Mar 12, 2020

Feeling worried about coronavirus?

Are you worried that you have coronavirus?

If you have mild symptoms like fever, cough, runny nose or shortness of breath and you've recently travelled overseas or been in contact with someone diagnosed with coronavirus, visit your local GP for advice and testing. Call ahead to let them know you're coming.

If your symptoms are more severe or you have another emergency condition please visit our Emergency Department.

If you're not sure or you need advice, call the Austin Health coronavirus hotline on 9496 6606 (8am to 8pm, seven days a week).

If you are an ONJ Centre Haematology patient, call your assigned Clinical Nurse Consultant, or 03 9496 5093.

If you are an ONJ Centre Oncology patient, call your assigned Clinical Nurse Consultant, or 03 9496 9849.

Outside of these hours, please call the dedicated Department of Health and Human Services hotline on 1800 675 398. 

Are you an ONJ Centre patient and worried about what to do?

Information for haematology and oncology outpatients


Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that can cause an infection in people, including a severe flu-like illness.  People who are older or have weakened immune systems are most at risk of severe infection.  This includes patients with cancer or who are on chemotherapy.

COVID-19 spreads through close contact with an infected person; mostly face-to-face or within a household. Close contact means more than 15 minutes face-to-face or the sharing of a closed space for more than 2 hours. It cannot jump across a room or be carried for long distances in the air. The common way of catching it is getting the virus on your hands (by touching a contaminated surface or infected person) then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

How can I help protect myself from coronavirus?

  • Wash hands often with soap and running water or clean them with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser (at least 60% alcohol)
  • Clean your hands before touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Maintain social distancing by staying at least two metres away from others, where possible
  • Do not bring family or friends to your clinic appointment unless absolutely necessary
  • Avoid contact with people returning from overseas

Can I come to my outpatient Specialist Clinic - Clinic 6 appointment?

Where possible, appointments will be held by phone or telehealth, rather than in person.

You will be contacted before your appointment to let you know if it will be by phone/telehealth or at the hospital. Please attend as normal unless told otherwise.

If your appointment is being held at the hospital, please come alone unless you need someone to help you.

Do not come to your appointment if:

  • You have travelled outside of Australia in the 14 days before your appointment
  • You have had close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection

If you meet either of these criteria you should self-isolate at home. Please see instructions below.

Do not come to your appointment if:

  • You have a fever (a temperature over 37.5°C) OR any of:
    • Recent onset of cough
    • Recent onset of breathlessness
    • Sore throat or runny nose

If you meet any of these criteria your relevant Clinical Nurse Consultant or the Symptom and Urgent Review Clinic on 03 9496 9849.

Patients who have had recent chemotherapy or have a central line AND develop a fever should follow the usual guidelines about presenting to Emergency Department for urgent antibiotics.


Can I visit a patient at the ONJ Centre?

To reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus to our staff and patients, please keep visitors to a minimum.

We are screening all visitors and outpatients entering Austin Health buildings, including the ONJ Centre.

We know that these measures will be hard for some people, but they are important for limiting the spread of coronavirus. Please treat our staff with kindness and respect.

You must:

  • Only visit if you're well
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20-30 seconds or apply hand sanitiser before and after your visit
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow.

Do not visit if you:

  • Are unwell or have symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough or shortness of breath
  • Have travelled overseas in the past 14 days
  • Have been in contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Thank you for your understanding and for helping us keep our hospital safe.


Self-isolating at home?

People who are recommended to be isolated should not attend public places, in particular work, school, childcare or university. Only people who usually live in the household should be in the home. Do not allow visitors into the home.

Where possible, get others such as friends or family, who are not required to be isolated to get food or other necessities for you. If you must leave the home, such as to seek medical care, wear a surgical mask if you have one.

 When in quarantine, you should monitor yourself for symptoms. Watch for:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Other early symptoms to watch for are chills, body aches, sore throat, headache and runny nose, muscle pain or diarrhoea.

If symptoms develop while you are in isolation, please contact your relevant Clinical Nurse Consultant. 

For Haematology patients, if you do have an assigned Clinical Nurse Consultant, call (03) 9496 5093

For Oncology patients, call Symptom and Urgent Review Clinic call (03) 9496 9849.