Public Health Unit Frequently Asked Questions

Public Health Unit Frequently Asked Questions


What is contact tracing?

Contact Tracing is asking questions to find out who you may have seen, where you may have been and find out any other information that will help keep you and your community safe. Contract tracing aims to identify the close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases.  

Will I be contacted?

If you have a positive test or are a close contact of someone who is positive you will be called. If the contact tracing team of the Public Health Unit can’t get through to you they may send an email or text.  Close contacts are advised to self-isolate and present for testing as soon possible. 

Who is defined as a close contact?

A close contact is someone who has spent 15 minutes or more face to face or 2 hours within the same room as someone with COVD-19. Sometimes if a number of people from one place have COVID-19 (like a classroom or workplace) then the whole group will be considered close contacts.

There are times when large numbers of people will be asked to isolate to help stop the spread, when this is required you will be advised. There are times when a child needs to isolate and that means a parent/carer or the whole family need to isolate with them. This also might happen when a group of people share a house.

Who will call me?

One of the Public Health Unit team members at Bendigo Health will call you.

How will my information be used?

Your information will only be used to keep you and your community safe and will not be shared with anyone for any other reason. Please note, we will not use your name when we call your close contacts.

What if I can’t remember where I’ve been?

Sometimes it's hard to remember everything. Things that help are looking at your diary, checking text messages and social media and asking friends and family. Looking at your bank details to see where you may have been shopping might help. Every minor detail is useful.  If you think of something later on we want you to call us back.

I may have been in casual contact with someone who has COVID-19 or been in a place where a COVID-19 positive person has been - what should I do?

If you have not been contacted but believe you have had contact with a COVID-19 positive person then you are most likely a casual contact. You should be hypervigilant for the onset of any symptoms and if symptoms emerge you should then isolate and present for testing.

Symptoms include; fever, sore throat, shortness of breath, cough, a runny nose, loss of sense of smell or taste.

When should I self-isolate?

If you have a positive test you must isolate and follow directions from the Public Health Unit. If you are a close contact you must isolate for 14 days, the Public Health Unit will help you work out when your isolation can end.

How can i isolate from my own family at home?

How can i isolate from my own family at home?

  • You should stay in a different room to other people as much as possible.
  • Sleep in a separate bedroom and use a separate bathroom if available.
  • You must not allow other people into the home if they don't live there, unless they are there to provide medical, personal care or household assistance.
  • Ensure you stay at least 1.5 metres from others in the home.
  • Everyone in the household should continue practising good hygiene through washing hands regularly and coughing or sneezing into their elbow or tissue.
  • Do not share food and drink. Do not share household items like crockery, plates or glasses.

How do I get food or other supplies such as medication while I am in isolation or quarantine?

If you don’t live with others, you should order food or supplies to be delivered to your house, or have friends, family or your carer drop off supplies to your house. Anyone delivering these items should not enter your house or come in contact with you – if possible, they should leave the supplies at the front of your door. This is to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus (COVID-19).

Support is available if you need help while in isolation or quarantine. Visit Extra Help.

The City of Greater Bendigo has also set up a COVID-19 helpline for people who need help with services durign isolation. ph: 5434 6237.