Health Alert:COVID-19

COVID-19 Infection information
Tested Positive? Now what?

The Health Service advises all positive cases to follow the self-care guidelines outlined by NSW Health. 

  • If you have received a positive PCR test result, you should follow this advice.
  • If you have received a positive rapid antigen test result, you are requested to follow this advice.

Managing COVID-19

Managing your symptoms

Most young patients will have mild to moderate illnesses but there is still some risk of more severe infection with any patient and more risk with older people and those with chronic health conditions. If you have significant symptoms and are concerned you can check your symptoms using the NSW Health Symptom Checker or call the NSW Health COVID-19 Care at Home Support Line on 1800 960 933

Symptom Checker

UNSW Health Service offers telehealth consultations to COVID-19 positive patients, and you can book by calling 0293855425 and telling the staff answering that you have a Covid 19 infection and need a Telehealth or Telephone (less than 15 minutes) appointment.

COVID-19 Vaccination information

The Health Service has the new XBB. 1.5  COVID vaccine available for staff, students and community members. 

For information on how to book a vaccination at the Health Service, please click here. Other options for vaccines include your local GP or pharmacist. You can find one in your local areas here.

To check if you are eligible for a COVID booster vaccination, follow the link below.

Eligibility checker


COVID-19 and Vaccines:Q&A. Duration:29:41

Join Dr. Raina MacIntyre, Dr. Bill Kefalas and Josh Karras as they answer commonly asked questions regarding vaccines, hesitancy around vaccines, and the future for Sydney & Australia. This video contains time stamps which allows you to skip ahead to the questions you find most interesting.

COVID-19 Vaccine information in your language:

Translated resources can be found at the Department of Health.

Vaccination FAQ's

Find out more about the COVID-19 vaccines here:

Professor Mary Louise McLaws, from UNSW on AstraZenca and Pfizer vaccines: AstraZenca and Pfizer vaccines - FAQ

Further information to frequently asked questions can be found at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance.


Friend or family member not interested in being vaccinated?

4 common conversations around vaccination: SMH


How you catch COVID-19 and the impact on the body

Dr Bill Kefalas: Duration:

Dr Bill Kefalas explains how COVID-19 can impact your body and how you can be spread to others even if you have no symptoms.



Feeling unwell?

The symptoms of COVID-19 can include:

    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Fever or chills
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Runny nose
    • Headaches
    • Shortness of breath

Other reported symptoms of COVID-19 include: fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, diarrhoea, nausea/vomiting and loss of appetite. Also be aware that COVID-19 can also occasionally causes unusual rashes and finger or toe swelling.

If you have any of these symptoms, even if they are mild, we recommend you get tested and self isolate till you get your results. For more information about testing read here or see the testing section below.

  • If you would like to speak with someone, call your GP or contact the 24-hour National Coronavirus hotline on 1800 020 080.
  • International students can also call the Medibank OSHC Health and Support Line on 1800 887 283.
  • Information for people with a disability can call: 1800643787.

For the latest information, hot spot areas and cases go to NSW Health. For more detailed information on known cases and locations read here.

When to get tested?

Dr Bill Kefalas on: When should I get tested for COVID-19 and where?  Duration: 2:00


Our recommendation to get a test, even if you just have one or more of the above symptoms in a mild form. You may also be asked to do a test if you are a contact of a confirmed case. For more information about contacts, isolation and testing requirements, please read here. 

Testing is free, quick and easy. You will be notified of the results 24 to 48 hours after the test. For more information about testing, go to the NSW Health FAQ page here.

    • The UNSW Health Service conducts tests.  Please call 02 9385 5425 to find out more and arrange a time. COVID-19 tests can't be booked online
    • NSW Health has testing clinics operating 7 days a week. No appointment is necessary
    • Call your GP for more information
    • Call one of the COVID-19 clinics near where you live

NSW Health recommends having a test each time symptoms develop. If you test positive to COVID-19, all treatment is covered by Medicare or your Overseas Health provider.

A positive test

It’s understandable to be anxious about a positive COVID result, but for most people who get the disease they only experience mild symptoms.  The Department of Health has information about self isolation and how to look after yourself and others.

Prevention: masks and handwashing

Q&A about face masks. Duration:4:20

The Medical staff at UNSW Health service recommend the use of N95 face masks indoors and in crowded spaces due to the increased transmissibility of Delta. N95 masks provide better protection from the Delta strain. There is now an abundant supply of ear loop N95 masks which are comfortable and convenient to use and are available at pharmacists and online.

Coronavirus can only enter your body through your nose, eyes and hands. That’s why it's so important to continue to follow these simple guidelines to help keep the levels of COVID-19 low in Australia:

  • Physical distancing at 1.5metres distance from others
  • Good Hygiene – wash hands for 20 seconds. Cover coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your face
  • Get tested – even if your symptoms are mild
  • Follow NSW Health guidelines
  • Read more about how to protect yourself at this Department of Health webpage.

Hand washing

Center for Disease control, What you need to know about handwashing. Duration 2:00

The Department of Health also has information about ongoing support and information on ways to keep healthy. 

Mask wearing  

To limit the impact, we strongly recommends you where a mask if you are sick or unwell, when indoors with others or whenever physical distancing is difficult. We also recommend purchasing N95 masks as they provide better protection against the Delta variant. If you are using cloth mask, have several so you can wash and rotate their use over a number of days. 

People in higher-risk groups are strongly encouraged to wear masks in all social circumstances.

It's important to remember that the use of face masks is not a replacement for other preventive measures, for example; physical distancing, covering your cough's, careful hand washing for at least 20 seconds and avoiding touching the face, nose, eyes and mouth. 

NSW Health has information on masks and how to make a mask. A template design for a different designs with varying sizes can also found here.  

When wearing a mask it's important to learn how to put them on and take them off correctly.

Centura health: the do's and don'ts of wearing masks and gloves. Duration:5:57

For text/photo based information on how to wear a mask correctly without infecting yourself, check out this link. This information is available in English and many other languages.

Stay informed

Find out more on the NSW Health website

Infection rates in your area and general updates

NSW Health COVID-19 map of infections in your local area. For updates of cases and locations read here.

The Federal government has news and updates

News organisations

SBS has COVID-19 information and news in multiple languages

The Sydney Morning Herald has free coverage on COVID-19 with a dedicated Coronavirus outbreak section and blog.

ABC News also has a daily update where you can follow Coronavirus developments.  

ABC Coronacast looks at the latest news and research. You can find it here or on your podcast app.

COVID-19 information in multiple languages

Find out more on the NSW Health website

Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) - COVID-19 information in language.

SBS also has information about COVID-19 in other languages check it out here.

MyAus COVID:19. A resource app for information about COVID-19 and how it impacts you in Australia. Available in multiple languages.

For information in multiple languages on how to wear a mask correctly without infecting yourself, check out this link

Videos explaining COVID-19 preventive measures in other languages below:

What you need to know about COVID-19 Video  

 Physical Distancing Video Messages by Bilingual Health Workers 


Mental health and COVID-19

It's important that if you feel worried, stressed or anxious about your mental health that you seek help at this time.  Support is available online through resources and chat lines or via the phone in the form of telehealth appointments.

UNSW Psychology and Wellness is open and can provide confidential advice to all students. Please call 02 9385 5418 or read more about COVID-19 and it's impact on mental health here. Appointments to talk about any concerns you may have can also be made with the Health Service Mental Health Nurse on 02 9385 5425.

External 24/7 help and phone support can also be found at:

Beyond Blue: for online chat and telephone support

Black Dog Institute: if you would like mental health information and self apps for anxiety and depression

Lifeline: if you need to talk to someone.  Lifeline has online chat and telephone support

COVID-19 resources for culturally diverse communities.  This page has mental health information in multiple languages

UNSW support, advice and FAQ

UNSW provides regular updates, advice and FAQs for staff and students. 

If you are a student who needs help or support you should contact The Nucleus, student advisors or help via our International Student advisors

UNSW staff members who require support, UNSW offers a free, confidential counselling service through Benestar, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

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