Epidemics and pandemics
is the rapid spread of a disease to a large number of people in a population within a short period of time.
is a disease that has spread across a multiple continents or worldwide, affecting a substantial number of people. The impact of COVID-19, for example, has been felt on a local, state, national and global level.
Both uncontained local outbreaks or serious pandemics need attention and careful action.
You can take personal precautions to avoid infectious diseases in the community. Any major changes such as closures and restrictions will be designed and enforced at a State and Federal level.
To prepare for the impact of an epidemic or pandemic, you can:
- Maintain enough food, water, medicines and household supplies for 2 to 4 weeks;
- Try not to “panic buy” or hoard excessive supplies, simply buy a few extra items each time you go to the supermarket;
- Maintain a first aid kit;
- Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home;
- If possible, build and maintain a financial buffer to help you with any financial stress that income loss or illness could cause.
Stay safe during an epidemic or pandemic
When an epidemic or pandemic hits, it is important to stay calm and practice good hygiene. You should:
Wash your hands properly (for 20-30 seconds) frequently;
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth;
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or elbow when coughing or sneezing;
Dispose of tissues hygienically then wash your hands;
Follow State and Federal health guidelines;
Only trust credible sources of information like the Department of Health and trustworthy news sources;
Avoid gatherings of people;
Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food;
If you get sick, alert the Health Department and do everything you can to avoid passing it on to others;
Stay in touch with friends, family and neighbours by phone or online connections.
During or after a pandemic, remember to contact mental health services if you or someone close to you needs support.
You could also explore any local, State or Federal Government economic assistance you might be eligible for – such as JobKeeper or other programs.
For more information on the Coronavirus Pandemic, go to the City's COVID-19 webpage.