COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Alert banner: Update on coronavirus

Daily snapshot. *updated 6 April

The Government of Western Australia has declared a State of Emergency and a Public Health Emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Prohibition on the use of Point of Care Serology Tests Directions

Given the serious limitations and risks associated with the COVID-19 point of Care (POC) serology tests for acute detection and diagnostic purposes, the Chief Health Officer deemed them an unacceptable risk to be used in that way and has prohibited them under the Public Health Act 2016 (external site). The prohibition applies to all persons, whether health professionals or not and includes the acute screening of staff for work purposes. 

Their use as a screening tool for people post infection and for research public health screening purposes is not prohibited. Other POC polymerase chain reaction tests are not affected by these restrictions.

This is a rapidly changing situation. Updates will be provided as any new information becomes available. Please check back regularly to ensure the information you have is up to date.

Latest updates

Department of Health WA

Australian Government Department of Health

Global

Health professionals and GPs

Notification

‘Human coronavirus with pandemic potential’ was declared an urgently notifiable disease under Part 9 of the Public Health Act 2016. This includes notification of confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19). For more information go to our notifiable infectious diseases page

COVID clinics

COVID clinics are open from Tuesday 10 March 2020.

Clinical alert updates

Fact sheets – general

Fact sheets – PPE and infection control

Webinar

Resources

Podcast

Laboratory testing information

Self-isolation

Self-isolation is essential for protecting your family, friends and the Western Australian community.

There are a number of situations in which people may be required to self-isolate. People who do not comply face a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals and $250,000 for body corporates. 

More information is available at WA.gov.au (external site)

You must self-isolate:

  • if you have tested positive for COVID-19: you must self-isolate in your home (or other suitable accommodation) until you have been told you can be released from isolation.
  • if you have been tested for COVID-19: you must isolate yourself in your home (or other suitable accommodation) while you are waiting for your result.
  • if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19: you must isolate yourself in your home (or other suitable accommodation) for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case.
  • if you arrived into Western Australia by air, sea, rail or road from 1:30pm Tuesday 24 March 2020: you must self-isolate in your home (or other suitable accommodation) for 14 days from the date of arrival (some exemptions may apply).
  • if you have returned from overseas in the last 14 days up until 10:30pm on 28 March 2020: you must self-isolate in your home (or other suitable accommodation) for 14 days after the date of return to Australia.
  • if you have returned from overseas on or after 10:30pm 28 March 2020, you will be subject to mandatory self-isolation for 14 days at your first Australian destination. Suitable accommodation will be made available. You will not be permitted to return home or transit to another state until your 14 day self-isolation period is completed.

Self-isolation

Self-isolation means you must stay in your home, hotel room, or other accommodation even if you are perfectly well with no symptoms. If you live in a unit or apartment block you must stay in your unit or apartment. You cannot attend public places such as work, school, shopping centres or go on a holiday. Only people who usually live with you should be in the home. Do not see visitors.

You must stay in your place of isolation and NOT GO OUT, except to seek medical care. You should call ahead for advice.

If you require urgent medical assistance call 000 and let them know that you are in self-isolation due to COVID-19.

What does this mean for your family or other people you live with?

Other people who live in your home do not need to self-isolate and can go about their usual activities provided the above precautions are followed. However, if you develop symptoms and become a confirmed COVID-19 case your family may need to self-isolate. Your Public Health Unit will advise you.

Medical certificates are not required for people who need to self-isolate.

Medical and welfare assistance for people in isolation

  • If you need welfare assistance phone Department of Communities on 1800 032 965
  • If you need emergency dental assistance phone 0429 441 162
  • If you need mental health assistance phone Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
  • If you need emergency medical assistance phone 000
  • For other medical assistance contact your General Practitioner (GP).  If your GP is not able to assist, contact an after-hours GP telehealth service.

View contact details for after-hours GP telehealth services (PDF 308KB)

Learn more about self-isolation

Department of Health WA

Australian Department of Health

Laboratory testing information

Testing

General public

Any person presenting to a COVID clinic with BOTH a documented fever (≥38°C) AND an acute respiratory infection (e.g. shortness of breath, cough, sore throat) will be tested.

High-risk staff 

Anyone working within a high-risk setting that presents to a COVID clinic with EITHER a fever (≥38°C) OR an acute respiratory infection will be tested. This includes healthcare workers (including aged care and disability workers) and WA Police Officers.

High-risk settings

Testing will also be arranged for anyone from the following high risk settings where two or more people are experiencing EITHER a fever (≥38°C) OR an acute respiratory infection:

  • Aged and residential care
  • Rural and remote Aboriginal communities
  • Detention centres
  • Correctional facilities
  • Boarding schools
  • Military barracks or equivalent
  • Geographically localised areas with increased risk of community transmission
  • Cruise ship passengers or returned travellers (international and domestic).

Patients who are tested should remain isolated at home, until they receive their test results and further medical advice.

Where do I get tested

If you live in the Perth metropolitan area or in Bunbury you will need to attend a COVID-19 Clinic.

  • If you live in a regional area, you should go to a public hospital, health service or remote health clinic.
  • If you are very unwell (such as experiencing shortness of breath) and need urgent medical help call 000.
  • If you attend an emergency department at a hospital, please let staff know immediately on arrival of your symptoms and your travel history.
Employers and employees

It is not possible to obtain a “medical clearance” for COVID-19 unless you are a confirmed case of COVID-19. In the early stages of infection (before people have symptoms), it may not be possible to detect the virus. Testing when you do not have symptoms could give a false negative result.

COVID-19 press conferences

Last reviewed: 06-04-2020