Stay well this winter - safety tips

Victoria is experiencing a new COVID wave due to the highly infectious B1.4 and BA.5 variants.

The Victorian Department of Health has issued six steps to help protect yourself from COVID and stay well this winter.

  1. Get Vaccinated

Some Victorians are now eligible for their fourth booster shot; this applies to:

  • Anyone aged 30 or over
  • Residents of aged care or disability care facilities
  • Severely immunocompromised individuals
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders
  • People who are 16 years or older with a medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19
  • People who are 16 years or older with a disability that comes with significant or complex health needs

Staying up to date with vaccination is your best protection against severe illness from COVID.

To book your vaccination appointment, visit https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/get-vaccinated

  1. Wear a mask

Wearing a well-fitted mask is strongly recommended this winter to combat the new COVID wave.

High-quality masks like N95s and P2s are most effective in preventing COVID transmission. Cloth masks more than halve your risk of infection, and surgical masks reduce the risk by 66%.

  1. Let fresh air in

You are less likely to catch COVID in places that are well ventilated. Open windows and doors, use fans and air purifiers and met with people outdoors rather than indoors to maintain good ventilation.

  1. Get medications if at risk

Medications are available to eligible Victorians at risk of severe illness due to COVID-19, including those who are:

  • 50 years of age or older with other health problems
  • 30 years of age or over and Aboriginal or Torres Strait islander with other health problems.
  • Immune-compromised
  • Living with a severe disability

Contact your GP if you test positive and believe you may be at risk of severe illness.

  1. Stay home.

The Victorian Department of Health urges those who can work from home to do so.

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, including a sore throat, cough, body aches or fever, you must get tested for COVID and stay home until symptoms go away.

  1. Get tested

The immunity period for COVID has been shortened from 12 to four weeks.

If you experience flu-like symptoms or are in close contact with a positive case, you must get tested at a PCR testing site or via Rapid Antigen Test.

For a full list of COVID testing sites and information about Rapid Antigen Tests, visit https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/testing

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