Last updated 31 March 2020

Information about the Outbreak

In this rapidly evolving and uncertain time, it is particularly important to stay informed of latest developments via trusted channels. This page contains links to official sources to keep you up to date on the spread of COVID-19, the Australian government response, and what you can do to protect yourself. We also share tips and resources for staying safe online amid an uptick of online scams and spread of misinformation and myths about the outbreak.

Where To Find Information

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, after it witnessed several independent clusters of community transmission and rapid spread of the virus in multiple countries around the world.

The situation in Australia and around the world is continuing to evolve rapidly, and misinformation and myths about the severity of the disease, as well as ways to protect yourself, have become rampant.

Below is a list of resources by Australian and international health bodies and official sources to help you stay informed and safe in the current climate.

About the Outbreak

The links below offer high-level statistics about the current status in Australia and around the world, as well as basic information about the origin and spread of COVID-19.

Latest number of global cases - Johns Hopkins University maintains a detailed map tracking the global outbreak.

Current status in Australia - Daily updates by the Australian Government on the current situation, latest case numbers and related information.

Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19) - A collection of frequently asked questions about the virus and its impact, answered by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Novel coronavirus explainer video - A clear and detailed explanation of the virus by the WHO, covering origins, symptoms and prevention.

The Australian government has launched an app that you can download via the App Store and Google Play, which can keep you up to date on latest news, alerts, and available support. There is also an alert feature available via WhatsApp.

How to Protect Yourself and Others

While scientists around the world are working hard at identifying potential treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, these will likely not be available for many months. That is why it is critical that we all do our bit to help slow the spread of the disease to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.

Slowing the spread can be achieved in a number of ways, including:

Practicing good hygiene by frequently washing your hands

Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

Practicing social distancing and avoiding public gatherings

Self-isolating if you are feeling unwell, or have been in contact with someone confirmed or suspected of carrying the disease

Female hands watering flowers on the window

Below are links that explain how to protect yourself, as well as resources to help you cope with the current crisis.

How to protect yourself and others from coronavirus (COVID-19) - Information by the Australian Department of Health on what you can do to reduce the spread.

How to wash your hands - Information by WHO about correct hand-washing technique.

WHO coronavirus mythbusters - Use this list of mythbusters about COVID-19 by WHO to prevent relying on protection measures that are proven to be ineffective.

Counselling and Support

If you are having trouble coping with the current outbreak or its effect on you or your loved ones, support services are available:

Lifeline Australia: Call 13 11 14 or reach out via online chat

Suicide Callback Service: Call 1300 659 467 or register for online counselling

Beyond Blue: Call 1300 224 636 or reach out via online chat 

MensLine Australia: Call 1300 78 99 78 or register for online counselling

1800RESPECT- 24/7 support services for people affected by domestic or family violence and abuse. Call 1800 737 732, or reach out via online chat

Headspace: Mental health resources, support and online counselling for children and teenagers

Kids Helpline: Call 1800 551 800 or reach out via online chat.

Seek support and counselling

Crisis Support

In an emergency, call 000 or call a 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Line:

ACT: Mental Health Triage Service

1800 629 354

 

NT: Top End Mental Health Service

08 8999 4988

 

SA: Mental Health Assessment & Crisis Intervention Service

13 14 65

 

VIC: Suicide Help Line

1300 651 251

NSW: Mental Health Line

1800 011 511

 

QLD: 13 HEALTH

13 43 25 84

 

TAS: Mental Health Services Helpline

1800 332 388

 

WA: Mental Health Emergency Response Line

1800 676 822

If You Are Feeling Unwell

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, or suspect you may have COVID-19, the below resources may help:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptom checker - use this online tool to assess your symptoms and learn if and how to seek medical assistance.

You can also call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.

How to Stay Safe Online

Spread of Misinformation and Fake News

Amid rapidly changing situations and continued lack of clear scientific data about the virus,  fake news, conspiracy theories, rumours and misinformation have become very common - particularly on social media and WhatsApp.

Trusting inaccurate stories online can have serious consequences. It may exacerbate political, racial, and cultural divides. It can also risk your health and heighten your risk of infection, if you follow health advice that is ineffective or even dangerous.

The best way to protect yourself from inaccurate information and news stories is to only rely on official updates from trusted sources, such as Australian and international health bodies, and government sources.

Below are a number of resources that may help you:

WHO coronavirus mythbusters - Use this list of mythbusters about COVID-19 by WHO to prevent relying on protection measures that are proven to be ineffective.

How to read the news like a scientist - An article by the World Economic Forum with tips on how to assess the information you come across for accuracy and reliability

 

Scams

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has reported a significant rise in scams related to COVID-19. These scams include phishing emails, text messages and phone calls impersonating legitimate businesses and government bodies. There is also a rise of fake businesses claiming to sell products that can cure, treat, or prevent COVID-19.

If you believe you have been the victim of a phishing attack related to Bluestone, or you believe your Bluestone loan account may have been compromised, please contact us as soon as possible by calling 13BLUE(2583) or emailing customerservice@bluestone.com.au.

For more information about current scams, and tips on how to protect yourself, visit the links below:

ScamWatch COVID-19 Alert - Information by the ACCC about current scams relating to the outbreak.

Stay Smart Online - Information and resources from the Australian government about protecting yourself online.

MoneySmart Banking and Credit Scams - Information from ASIC's MoneySmart website about how to protect yourself from banking and credit scams.

The links to third-party websites contained on the Bluestone website are not operated or controlled by Bluestone. They are provided in good faith and Bluestone does not give any warranty or take any responsibility for any aspect of those third party websites, including without limitation, the content of those third-party websites.