As reported in the media, the Australian Government Department of Health and NSW Health are currently monitoring the evolving situation regarding the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, originating in Wuhan in the Hubei Province, China. 

There are now a number of confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus in Australia, including NSW.

What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus causes illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).  This new strain of coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has not been previously detected in humans.

Coronavirus Symptoms

The symptoms are similar to those of other viruses. They include fever, flu-like symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, nausea/vomiting and headaches and, in some cases, difficulty with breathing.  Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.  It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to show after a person has been infected.

Advice to Clubs, Associations and Centres

All Football NSW (FNSW) affiliated clubs, associations and centres should follow health and safety practices regarding regular cleaning of equipment and facilities, particularly bathrooms, change rooms, canteens and common areas.  Safe hygiene practices in relation to food handling procedures, including the provision of hand washing/sanitizing facilities and the use of disposable gloves in canteens and food facilities should be reinforced.

Clubs, associations and centres should stay up to date with advice issued by FNSW and Government agencies regarding the Coronavirus.  (Refer links to further information below)

Important Australian Government Health advice dated 30 January 2020:

  • People who have been in contact with confirmed Coronavirus cases must be incubated (isolated) in their home for 14 days after exposure.
  • People who have recently returned from Wuhan or the Hubei Provence of China must be isolated in their home for 14 days after leaving Hubei Provence, other than to seek individual medical care.

Advice to Participants

This advice to all participants (players, coaches, managers, referees, club officials, volunteers and others) involved in football within FNSW is consistent with information issued by the Australian Government and is similar to information issued to schools and school students:

  • Any participants who have been in contact with a person with confirmed Coronavirus case must not attend any training, trials, trial matches, games or other activities conducted by FNSW or a FNSW affiliated club, association or centre, until 14 days have lapsed from exposure to the infected person and provided they are not symptomatic.
  • Any participants who have visited China in the past two weeks must not attend any training, trials, trail matches, games or other activities conducted by FNSW or a FNSW affiliated club, association or centre, until 14 days have lapsed from their date of departure from China and provided they are not symptomatic.

 NSW Health Coronavirus advice:

  • If you come into contact with a person who has recently returned from Wuhan or the Hubei Province in China, monitor your health.   If you develop flu-like symptoms including a fever and respiratory signs, isolate yourself and call ahead to talk to a doctor.  Tell your doctor that you have been in contact with someone from Wuhan.  The doctor may tell you to attend your nearest emergency department, if so call ahead to the hospital before attending.  Call 000 if you need urgent medical help.
  • Always practice simple hygiene by covering your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact, when possible, with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

Further Information

Commonwealth and state government agencies, including the Australian Department of Health and NSW Health, have established mechanisms to respond to matters such as this.  FNSW will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated information as it becomes available.

Issued 30 January 2020