FACTS from RDHS & cardboard Charlie

What happens when you put a very VERY social person in a situation where they can't be social?

You get phone calls. Lots of them. At all hours of the day, and sometimes you record those phone calls and call them a podcast!

It certainly helps when said person has had a cardboard cutout of himself made in recent

weeks. It's almost like he's in the same room... but not quite. In fact, we understand why nephew Ethan no longer wanted this specimen in the house.

We're also on a FACT finding mission this week. FACTS about COVID-19.

Asking questions straight to the person and persons who know for a FACT if they can confirm or deny.

Are there any local cases of any coronavirus?

Can children catch covid-19?

Does any Coronavirus cause an increase in bowel movements?

All of the hard hitting questions and you can find them in writing here!

Is it true that young children can be carriers and not show any signs?

Yes – we do not know why. That said, if your child is sick you should not send them to school or childcare.

What we do know is that the majority of people who are infected may not get sick at all, some will get mild symptoms from which they will recover easily, and others may become very ill, very quickly. From previous experience with other coronaviruses, the people at most risk of serious infection are:

· People with compromised immune systems (e.g. cancer).

· Elderly people, including those in residential aged care facilities.

· Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as they have higher rates of chronic illness.

· People with diagnosed chronic medical conditions.

Do I have to be in the presence of someone for more than 10 minutes for the virus to be spread?

The Department of Health has provided the following as a definition of close contact:

A close contact is someone who has been face to face for at least 15 minutes with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or been in the same closed space for at least 2 hours, when that person was potentially infectious. Being a close contact means there is a significant risk of becoming infected with novel coronavirus.

Social distancing is a way of slowing down the spread and includes things like keeping a distance between you and others, avoiding shaking hands and kissing, stay home if you are unwell, use good cough and sneezing hygiene (cough/sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and dispose of tissue immediately). Avoiding unnecessary group activities and crowds and getting your flu shot this year. Most important is good hand hygiene.

We have cancelled groups at RDHS to comply with social distancing recommendations and if you are making appointments with allied health clinicians you will be asked about your symptoms and encouraged to reschedule if you are displaying cold and flu symptoms, or have been to high risk countries in the past 14 days. We have put some restrictions in place for visitors to both the acute and aged care facilities. We are regularly updating of Facebook Page as well.

How likely is it that it will reach Robinvale?

There is still so much we do not know about the virus and there is a possibility it could appear here and the health service is prepared for that. We are being regularly updated on confirmed cases and there are NO CONFIRMED CASES in the Mallee at this stage.

Does it make your bowel movements more frequent? If no then what’s with the toilet paper?

NO! NO! NO! Diarrhoea or increased bowel movements IS NOT A TYPICAL FEATURE OF COVID 19. There is no need to panic buy toilet paper, or anything for that matter. I cannot explain the toilet paper craziness. Toilet paper is made in Australia and it is not going to run out. What people are doing when they hoard toilet paper and other essentials, is preventing people who need those items from obtaining them. It is not kind, it is not sensible and it is not recommended.

The only thing that people are being advised to do is ensure they have enough of their usual prescription medications.

Should everyone with any cold or flu signs and symptoms stay home?

Yes – this is good practice anyway and advised regardless of this current situation. And people should get the flu immunisation as soon as it becomes available.

Shouldn’t all of these practises be common sense anyway?

YES – we should all use good sneeze/cough etiquette and we should all be washing our hands regularly. We should stay home when we are sick and avoid visiting vulnerable people when we are sick. All very much common sense.

If I suspect I may have contracted it, what is the best course of action for people in Robinvale?

If you are concerned you should contact the DHHS Hotline or 1800 675 398 or the National COVID-19 triage hotline on 1800 020 080. The criteria for testing is currently

Recent overseas travel or contact with a recent overseas traveller (last 14 days)


Contact with a confirmed case of COVID 19


Have symptoms such as a cough, fever, sore throat, and fatigue.

If you are wanting to speak to a health professional (either your GP or RDHS) please ring first if you think you may have contracted the disease. You will then be advised of the best course of action for testing.


If you are going to turn to the internet for assistance or advice on Coronavirus, please go to trusted sources. Government Health websites such as the Department of Health have up to date information that is updated regularly throughout the day.

RDHS are regularly updating our Facebook page and will keep the community in the loop with what we know about Coronavirus and any changes to services.

Web sites.

How to protect yourself and the people you are caring for from infection with COVID–19

How to talk to children about Coronavirus

Songs to wash your hands to

It's a long one, but it's full of facts, laughs and reasons why Charlie should never be left unsupervised!

142 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All