COVID-19 - Information for community

Keeping communities across Australia healthy and safe is one of the Government’s top priorities during this period of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

This page is intended to help community members find reliable sources of information about COVID-19. The information on this page is from:

Other reputable sources of information include:

Below are key resources to help you.


What are the restrictions in Victoria?

To view the current restrictions for where you live, click here


What can I do to stay healthy?

  • Wash your hands
  • Distance yourself from others by 1.5 meters, unless they live in your household   
  • Stay home as much as you can
  • Take care of your mental health
    • If you live or work in South Eastern Melbourne, you may be eligible for free mental health services. Call SEMPHN’s Access & Referral line on 1800 862 363 for more information.
    • Visit Head to Health for self-help mental health guidance
    • Visit Beyond Blue has mental health resources available 
  • Download the COVIDSafe app, so you can be contacted if a person near you has tested positive to COVID-19. 

How do I know if I have COVID-19?

Click the picture below to see HealthDirect’s symptom checker for coronavirus and more.

COVID-19

If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call 000 for urgent medical help.

COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • fever
  • coughing
  • sore throat
  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath

The common cold, the flu and Coronavirus disease are not the same. Click here to view a poster explaining the different symptoms. 

As the number of flu cases is substantially lower this year, the Premier of Victoria has said that there is ‘every chance’ that people with mild flu-like symptoms have contracted COVID-19 (Tuesday, August 18). 


I think I have COVID-19, what do I do?

  • Use HealthDirect’s symptom checker (above) to learn more about your symptoms. If you have serious symptoms like difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000). 
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, call your local doctor to see if testing is available.
  • If testing is not available at your GP, make an appointment at a COVID-19 GP Respiratory Clinic

Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

SEMPHN is working with health services across south eastern Melbourne to provide access to clinics where you can safely get tested for COVID-19.

Where are the respiratory clinics in south eastern Melbourne?

ClinicAddressContact details

Star Health

Prahran Town Hall, 255A Chapel St, Prahran

Contact: 03 9525 1300
Website: https://www.starhealth.org.au/ 

Carrum Downs Medical Centre 113b Hall Road, Carrum Downs 

Contact: 03 9782 6088
Website: https://carrumdownsmedicalcentre.com 

Rosebud Skin Cancer Centre 1079 Point Nepean Road, Rosebud Contact: 0436 033 507
Website: https://www.rosebudskincancercentre.com.au/
Port Melbourne Medical Centre Shop 1/405 Bay St, Port Melbourne Contact: 8686 0500
Website: www.portmelbournemedical.com.au/ 

How do I book an appointment?

Booking ahead for an appointment at the COVID-19 GP Respiratory Clinics helps the clinics maintain the standards for physical distancing. Only people who have symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested. 

Appointments can be booked here.

Do I need a referral?

No, you do not need a referral from your GP to book an appointment at one of these clinics.

Is it safe to attend? 

Yes, it is safe to attend the clinics. These clinics are set-up to maintain social distancing. 

Suspected cases are identified during a pre-screen and managed appropriately. You may be asked to stay in your car until someone comes out with a mask. 

Personal protective equipment is available and will be used in line with clinical guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services. 

What happens at a respiratory clinic?

  • A doctor or a nurse will assess your respiratory condition and identify if you meet the testing criteria for COVID-19. 
  • If you do meet the criteria, they will test you using swabs, collecting a sample from your nose or throat. 
  • They will tell you when to expect your results back and will let you know how you will be contacted about the results. 
  • They will give you a plan of care before you leave. This may include advising you to self-isolate in your home until the results of the test come back, seeing your doctor, providing a script to take to your pharmacy, etc.

Where else can I get tested for coronavirus in south eastern Melbourne?

View the map of available testing centres in Victoria by clicking here.


Can I still go to see my doctor?

Yes, general practices remain open to provide care for patients. 

Don’t delay seeking medical help. One of the key reasons you’re allowed to leave your home is to get medical care if you need it. This includes check-ups and regular tests for existing conditions. Pathology clinics remain open. 

Call your local general practice to make an appointment, they may ask you if you have COVID-19 symptoms before arranging an appointment. 

Call 000 if you or someone you care for needs emergency care.  

Telehealth consultations via phone or video are available for patients vulnerable to COVID-19. Your GP is able to request pathology at those appointments.


I have a question about staying at home

All people in Australia, are asked to stay at home to stop the virus from spreading to friends, families, neighbours and communities. 

Click here to find answers about what you should and should not do. 

If you are in immediate danger at home, call 000.

If you are escaping harm or are at risk of harm from family violence, you can leave your home. You will not be fined if you are leaving a dangerous situation. Family violence support is available. Click here for more information. 

You can also leave your home for medical emergencies to access the care you need or to provide care to someone else. 


I want to talk to someone who knows more about coronavirus

  • National Coronavirus Hotline: 1800 020 080. Call this line if you are seeking information on coronavirus. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) is for people who do not speak English and for agencies and businesses that need to communicate with their non-English speaking clients. Call 131 450, or visit the website.
  • Alternatively, you can call your local general practice.

I'm looking for support in my community

The following is a list of available community supports per Local Government Area (LGA) in south eastern Melbourne during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the supports include food relief, housing, health and wellbeing supports, and more. 

Click on the name of your LGA to learn more. 

These resources are not affiliated with South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (SEMPHN) but are being shared as a resource for health professionals to refer to, or for community members to access. For more information about the services, please contact the services or local councils for more information. SEMPHN can not answer questions about the resources above. 


I've lost my job or had my income reduced. Who can I speak to?

Good Shepherd is offering Household Relief Loans Without Interest for people affected by the coronavirus pandemic – along with a free COVID Hardship Support Hotline to help you navigate the support services available.

Loans of up to $3,000 are available for rent, bond, rates, body corporate fees and utility bills – with no interest, charges or fees. Funded by the Australian Government, in partnership with NAB.

Visit www.householdrelief.org.au for details. 


I still need access to mental health or alcohol and other drug treatment services. Where can I go?

Many businesses and services have been affected by the pandemic. If you accessed a particular service before COVID-19, please call them directly to find out more about their availability.

Below is a list of services that offer support unrelated to COVID-19, and are available in south eastern Melbourne. This is not a complete list of active services in the catchment. If you accessed a particular service before COVID-19, please call them directly to find out more about their availability.

Mental health services

  • Call SEMPHN's Access & Referral team on 1800 862 363 (weekdays, 8.30 am to 4.30 pm) to find out more about which free mental health services are available. You may need a GP mental health plan to access the service, the Access & Referral team can advise you on this. 

  • Beyond Blue is offering 24-hour mental wellbeing support on 1800 512 348 for people feeling worried, stressed, or need help coping with COVID-19. 

South Eastern Melbourne PHN is hosting three HeadtoHelp mental health hubs in Frankston, Officer and Berwick:

  • Berwick Healthcare, 76 Clyde Road, Berwick, Victoria, 3806
  • Young Street Medical and Dental, 89/97 Young Street, Frankston, Victoria, 3199
  • Officer Medical Centre  4 Cardinia Road, Officer, Victoria, 3809

For more information visit www.headtohelp.org.au or call 1800 595 212, or read the FAQ.

Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) treatment services

  • Call SEMPHN's Access & Referral team on 1800 862 363 to find out more about which free alcohol and other drug treatment services are available. 
  • Family Drug Help is taking referrals for online alcohol and other support programs and is taking Helpline calls on 1300 660 068, 24 hours per day. 

Information for older Australians

The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line provides information, support and connection to Older Australians. 

 Older Australians, their families, friends and carers can FREECALL 1800 171 866 if they:

  • would like to talk with someone about the COVID-19 restrictions and its impact on them
  • are feeling lonely or are worried about a loved one 
  • are caring for someone and need some information or a listening ear
  • need help or advice about changing the aged care services they are receiving
  • need help to access new care services or essential supplies such as shopping
  • are concerned about themselves, a friend or family member living with Dementia
  • would like to arrange a one-off regular wellbeing check for themselves, or someone else.

The Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) is a free service that coordinates volunteer visits to provide ongoing friendship and companionship to eligible older people who are lonely or socially isolated. With increased isolation during the pandemic, the CVS is supporting phone and virtual friendships. For more information visit the CVS website https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/community-visitors-scheme-cvs.

The National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP) is a free, independent and confidential service supporting older people who receive or are applying for government-subsidised aged care by providing advocacy services and support to resolve issues with their aged care, helping them to understand and access the aged care system, and informing them of their aged care rights. NACAP can be accessed via phone 1800 700 600 or by visiting https://opan.com.au/

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has useful information available on their Information for older people and seniors page


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