Skip to main content

How to protect yourself and others

Wash your hands regularly and keep your physical distance from others.

Need help? You're not alone.

If you experience anxiety, mood changes, feel overwhelmed, or find it difficult to sleep to the point where you are affected in a negative way, it might be time to reach out for help.

Have symptoms?

Come forward and get tested even if you only have mild symptoms like a fever, cough, sore/scratchy throat, short breath, or loss of smell or taste. You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Domestic and family violence support

Find out what to do if it's not safe for you to stay at home. You can call our Domestic Violence Line anytime on 1800 65 64 63.

On this page

Physical distancing

Physical distancing means keeping a 1.5 metres distance from people we don't live with. Combined with good personal hygiene, physical distancing can reduce the spread of the COVID-19 infection through the community. 

This helps keep us all safe and protects the most vulnerable people in our community.

Wash your hands regularly

These simple steps can help to protect yourself and the community.

Practise good hygiene by

  • cleaning your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • covering your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or a flexed elbow
  • avoiding close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
Wash your hands regularly

Taking care of your mental health

Maintain an active and healthy lifestyle

Take care of your mental health by staying connected socially, exercising regularly, sticking to a routine, taking breaks from the news and social media, and asking for help when you need it.

Stay active, stay healthy

Stay in touch with healthcare providers

Continue to access the healthcare services you need from your doctor, medical specialist, local hospital or mental health provider.

Immediate and ongoing support is available to everyone in NSW to help them through difficult times.

Your mental health and wellbeing

Mental health at work

Tap into these resources that will help create and maintain the mental health and wellbeing of the people in your workplace.

Mentally healthy workplaces

Cleaning your home

You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces in your home.

Coronaviruses can survive on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days, depending on the temperature, humidity and type of surface. Find out what you need to do and which products to use in your home.

Taking care of a sick person

If you are caring for a sick family member with flu-like symptoms or someone who is self-isolating there are things you should do to help stop the spread of infection.

  • Care for the sick person in a single room.
  • Keep the door closed and windows open, where possible.
  • Keep the number of carers to a minimum.
  • Always use a hand sanitiser before and after entering the room, or wash hands with soap and water.
  • Keep the sick person’s cups, plates and eating utensils separate to the rest of the household.
  • Wear a surgical mask (single-use face mask) when you are in the sick person’s room, if available.
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly.
  • Dispose of tissues and masks in a sealed plastic bag and put in the usual household waste.

If your family member becomes very unwell

An ambulance is not needed to transport people to GPs or a hospital unless their condition is serious.

Alternative means of transport should be used including private car driven by a family member or an existing close contact (not bus, train, taxi or ride-share such as Uber).

If symptoms are severe and it is a medical emergency, such as shortness of breath at rest or difficulty breathing, dial 000 and ask for an ambulance.

Pregnant women and newborns

Flu vaccination

If you are pregnant or caring for a newborn, it is more important than ever to get a seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine this year. While a flu vaccine won’t protect you against COVID-19, it will reduce your chances of getting the flu.

Everyone in the family should have the flu vaccination when it becomes available each year. Make sure your family vaccinations are up to date.

  • Babies can have the flu vaccine from 6 months of age.
  • The vaccine is free for all children aged 6 months to less than 5 years of age.
  • The vaccination is the safest, most effective way to protect babies and children from illness.

Protecting your baby from COVID-19

If you have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 you can breastfeed your baby. The benefits of feeding your baby breastmilk outweigh any potential risk of transmission of coronavirus through the breastmilk.

Whether you are breastfeeding, expressing breastmilk or using formula, you need to follow strict hygiene rules by:

  • wearing a face mask when you are less than 1.5 metres from your baby
  • washing your hands before and after contact with your baby
  • avoiding coughing or sneezing on the baby
  • cleaning and disinfecting contaminated surfaces.

When you express breastmilk, make sure that you have thoroughly washed the breast and hands, as well as the pump and bottle parts.

If you have any questions about feeding options, speak with your health professional.

Stay at home if you are sick

If you experience any symptoms such as breathing difficulty (shortness of breath) or fever (37.5 ° or higher) or loss of smell or taste, get tested and stay at home.  

How and when to self-isolate

You need to self-isolate in your home or hotel room if you have been

  • ordered to quarantine 
  • diagnosed with COVID-19 
  • in contact with a person sick with COVID-19 infection. 

Vulnerable people

COVID-19 continues to have serious impacts on vulnerable people. You may be more at risk of coronavirus if you:

  • are an older person
  • live with a compromised immune system
  • have a chronic medical condition.

There are steps you can take to lower the risk of exposure.

Last updated: 30 June 2020

Top of page