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How to prepare for coronavirus

Simple steps you can take to protect yourself and help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Updated 5 March 2021

Learn where to go to get the facts, how to reduce the spread of viruses and what steps you can take to be prepared. 



Learn the facts about coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 is a disease that infects the respiratory (breathing) system: the nose, throat and lungs. It is caused by a new type of coronavirus that spreads easily from person to person. Understanding the virus and how it spreads will help you to protect yourself and others.

Find out: 

Share this poster of some simple steps to reduce the risk, available in community languages.

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Trusted sources for up-to-date information

Managing stress

It is normal to feel stress about this uncertain situation. Use your normal stress management techniques, or find out more about how to manage your stress.



Get checking on family, friends and people who might need extra care in your community

COVID-19 is not the fault of any individual or community. It is not an excuse for racism and intolerance.

Help others understand the facts and how to protect themselves. This prevents misinformation and stress.

Show empathy to people who have been quarantined or isolated. This is a stressful situation for them and stigma will make things worse.
Looking after your mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic »

Check in using video phone apps, so you can have a face-to-face conversation.
Ways to help families stay happy and hopeful during self-isolation »

If you have elderly parents or relatives have a plan in place for caring for them if they fall ill.

Have open conversations with children about what is happening. 
Talking to children and young people about COVID-19 »

Share the facts and be respectful and supportive towards each other to help fight the spread of harmful myths.

Follow advise from government health authorities. Warnings and alerts can change at any time, so keep your family and friends informed if something changes.



Get organised, plan ahead and take simple precautions

Have an emergency plan for your family. This is helpful in any emergency situation. Prepare your own with one of our simple tools.

Plan to be able to work from home, or keep children occupied if they are sent home from school.

If you have a baby or child in childcare, think about how you will manage their wellbeing.

Stay calm, avoid myths and resist panic. We have seen how panic buying groceries and toilet paper unnecessarily can lead to shortages and make life difficult for many people. Particularly those most in need. Buy additional items but be sensible.

Check in on others. Look after those most at risk – your neighbour living alone, elderly friends, people with a disability and people with existing medical conditions, someone new to the area, someone from another country identified as high risk.

Check international government travel advice and information about state border closures.  Consider your travel plans carefully.

Check you have at least 2–3 weeks' supply of any prescription medicine and any other health supplies.

Learn how your children’s school, childcare centre, and your place of work plan to handle any outbreak.



Take action to protect yourself and others should symptoms appear 

  • If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, even mildly, it is important you get tested as soon as possible. Early diagnosis means you can take steps to avoid spreading the virus to someone else. Find out where to get tested.
  • Call ahead of time to book a doctor’s appointment and tell your doctor of your symptoms. 
  • Keep track of your movements by downloading the COVID Safe app or equivalents in state/territory jurisdictions or through a diary to speed up the work of contact tracers if you or your contacts develop COVID-19. Use QR code check-in facilities where they exist.
  • Manage your stress by using calming techniques. 

Get Prepared app

Build and keep your emergency plan close at hand with our app.