Times of Uncertainty –

Butterfly Foundation  
Webpage: COVID-19 tips and advice for people with an eating disorder –
Butterfly Foundation National Helpline: 1800 33 4673 (8am-midnight AEST, every day)

Department of Health (Australian Government) 
Webpage: COVID-19 health alert information including status, symptoms, how to protect yourself –
Webpage: COVID-19 facts, information on home isolation and care –
Coronavirus Health Information Line: 1800 020 080; 24/7; for information on the virus

24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services –
Phone: 13 11 14 (24/7)
Text: 0477 13 11 14 (6pm-midnight AEDT, every night)
Chat online: (7pm-midnight, every night)

Online assessment and treatment for depression and anxiety –
Info sheet: 10 Psychological Tips for Coping with Infectious Diseases – 
Facebook: provides daily posts with tips for staying resilient  

Psychology Tools
eBook: Living with Worry and Anxiety Amidst Global Uncertainty – CBT-based psychoeducation and skills to manage anxiety and worry.

World Health Organisation (WHO) 
Reputable source of information on COVID-19 –
Info sheet: Coping with Stress During the COVID-10 Outbreak –
Info sheet: Helping Children Cope with Stress During the COVID-19 Outbreak –


Information for young people affected by stress related to COVID-19 –
Info sheet: How to Cope with Stress Related to COVID-19 –

Online mental health organisation for young people and their parents –
Has webpages with information about coping during COVID-19, including 
10 ways to take care of yourself during the coronavirus.
How to deal with uncertainty during coronavirus.
Dealing with bad world news


Emerging Minds 
Info sheet on helping children cope during COVID-19 –

Nurse Dotty Books
eBook: for children about COVID-19 –  

Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health
Info sheet: COVID-19 tips for self-care and families –
Videos: on keeping yourself mentally well during COVID-19, and 4 ways to look after yourself during self-isolation –

Information on how to talk to children about COVID-19 –


Online interactive space that aims to improve the wellbeing and mental fitness of 2-18 year olds, based on the principles of positive psychology.  

Black Dog Institute
myCompass is a free evidence-based online self-help program for mild to moderate symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. There are special modules for diabetes, and men.
Brochure for health professionals:

Centre for Clinical Interventions (CCI)
Free, evidence-based online resources and self-help interventions for individuals with anxiety, mood and eating disorders.

DBT Self Help
Peer-driven website specifically about DBT, with a wealth of information and self-education resources.

Free evidence-based self-help online CBT-based program for depression and anxiety.

Get Self Help
UK-based website that has a wealth of free CBT self-help and therapy resources including information sheets, worksheets, videos and mp3s.
Covers depression, anxiety, emotion dysregulation, mindfulness, suicidal ideation, communication skills, sleep etc.

Mental Health Online
Free, evidence-based online resources and self-help interventions for GAD, depression, social anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and panic disorder. 

Evidence-based online CBT courses for stress, worry, anxiety, low mood and depression.  
Specific courses for young adults, older adults and indigenous people.

Free evidence-based online interactive self-help book to manage depression and anxiety.
6 session interactive online treatment for postnatal depression. Also includes access to an online library and optional partner support website. Evidence-based Australian and USA collaboration. 

Free and empirically supported online resources and treatment programs for people experiencing odd experiences (?psychosis), carers of people with mental illness, alcohol and depression, Type 2 diabetes and disaster recovery.  

Project Air Strategy
Fact sheet and self-help resources for personality disorders, including mindfulness, managing anger/distress/emotions, self-harm, information for families, partners and carers.

This Way Up
Evidence-based CBT online courses for anxiety, depression, insomnia, and stress. Also has modules for pregnancy and postnatal, teenagers, and chronic pain.

A video series to assist with Coronavirus:
For further videos on Mental Health go to:

Various resources for aged care are available at the following websites:

o WA Department of Health:

o HealthyWA:

o Australian Government Health Department:

o COVID-19 MythBusters (WHO):

o Advice for the public (WHO):

Who to contact for more information

• National Coronavirus Health Information Line: 1800 020 080

• COVID-19 WA Public Information Line: 132 6843 (13 COVID)

• COVID-19 WA Police Line: 131 444 – to report breaches of: self-isolation, business closures, border controls and other State of Emergency Directions

Next advice – The next PHEOC Bulletin will be issued on Friday 24 April 2020.
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