Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

CDNA National guidelines for public health units.

Page last updated: 28 October 2020

The Series of National Guidelines have been developed in consultation with the Communicable Diseases Network Australia and endorsed by the Australian Health Protection Principle Committee. Their purpose is to provide nationally consistent advice and guidance to public health units in responding to a notifiable disease event. These guidelines capture the knowledge of experienced professionals, built on past research efforts, and provide advice on best practice based upon the best available evidence at the time of completion.

This document summarises recommendations for surveillance, infection control, laboratory testing and contact management for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Current version: 3.10, published 28 October 2020.


COVID-19: Geographically localised areas with elevated risk of community transmission

Further information on geographically localised areas with community transmission of COVID-19 and how these areas are classified.

Australian States and Territories are at different stages in the spread of COVID-19, which affects how they respond. States and Territories may introduce additional measures, such as enhanced testing, to control community transmission of infection. It may be important that these additional measures are localised to a town, region, or larger geographical area depending on the circumstances.

The State or Territory Chief Health Officer will decide on these measures based on the local epidemiology of the disease. Some of the factors influencing this include consideration of:

  • The overall number of new cases
  • How many people acquire infection without known links to other cases
  • Outbreaks of infection in closed communities, such as residential aged care facilities and remote Indigenous communities and
  • Capacity of laboratory testing, the health system and public health to respond.

The assessment of whether there is elevated risk of local transmission is made on current evidence and takes into account a lag time of 7-14 days before any impact of additional measures will be seen on numbers of cases, and health system use.

For specific State and Territory information, including testing information, refer to:

  • ACT - (https://health.act.gov.au/health-professionals/chief-health-officer-alerts)
  • NSW - (https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/default.aspx)
  • NT - (https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/stay-safe/if-you-are-unwell)
  • QLD - (https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/take-action/testing-and-fever-clinics)
  • SA - (www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/healthalerts)
  • TAS - (https://www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/keeping-yourself-safe/testing-for-covid19)
  • VIC - (https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/health-services-and-general-practitioners-coronavirus-disease-covid-19)
  • WA - (https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/sitecore/content/Corporate/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus/COVID19-information-for-health-professionals)

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