A lot has happened in the past week, and it can be a lot to deal with.
The COVID-19 pandemic affects every inch of our daily life and raises many questions. But we have the answers for you.
Here are the answers to some of the big questions you are asking yourself this week about the coronavirus.
What is Centrelink Coronavirus Supplement, am I eligible and when does it start?
Services Australia will automatically pay the supplement to eligible beneficiaries every fortnight.
It goes to anyone receiving:
- JobSeeker payment (formerly known as Newstart allowance)
- Sickness benefit
- Youth allowance for job seekers
- Parenting Payment in partnership
- Parental payment
- Partner allowance
- Agricultural household allowance
- Students and apprentices Youth Allowance
Small business owners and casual workers whose livelihoods have been affected by the coronavirus may also access the Coronavirus supplement.
To be eligible, you must be earn less than $ 1,075 per fortnight.
Payments will start April 27 and will be available for at least six months.
How do I apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance (formerly Newstart Allowance)?
The best way to apply is online on MyGov using a Centrelink account.
If you need a step by step guide on how to apply, go to this article.
You can also apply by phone or in person at the service centers, but this is not recommended as there will be long lines for both.
What are the stage 3 restrictions of the coronavirus?
Australia’s Stage 3 stop would probably look something like this in the UK, where stricter restrictions have been put in place to stop community transmission of the virus.
We could see all stores selling non-essentials closed, schools closed, and gatherings of more than two people banned.
Hairdressers and most beauty service providers will also close.
As part of a Stage 3 shutdown, it is likely that traders could still come to you.
In the UK, work in private homes is still allowed if the trader is doing well and showing no symptoms.
No work is allowed in households where a person is self-isolating.
What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tired, and one dry cough.
Some people also experience sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, nasal congestion, aches and pains, or diarrhea.
When and how to get tested for the coronavirus
To be tested for COVID-19, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- You have returned from abroad in the last 14 days or spent time on a cruise ship, and you develop respiratory disease, with or without fever
- You have have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 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 (including patients who have previously been hospitalized for this condition)
- You have a fever or acute respiratory infection and you work in the healthcare or elderly care / accommodation sectors, or you have spent time in a location defined by a state or territory as being at high risk of community transmission, or you have spent time in a “high risk” location where there are two or more related cases of COVID-19, such as a retirement home, remote Aboriginal community, correctional facility, boarding school, or military base (including Navy ships) with accommodation.
If you want to tell someone about your symptoms first, you can call Coronavirus health information hotline at 1 800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Before visiting your local GP or hospital clinic, you must call ahead to make an appointment.
It’s also important to call ahead to explain your symptoms, travel history, and any recent close contact with someone with COVID-19, so they can prepare for your appointment.
Test methods can include a blood test, a swab test inside your nose or at the back of your throat, or a sputum test, which examines a mixture of saliva and mucus.
How long does the coronavirus last on surfaces?
Research published last week discovered that the virus can survive for hours and, in some cases, days outside of a host, depending on the type of surface it is on.
Viable virus particles, that is, they can still infect you, have been detected up to 72 hours on stainless steel and plastic surfaces, but no more than 24 hours on cardboard, and four hours on copper.
Is the coronavirus airborne?
COVID-19 is believed to be spread primarily through respiratory droplets, the secretions we generate when we sneeze or cough.
When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they spray hundreds or thousands of particles of different sizes.
The virus can be spread when these droplets from an infected person land on objects or surfaces around them.
Others then catch COVID-19 by surfaces in contact infected with the virus, then touch their eyes, nose or mouth and allow the virus to enter their respiratory system.
The researchers found that when the virus is artificially transformed into an aerosol, it remains viable for three hours.
The virus becomes an aerosol when particles remain suspended in the air as tiny droplets, five microns in diameter or less – much smaller than the majority of droplets you generate when you sneeze or cough
“There is no credible evidence at this point to prove that airborne particles could spread the virus in the community,” said epidemiologist Hassan Vally of the University of La Trobe.
“First, the virus has to survive in the air. And second, you have to show that it survives in doses sufficient for people to get infected.”
Dr Vally said he would speculate that if airborne spread was a significant mode of transmission, we would see more people infected faster, or people infecting more people than they do.
Another possible way is faecal-oral transmission, as the virus can also be found in the stoolsaid virologist Sacha Stelzer-Braid of the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
If an infected person goes to the toilet, but doesn’t close the lid before flushing, it generates tiny droplets or aerosols, Dr Stelzer-Braid said.
These droplets can then land on other surfaces in the bathroom, which others then end up on the hands when they touch those surfaces.
Then it’s just the virus that passes from their hands to their faces.
What are the non-essential services?
Most services that are not essential were forced to close.
- Beauty treatments, tanning, waxing, nail salons and tattoo parlors
- Spas and massage parlors – this does not include health related services such as physiotherapy and paramedical services.
- Real estate auctions and open house visits
- Amusement parks and arcades
- Indoor and outdoor play centers
- Gyms, health clubs, fitness centers, yoga, bar, spin facilities, saunas, wellness centers and community and recreation centers
- Public swimming pools
- Galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites, libraries, community centers
- Auction houses
- Casinos, gambling halls or gambling halls
- External and internal markets – this does not include food markets
- Places of worship
Are gyms closed in Australia?
Yes. They and other indoor sports venues closed at noon local time on Monday.
Are Banks Freezing Home Loans?
The big four banks have all announced that their customers may suspend mortgage payments.
Some banks explicitly state that only customers affected by the coronavirus will be able to suspend their refunds.
But whether you need to provide proof (like a doctor’s note or an indemnity form) to verify that you have been affected by the coronavirus depends on which bank you are with.
This article can tell you how to freeze your payments, what proof you will need and what interest could potentially arise.
When will the coronavirus stop?
There is no definitive answer.
But the success or failure of Australia’s fight against coronavirus hinges to a remarkable degree on one thing.
And that thing is whether individual Australians are now following official advice – and just stay home.
Coronavirus will continue to spread virtually unchecked unless at least eight in ten Australians stay at home as much as possible.
This is according to a new model created by the Center for Complex Systems and the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosafety at the University of Sydney.
The researchers built what is in fact a simulation of the entire Australian population using information on where everyone lives, the number of adults and children in each house, how people move around their town or city and other details such as the location of schools and airports.