If you need to apply for Centrelink, try to avoid the long queues by applying online. (AAP: James Gourley)
A lot has happened this past week, and it can be a lot to process.
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every inch of our daily lives and raising a lot of questions. But we’ve got the answers for you.
Here are the answers to some of the big questions you’ve been asking about coronavirus this week.
What is the Coronavirus Supplement from Centrelink, am I eligible and when does it start?
The Coronavirus Supplement is a $550 per fortnight top-up payment for people on welfare.
Services Australia will automatically pay eligible recipients the supplement each fortnight.
It goes to anyone receiving:
- JobSeeker Payment (formerly known as the Newstart Allowance)
- Sickness Allowance
- Youth Allowance for jobseekers
- Parenting Payment Partnered
- Parenting Payment Single
- Partner Allowance
- Farm Household Allowance
- Youth Allowance students and apprentices
Small business owners and casual workers whose livelihood has been affected by coronavirus can also access the Coronavirus Supplement.
To be eligible you have to be earning less than $1,075 a fortnight.
Payments will begin on April 27 and will be available for at least six months.
Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak
How do I apply for the Jobseeker Payment (formerly Newstart Allowance)?
The best way to apply is online at MyGov using a Centrelink account.
If you need a step-by-step guide on how to apply, head to this article.
You can also apply over the phone or in person at service centres but this isn’t recommended as there will be long queues for both.
What are stage 3 coronavirus restrictions?
Australia’s stage 3 shutdown would probably look something like that in the UK, where tougher restrictions have been put in place to stop community transmission of the virus.
We could see all shops selling non-essential goods shut, schools closed, and gatherings of more than two people banned.
Hairdressing salons and most beauty service providers will close as well.
Under a stage 3 shutdown, it’s likely tradies could still come to your house.
In the UK, work carried out in private homes is still permitted if the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms.
No work is being allowed in any household where a person is self-isolating.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and a dry cough.
Some people also experience a sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, nasal congestion, aches and pains, or diarrhoea.
When and how to get tested for coronavirus
To be tested for COVID-19, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- You have returned from overseas in the past 14 days or spent time on a cruise ship, 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 (including patients who have already been hospitalised for this condition)
- You have a fever or acute respiratory infection and you work in the healthcare or aged/residential care sectors, or you have spent time in a location that’s defined by a state or territory as having an elevated risk of community transmission, or you have spent time at a “high-risk” location where there are two or more linked cases of COVID-19, such as an aged care home, a remote Aboriginal community, a correctional facility, a boarding school, or a military base (including Navy ships) with live-in accommodation.
If you want to speak to someone about your symptoms first, you can call the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. It’s operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The criteria for who can get a test has been expanded in Australia with the arrival of new testing kits. (Reuters: Lindsey Wasson)
Before visiting your local GP or hospital clinic, you need to 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 who has COVID-19, so they can prepare for your appointment.
What the experts are saying about coronavirus:
Testing methods may include a blood test, a swab test inside your nose or in the back of your throat, or a sputum test, which examines a mix of saliva and mucus.
How long does coronavirus last on surfaces?
The virus can live longer on plastic and stainless steel surfaces. (ABC Radio Sydney: Matt Bamford)
Research published last week found the virus can survive for hours and in some cases days outside a host, depending on the type of surface it’s on.
Viable virus particles — meaning they’re still able to infect you — were detected for up to 72 hours on stainless steel and plastic surfaces, but no longer than 24 hours on cardboard, and four hours on copper.
Is coronavirus airborne?
COVID-19 is thought to be mostly spread via respiratory droplets, the secretions we generate when we sneeze or cough.
When an infected person coughs or sneezes they spray out a shower of potentially hundreds or thousands of particles of various sizes.
The virus can spread when these droplets from an infected person land on objects or surfaces around them.
Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching surfaces infected with the virus, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth and letting the virus get into their respiratory system that way.
Researchers have found that when the virus is artificially turned 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 the droplets you generate when you sneeze or cough
But we’re yet to see the coronavirus commonly spreading through aerosols outside the artificial conditions of the lab.
“There is no credible evidence at this stage that proved airborne particles could spread the virus in the community,” said epidemiologist Hassan Vally of La Trobe University.
“Firstly, the virus has got to survive in the air. And then secondly, you’ve got to show that it’s surviving in sufficient doses for people to become infected.”
Dr Vally said he would speculate that if airborne spread was a significant mode of transmission we’d see more people being infected more quickly, or people infecting more people than they do.
Your questions on coronavirus answered:
Another possible route is faecal-oral transmission, because the virus can be found in faeces as well, said virologist Sacha Stelzer-Braid of the University of New South Wales Sydney.
If an infected person goes to the toilet, but doesn’t close the lid before they flush, that’s generating tiny droplets or aerosols, Dr Stelzer-Braid said.
These droplets can then land on other bathroom surfaces, which others then get on their hands when they touch these surfaces.
Then it’s just a matter of the virus making its way from their hands to their face.
What are non-essential services?
Most services that are non-essential have been forced to shut.
- Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons and tattoo parlours
- Spas and massage parlours — this doesn’t include health-related services such as physiotherapy and allied-health services.
- Real estate auctions and open house inspections
- Amusement parks and arcades
- Indoor and outdoor play centres
- Gyms, health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre, spin facilities, saunas, wellness centres and community and recreation centres
- Public swimming pools
- Galleries, museums, national institutions, historic sites, libraries, community centres
- Auction houses
- Casinos, gaming or gambling venues
- Outdoor and indoor markets — this doesn’t include food markets
- Places of worship
Are gyms closed in Australia?
Yes. They, and other indoor sporting venues, shut their doors at midday local time on Monday.
Are banks freezing home loans?
The big four banks have all announced that their customers will be able to pause mortgage payments.
Some banks explicitly state only customers affected by coronavirus will be eligible to pause their repayments.
But whether you need to provide proof (such as a doctor’s note or severance form) to verify you have been affected by coronavirus depends on which bank you’re with.
This article can tell how to freeze your payments, what proof you’ll need and how much interest could potentially occur.
When will coronavirus stop?
There’s no definitive answer.
But the success or failure of Australia’s coronavirus fight relies to a remarkable degree on just one thing.
And that thing is whether individual Australians now follow official advice — and just stay home.
Coronavirus will continue to spread virtually unchecked unless at least eight in 10 Australians stay home as much as possible.
That’s according to a new model created by the Centre for Complex Systems and the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity at Sydney University.
The researchers have built what is effectively a simulation of the entire Australian population using information about 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 locations of schools and airports.
You can read more about it here.
Credit: Source link