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A public service announcement about COVID-19 & WIRE

Dear WIRE Community,

Please read this message before making a decision about whether to visit WIRE.

As many of you are aware, there are now confirmed cases of community-spread coronavirus within Victoria, so we’d like to update you all on procedures that have been implemented in relation to the virus in our attempt to protect your health and the community’s health.

WIRE is operating in a limited capacity. Our walk-in centre is now closed and WIRE will not be attending community education sessions in which more than 100 people are expected to attend. Other group activities including training sessions will be determined on a case-by-case basis and all attendees will be notified in advance if the event is to be postponed or cancelled. We also encourage people who want a support conversation to contact us by phone, email or online. We are taking advice from the Department of Health and Human Services about what appropriate measures we should take and we will act in accordance with that advice.

We want to keep our doors open as long as possible but to do that, we need your help.

Please do not visit WIRE if:

  • You are experiencing any cold/flu-type symptoms
  • You have just returned from an overseas trip from a high-risk zone. We request that you wait 2 weeks before you visit WIRE.
  • You have been in CLOSE contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. Close contact is defined as:
    • spending more than 15 minutes face-to-face with a person who is a confirmed case, in the 24 hours before they showed symptoms or once they showed symptoms;
    • sharing a closed space for more than two hours with a person who is a confirmed case, in the 24 hours before they showed symptoms or once they showed symptoms.

What to do if you can’t visit WIRE but need support

WIRE staff are available to provide support, information and referrals by phone, email and text chat.  You can email us at support@wire.org.au or by phone via our Telephone Support Line on 1300 134130. Text chat is available below from 9.30am to 4.30pm — click the Chat text or the speech bubble when it appears.

What to do if you have already visited WIRE and later get diagnosed or discover you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19

In the event that you, or someone you have had contact with, are diagnosed with COVID-19 and you have visited WIRE in the past 14 days, please let us know so we can take appropriate measures. Call our telephone support line on 1300 134 130 to inform us.

Concerned that you may have the COVID-19 virus?

Please use this flow chart to determine if you need to seek medical advice or to exclude yourself from public spaces such as WIRE: COVID-19-Self-assessment-for-risk.

You can also call the COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 020 080  for information. This hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

10 steps recommended by the DHHS for keeping yourself and others safe

  • Wash your hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with a paper towel or hand dryer.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
  • Isolate yourself at home if you feel sick. If you take medication, ensure you have adequate supplies.
  • Phone your GP first if you need medical attention. They will tell you what to do.
  • Continue healthy habits: exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep, and now is the time to quit smoking. Call the Quitline on 137 848.
  • Don’t wear a face mask if you are well.
  • Buy an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol.
  • Get the flu shot (available from April).
  • Avoid shaking hands

Help us keep our doors open to the public.

When you visit WIRE please:

  • Use hand sanitiser or wash your hands when entering WIRE;
  • Wash your hands after using the toilet
  • Wipe down any public access phone or computer you use. We have provided wipes to enable this.

It is important when keeping up to date with COVID-19 that we source our information from factual and reputable sources.  The best way to do this is via the Department of Health’s website and their daily health alerts. See https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert.

Your help in keeping everyone safe & healthy is appreciated!

We are definitely living in strange times but if we take care of each other and ourselves, we can get through this together. If you have any questions or concerns, please chat to one of our staff, call our telephone support line on 1300 134 130 or email support@wire.org.au.

Kindest Regards,
The Team at WIRE

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