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How to avoid COVID-19

6-minute read

If you develop symptoms such as severe shortness of breath or chest pain, call triple zero (000) immediately. Tell the phone operator and the paramedics on arrival if you have COVID-19.

Quick read

How to avoid catching COVID-19 including getting vaccinated, wearing masks and physical distancing.

Getting vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccination stops people from becoming very sick if they catch COVID-19.

Vaccines train your immune system to quickly recognise and get rid of the bacteria or viruses that can cause serious illnesses. Vaccines that protect us against COVID-19 are designed to generate an immune response specific to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines.

Illustration of a person receiving a vaccination
Illustration of a person receiving a vaccination

Booking your vaccination

Use the Service Finder to book your COVID vaccination or booster.

Need help finding a service?

Use our guided search to find a COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

Wearing a mask

COVID-19 can be spread by airborne respiratory droplets of moisture. It can also spread through moisture present on surfaces or on the skin and clothes.

Wearing a face mask mask can help stop droplets from spreading when people talk, cough and sneeze, which reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Learn more about how to wear a mask and which masks are best.

Allowing for proper ventilation

COVD-19 can spread through the air more easily and across greater distances in poorly ventilated environments.

To lower the risk of spreading COVID-19 indoors, make sure to open a window or use active ventilation systems and ensure the flow of fresh air.

Physical distancing

Physical distancing is a term used to describe how you should keep your distance from people.

Physical distancing helps reduce the risk of a virus being transmitted and includes:

  • avoiding crowds and mass gatherings where it is hard to keep a reasonable distance from others (about 1.5 metres)
  • avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces
  • keeping 1.5 metres between you and other people
  • not shaking hands, hugging or kissing
  • not visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, babies or people with weakened immune systems

Good hygiene

Practising good hygiene is one of the best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19. It is essential to keep your hands clean — especially outside your home — and to cover your cough or sneeze.

Good hygiene includes:

  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues and wash your hands immediately after
  • regularly clean and disinfect surfaces you use often, such as benchtops and door handles
  • avoid touching your face

Preparing your home

If you or someone in your household does get COVID-19, you should have some supplies ready.

Having some essentials, like tissues, masks, gloves and pain relief medication, will help you be better prepared.

Learn more about how to care for someone at home.

Coronavirus COVID-19 - how to avoid infection
You can download this infographic in PDF format, or go here for a text version.

Related topics

COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 testing

Learn about COVID-19 testing, including when to get tested, what test you should use and what to do if you test positive to COVID-19.

COVID-19 isolation and recovery

COVID-19 isolation and recovery

Learn about what happens after you’ve recovered from COVID-19, and when you can leave isolation and return to normal activities.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: December 2023

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