When to wear masks?
We strongly recommend that you were a mask in places where it’s hard to maintain physical distancing from others such as:
- On public transport
- The local supermarket, shopping centres,gyms
- Places of worship
- In areas where there is community transmission
- If you are in a higher risk group
- if you are close to or visiting vulnerable people(elderly).
The most important thing to remember don’t touch the front of the mask!
Why should I use a face mask?
Masks provide a physical barrier against the virus. COVID-19 can only enter our bodies through our nose, mouth and eyes. Wearing a mask protects you and others.
Everything you need to know about face masks
Did you know that there is actually a right way to put your mask on and take it off?
Check out this video on how to take your mask on and off so you don't infect yourself
Types of masks
There are different types of mask and we recommend either cloth or basic surgical masks.
- Surgical are disposable and should only be worn for one day
- 3 layered cloth masks are more useful as they are reusable and can be washed.
- P2 can be used for those that are vulnerable or at risk.
Looking after your mask
Keep it in a bag between use and change it daily or wet or damaged.
Have a couple of masks so you can rotate them. Disposable masks should be worn for just one day.
How face coverings and masks minimise spreading coronavirus. Kirby Institute, Australia
Morawska, L., & Cao, J. (2020). Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2: The world should face the reality. Environment international, 139, 105730. Website
Think you know how to wash your hands? Think again...
Check out this fun video from the NHS in the UK on hand washing. It's pre COVID so the physical distancing isn't there but everything else is.
Handwashing Gangnam Style, NHS, 2012
COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for some time which is why hand washing is so important. It's turns out that COVID-19 isn't a big fan of soap and water and so keeping your hands clean is a really important part in protecting yourself against the virus.
If you are out and about and can't wash your hands hand sanitiser works just as well.
When to wash your hands ?
To avoid infecting yourself you need to wash with soap and water for 20 seconds or sanitise your hands:
- Before you put on a mask, remove a mask and after you have disposed of or stored your mask
- Before and after eating
- When you come home
- After using the toilet
COVID-19 infections is often spread from person-to-person through:
- direct close contact while a person is infectious or in the 48 hours before their symptoms appeared
- close contact with a person who has a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes, or
- touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
The more space between you and others, the harder it is for a virus to spread, which means fewer people will get the virus.
The NSW Government is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and whilst some restrictions have eased, people are advised to continue to physically distance from others when in public. It is also now recommended that you wear a fabric mask in circumstances where you cannot physically distance.
Want more info?
Find out more at NSW Health
UNSW COVID-19 information
Stay up to date with UNSW's COVID-19 website
For the latest cases and updates
The Sydney Morning Herald has a free Coronavirus outbreak section and blog.
ABC News also has a daily update where you can follow Coronavirus developments.
ABC Coronacast has the latest news and research related to COVID-19. You can find it here or on your podcast app.
SBS has COVID-19 information and news in multiple languages
The health impacts of COVID-19
The short term and long term health impacts of COVID-19 for all ages range from:
- No symptoms or mild flu like symptoms
- Permanent loss of taste and smell
- Ongoing fatigue
- Heart and lung damage
- Stroke and permanent damage to your brain
- Death in all ages
The mental health impacts of COVID-19
It's a difficult time and COVID-19 can impact your mental health. If this is the case, prioritise this and check out the help available at the university and external organisations
What can I do?
To minimise the impact of COVID-19 on you, your family and friends remember to:
- Get tested and stay home even if mildly unwell
- Wear a mask when physical distancing is difficult
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser
- Avoid touching your face
- Practice physical distancing = 1.5 metres
- Visit shopping centres quickly( don't hang around) and use online services instead (if available)
- Avoid large gatherings or crowded spaces at busy times. This includes bars and eating areas
- Avoid handshaking, kissing and hugs
- Use public transport at quiet times
- If travelling in a taxi or Uber, ask to have the windows open
- Stay connected and catch up with friends and family via texts, phone calls and virtual catch-ups
- Ask for help if things are tough. UNSW Psychology and Wellness offers counselling support for students
Follow the advice of the NSW government, NSW Health and UNSW
If you feel unwell.........get tested
There are so many symptoms that have been attributed to COVID-19 that it is impossible to tell from symptoms alone whether you have COVID-19 or not.
Symptoms that are normally associated with colds and flu’s, hay fever, headaches and even diarrhoea could actually be COVID-19. The only way to know for sure is to get a test. COVID-19 testing is quick and easy and you usually get your results within 48 hours.
COVID-19 is infectious before symptoms so the quicker you get tested the better as that will reduce the spread of the virus to your loved ones, friends and the community.
If things are tough......reach out and talk to someone
Any COVID-19 questions ?
If you have any COVID-19 related questions chat or email Health and Wellbeing Ambassadors: [email protected]