Important Company Update All Staff 3rd February 2020 – Novel Coronavirus

Important Company Update All Staff 3rd February 2020 – Novel Coronavirus


As you are aware Australia is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus which was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.  Health authorities have identified coronavirus cases in Australia.  The people most at risk of contracting the virus are those who have been in the Hubei Province recently or have been in close contact with someone who is a confirmed case of the coronavirus.

ONCALL Interpreters and Translators has a responsibility and duty of care for the health and wellbeing of all staff and in this particular case our national Interpreter workforce and our client group.

What does this mean for you as an Interpreter?

  • Anyone who has developed a fever or respiratory symptoms within 14 days of travel to China, should see their GP immediately. People are urged to call ahead and advise the clinic of their symptoms, so precautions can be taken.
  • You will need to inform ONCALL as a matter of urgency if you become unwell after any recent travel within 14 days to China, as a precaution you will not be permitted to perform your work duties until cleared fit to do so by a medical practitioner.
  • If we are made aware of any suspected cases via our clients, we will communicate appropriately with Interpreters.
  • If you are unsure or need more information, please visit the Australian Government Department of Health homepage at or call the Public Health Information Line on 1800 004 559.


What does this mean for our clients?

  • We will provide an update on our company website shortly, please refer our clients to the website
  • We have informed our Interpreters if they have travelled to China within the past 14 days and have become unwell, they will not be permitted to perform their work duties until cleared fit to do so by a medical practitioner.
  • ONCALL will monitor the updates from the Australian Government Department of Health
  • We are committed to the health and wellbeing of all employee, contractors and clients.


Novel coronavirus FAQs

What is the virus?

Coronaviruses can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The virus seen in Hubei Province, China is called ‘novel because it is new. It has not been detected before this outbreak. Most people infected live in, or travelled to, Hubei Province, China.

What are the symptoms?

  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulties such as breathlessness
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue or tiredness


What if I am well and returning to work after being in Hubei province, China or other countries with cases in the last 14 days?

In accordance with national public health guidelines and current information about novel coronavirus from the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, employees who have visited Hubei province in mainland China are advised to stay at home and avoid public settings, until 14 days after last leaving Hubei province, China.

If you think you, a family member or someone you know may have the coronavirus please call the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to discuss further actions on 1300 651 160.

What if I feel sick now or within 14 days of being in Hubei Province, China or another part of China?

  • If you have a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, please see a Doctor and exclude yourself from work and public settings.
  • Seek medical attention but first place a mask on (if you have one) and call the Doctor or Hospital before you attend. Advise them that you have been in Hubei Province, China or the location of travel within China.


If you have severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath:

  • Call 000 and request an ambulance, and
  • Inform the paramedics where you have been in China.


How do I protect myself?

There are some common-sense precautions that you can take to protect yourself and
your family. They include:

  • Encourage people around you to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when
    coughing or sneezing or cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow. Dispose
    of the tissue into a bin and then wash your hands afterwards.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, particularly after going to the
    toilet and before eating food. If soap and water aren’t available use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands.


Where can I get find more info?

For state-based updates, visit local state health department website

For national updates, visit
For international updates, visit – Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
For WHO resources, visit WHO resources: Coronavirus