COVID-19

Statutory notification

Public health management

Important information

  • Infectious agent: novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
  • Transmission: SARS-CoV-2 is spread through respiratory droplets and aerosols, direct physical contact with an infected individual, and indirectly through contaminated objects and surfaces.
  • Incubation period: Estimated 1 to 14 days, usually 5 to 6 days.
  • Infectious period: People are usually infectious from 2 days prior to onset of symptoms, or 2 days prior to first positive test if asymptomatic, until ‘Release from Isolation’ criteria have been met as per the National Guidelines for Public Health Units.
  • Signs and symptoms: Generally acute respiratory symptoms including cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, and runny nose/nasal congestion. Other symptoms may include fever, headaches, myalgia, nausea vomiting or diarrhoea. Loss of smell and taste can occur but is less common with the current variant of the disease.
  • Case exclusion: Cases should isolate until ‘Release from Isolation’ criteria have been met as per the National Guidelines for Public Health Units.
  • Contact exclusion: Contacts should get tested as per existing protocols. Contacts should avoid high-risk settings as per existing protocols.
  • Treatment: Generally bed rest and symptomatic treatment. Antiviral treatment available. Although rare, severe disease requiring hospitalisation may occur.
  • Immunisation: Vaccine-preventable disease (see the HealthyWA COVID-19 vaccination page). Vaccine mandates apply to workforces working with the most vulnerable including; healthcare and health support workers in hospitals and primary care settings; workers in residential aged care facilities; and disability support accommodation workers.
  • Case follow-up: With the current variant of disease, public health action focuses on outbreaks in high-risk settings such as residential aged care facilities.

Guidelines

Notifiable disease data and reports

Further information

Last reviewed: 08-09-2022
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Public Health