The Bethany Group’s response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Bethany Group continues to closely monitor the evolving situation regarding COVID-19. Our priority is to protect our staff, service users and the broader community at this time.

We have a dedicated team of senior leaders meeting regularly to discuss our ongoing response and ensure we closely follow all advice received from The Australian Government Department of Health, The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and The Victorian Department of Education and Training regarding precautions that are needed to minimise risks associated with COVID-19.

Bethany Community Support

Our Community Support Services will continue in a modified form as we adapt the way in which we deliver our support to those most in need.  Our key offices will be closed from 5pm Monday 23 March (temporarily), as our workforce set up home offices, however our level of contact and dedication to our service users will not waiver. If you need to contact us, please call us on 03 5278 8122 (Geelong) and 1300 510 439 (Warrnambool), or you can email to info@bethany.org.au

Community members who are seeking assistance or support from a Bethany program please call ahead and speak to one of our staff so we can decide the best way to respond to your needs.

We understand that families and individuals may need additional support at this time and we will work in the best way to assist our community members.

Bethany Kindergarten Services

Our Kindergartens will be finishing up Term One at 5pm, Monday 23rd March 2020.  We will be sending out to families ideas and activities to continue your child’s engagement in play based learning while at home, and will update you on any further developments and advice received. 

Please contact us should you have any questions on (03) 5273 0200 or by emailing kindergartens@bethany.org.au

What is COVID 019

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new strain of virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. While some people recover easily, others may get very sick, very quickly.

People with coronavirus may experience:

  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

Preventative measures

There is evidence that the virus spreads from person to person but good hygiene, avoiding hand-to-face contact and social distancing can drastically reduce the risk of infection.

The wearing of face masks does little to prevent contracting the virus. However, face masks should be worn by those exhibiting symptoms of the virus to prevent further spreading.

The Bethany Group has advised all personnel to be vigilant in practising personal hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes practicing proper hand sanitising procedures and cough etiquette. We have been and will continue to provide our workplaces with hand sanitiser and disinfectant to facilitate a hygienic work environment and are supporting all personnel with cold-like symptoms to seek medical assistance.

Risk categories

Many people will suffer only mild symptoms, however, early indications are that there are some people within our community who are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms. these include;

  • People with compromised immune systems (such as people who are currently being treated for cancer)
  • Elderly people
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • People with chronic medical conditions
  • People who have returned from travel overseas within the past 14 days
  • People who have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for Coronavirus

What to do if you are feeling unwell

If you begin to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or respiratory illness either during your period of isolation (self-quarantine), or in the 14 days since arriving home from international travel, you should seek immediate medical attention. 

Call ahead to your GP or emergency department and mention your overseas travel before you arrive at the doctor’s office so they can prepare appropriate infection control measures. 

Alternatively contact the 24-hour hotline 1800 675 398.

If you have serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call 000 and ask for an ambulance and tell the operator your recent travel history.

For more information

The Australian Government – Department of Health                       https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services              https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

The Victorian Department of Education and Training                      https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/department/Pages/coronavirus.aspx