For young people

Everyone's talking about the coronavirus or COVID-19.

It's on the news and social media, and there's probably some things in your life that have changed because the government is trying to contain the spread of the virus. You may have been looking forward to a gig or a trip that's been cancelled. You may be affected by school, uni or your workplace temporarily closing.

It's normal to be feeling a little scared or overwhelmed, particularly when all the changes you're being asked to make can be confusing and frustrating.

Remember, even though lots of what you are hearing and seeing is serious, it's ok to still have fun and take a break from thinking about COVID-19.

Support

Who can I talk to about coronavirus?

You may have many questions about COVID-19 and how it affects you.

There are lots of people around you who care about your health and safety. You can talk to your carers, your mum, dad or another family member. You can also talk to your child safety officer, a support worker, or your friends. They may not have all the answers to your questions, but they can find out for you.

Make sure you've got the contact information to call the people in your support network. You can also reach your child safety officer through your kicbox app.

I'm 18 years old or living independently. Who can I call if I need help or support?

If you are no longer living with your carer and you need some help or support, call your child safety officer or your local child safety service centre.

Where can I find information on COVID-19?

If you're looking for information to better understand what COVID-19 is and how it might affect you, go to these websites:

There's also some useful links on this web page for information on how to cope if you're feeling stressed and other support.

Face to face contact

Can I still see my family?

If you're not living with your family, we know how important it is for you to see your parents, your brothers or sisters and other family members you're close to. While we're trying to help stop COVID-19 from spreading, we have to do things a little differently.

You may still be able to have visits with your parents and family, if it's safe for everyone to do this.

If it's not safe for family visits to happen in the same room, we'll make sure you stay in touch with your family, and other people who are important to you, in different ways. This could be talking with them over the phone or through video chats like Skype. You can even write letters or send pictures.

We know it's not the same as being together in the same room, but we need to make sure all the people in your life are safe and well, so we can keep you safe too. We hope this will only be for a short while, and then you can have visits together again.

Can I still have contact with my school friends?

Yes. If you're not going to school, we'll find a way for you to connect with your classmates and teachers.

Can I still have contact with my school friends?

Yes, If you're not going to school, we'll find a way for you to connect with your classmates and teachers.

Can I still go out to meet my friends?

The health authorities have asked that everyone stay at home to help stop COVID-19 from spreading, unless it is essential. This is called social distancing or physical distancing.

People are allowed to leave their home for essential things, such as:

  • shopping for food
  • exercising — in a public space such as a park, limited to no more than 2 people
  • going out for medical appointments or to the pharmacy
  • providing care or support to another person in a place other than your home
  • going to work if you cannot work from home.

When people do leave their homes for essential things, they must practice social distancing. This means:

  • keeping 1.5 metres away from others
  • avoiding physical greetings such as handshaking, hugs and kisses
  • using tap and go instead of cash
  • travelling at quiet times and avoiding crowds
  • avoiding public gatherings and at risk groups like older people
  • practicing good hygiene

If you're feeling isolated, mindfulness activities and taking care of your mental health can help. The Smiling Mind mindfulness apps have some good ideas you can try.

Smiling Mind — what is mindfulness?

Staying healthy

Who will look after me if my carer gets COVID-19?

When adults get sick, they usually still look after the young people in their care. Because COVID-19 is different to other colds and flus, when someone has it, they need to stay completely away from others so they don't pass it on.

If your carer gets sick, they'll talk to all the people who care about you to make a plan. We'll work out the best thing to do to help your carer and keep you safe and well. We'll also talk to you about it so you know what's happening.

What happens if my family gets COVID-19?

If we find out someone from your family has COVID-19, we'll tell you what we know. We care about you and your family, so we'll try and find out who is helping them while they are sick and how you can stay in contact with them while they are unwell.

What happens if I get sick?

There are lots of people thinking about you to make sure you stay safe — your parents, your carers and your child safety officer.

If you start to feel sick, you must tell your carer and your child safety officer about what you're feeling. COVID-19 symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat and a shortness of breath. It could be that you have a common cold or the flu, but it's important to check things out.

There are some things you can do too, to keep safe and healthy. It's important to wash your hands with soap and water, cover your nose and mouth with your elbow when you sneeze or cough, stay at home and keep away from anyone who has a cough or cold.

Will I be required to download the COVIDSafe app?

The Australian Government has launcheCOVIDSafe — a contact tracing app to help reduce the spread of coronavirus through early notification of possible exposure.

It uses technology to automate an improve what health officials currently do manually. It will speed up the process of identifying people who have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with coronavirus.

COVIDSafe only keeps contact information for 21 days. This covers the maximum incubation period for the virus and the time it takes for someone to be tested for COVID-19. More information about the app, including details on data privacy is available on the Australian Government's Department of Health website.

The use of the COVIDSafe app is completely voluntary. It's a personal choice and individuals will make their own decision whether to download and use the app.