Reducing the risk of COVID-19

There are many simple things you can do to protect yourself from COVID-19 but your best defence is good hand hygiene and avoiding touching your face.

If you or a loved one is living with cancer and/or are undergoing treatment, in addition to following the Australian government’s advice, there are additional precautions you can take to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.

These can include:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or if not immediately available use an alcohol-based hand rub. It’s a good idea to carry this with you. It is especially important to wash your hands before eating or drinking.
  • Stay home as much as possible and avoid non-essential travel.
  • Call your treatment team to see if you can do you some of your consultations remotely via phone or telehealth.
  • Maintain a 1.5 metre physical distance between yourself and others.
  • Avoid crowds and crowded areas and avoid unnecessary physical contact, such as shaking hands, hugging or kissing. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (tables, benches, light switches, doorknobs, sinks, toilets, remotes, such as your mobile phone or eating surfaces). Wear gloves (disposable if possible). Clean obvious debris with soap and water. Clean with a 70% alcohol solution or a mix of 4 teaspoons of bleach per litre of water.
  • Avoid contact with those who are sick or unwell or have been exposed to the virus or may be at higher risk due to recent travel to a high-risk country.  
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as this can transfer the virus from surfaces and increase the risk of infection. 

Most importantly, if you are concerned you may have been exposed to COVID-19 you should call your treatment team.

If you need practical assistance to reduce your risk, or you need emotional support you can call Cancer Council’s information and support line on 13 11 20 during business hours.