Creating a healthier, better connected Gippsland.

Health alert – Increase in COVID-19 activity

Date issued: 10 May 2024

Issued by: Dr Clare Looker, Chief Health Officer

Issued to: Health services, health professionals and the Victorian community

Key messages

  • Victoria is currently experiencing increased COVID-19 activity in the community, resulting in an increase in people being hospitalised with COVID-19.
  • At the same time, we are seeing increasing cases of influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) as we head into winter.
  • During this time, it is especially important those at greatest risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses are protected – this includes people aged 65 and above, people with a disability or chronic medical condition and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Younger children aged 6 months to 5 years and pregnant women are also at greater risk of influenza and RSV.
  • These six steps can help you stay ahead of COVID-19:
    1. Wear a mask: a high-quality and well-fitted mask can protect you and others from the virus.
    2. Get vaccinated: stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccine. There are new monovalent vaccines available that are highly effective at preventing severe disease. You should get a booster if you are over 75 and haven’t had one for 6 months. Other groups are also recommended to get a booster. Vaccines are available at your GP or local pharmacy.
    3. Let fresh air in: open windows and doors when you can – it reduces the spread of the virus. Meet outside when possible.
    4. Get tested: if you have symptoms, take a rapid antigen test. If you test positive and are eligible for antivirals, take them as soon as possible.
    5. Stay at home if you are unwell: if you have COVID-19, you should stay at home for at least five days and until you have no symptoms. Speak to your GP if symptoms worsen.
    6. Take antivirals if eligible: if you are at risk of falling very sick, you may be eligible for COVID-19 antiviral medicines. You must take these within 5 days of developing symptoms – the sooner the better. See your GP for more information.

Yearly flu vaccination is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and over and free for eligible priority groups.
Read the full alert: Increase in COVID-19 activity

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