Stop the spread — coronavirus (COVID-19)

There are 5 ways we can all help stop the spread of viruses

  1. Stay home if you’re sick. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, get tested.
  2. Clean your hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs.
  3. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing.
  4. Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth. And avoid shaking hands.
  5. Keep 1.5 metres away from others as much as you can — think two big steps

Protect yourself and those around you, Stay home if you're unwell, avoid touching your face, nose and mouth, stay 1.5 metres away from other people (as much as you can), cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands regularly

Face masks and gloves

You don’t need to wear a face mask to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 unless your doctor has told you to or you are caring for someone who might have COVID-19.

The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is stay home if you are sick and wash your hands often.

If you have been told to wear a face mask, avoid touching it while you’re wearing it, and if you do, wash your hands. Do not reuse single-use masks, and immediately replace the mask if you have coughed or sneezed into it. When disposing of a mask, dispose of it into a sealable bag to ensure the used mask won’t be touched by others, before placing the sealed bag in the bin.  Always clean your hands immediately after removing your mask and putting it in the bin.

You don’t need to wear gloves in the general community to protect yourself from getting COVID-19. In fact, wearing gloves could contribute to the spread of the virus to yourself or others.

This is because germs you pick up on your gloves can be transferred to other surfaces. You might also touch your face while wearing the gloves which can transfer any germs on the gloves to you and cause you to become sick.

The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to regularly clean your hands and practice social distancing.

For more information on using face masks in the community visit the Federal Government website.

Cleaning at home

We know that germs can survive outside of the body, on surfaces, after a person coughs or sneezes. Regular cleaning is important for reducing the spread of germs and minimising the number of germs surviving on surfaces.

Reducing the number of germs in the environment can break the chain of infection.

Follow these steps for effective cleaning:

  • Start the cleaning process in the cleanest areas and finish in the dirtier areas.
  • Wear single-use or reusable gloves. Wash reusable gloves with running water and detergent and hang outside to dry.
  • Wash your hands after you have finished cleaning and removed gloves.
  • Clean all frequently touched surfaces at least weekly so that surfaces are visibly clean.
  • Clean at least daily if anyone in the household is sick. This includes items such as kitchen benches, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables.

Cleaning process

  • Remove germs from surfaces by rubbing the surface with detergent and water. Using a detergent will help to loosen the germs so they can be rinsed away with clean water.
  • Rinse and dry the surface. Allowing the surface to dry will make it harder for germs to survive and grow.
  • Use a clean cloth each time.

Cleaning equipment

  • Good cleaning equipment includes mops with detachable heads, disposable cloths or cloths that can be washed, and vacuum cleaners fitted with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters to reduce dust.
  • Equipment should be well maintained, cleaned and stored.
  • Use different cloths for different areas, e.g. kitchen, bathroom, toilet.


  • You only need to use disinfectants if a surface has been contaminated with potentially infectious material.
  • Most germs do not survive for long on clean surfaces when exposed to air and light.
  • Regular cleaning with detergent and water should be enough to reduce germs.
  • Disinfectant must be used correctly, following the manufacturer’s instructions to effectively kill germs.
  • A surface must be cleaned first for a disinfectant to kill germs.