COVID-19: Social distancing - Diabetes WA
 In COVID-19

In the event of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing has become the new normal for all Australians.

And while the general public has been urged to comply with the new social distancing measures – which state that people should keep a distance of at least 1.5m between one another – there is more to it than just keeping a wide berth.

According to the Australian Department of Health, social distancing is an important measure that can help stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, which is passed on through person-to-person contact.

So the more people who comply with the ‘social distancing’ measures, the harder it becomes for the virus to spread.

For people living with diabetes, it is particularly important to comply with this social distancing guidance both inside and outside of the home.

This is because some people with diabetes may be more at risk of contracting COVID-19.

If people with diabetes contract COVID-19, they may be at a higher risk of becoming more unwell. This can increase blood glucose levels, making complications more difficult to manage.

While the Australian Government has encouraged people to stay home where possible during the COVID-19 outbreak, when it comes to heading out and about, social distancing has an important role to play to limit the spread of germs.

While out in public, you can reduce the spread of germs to protect yourself and others by:

  • Practising good hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly and sneeze or coughing into your arm or elbow;
  • Avoid handshaking;
  • Sanitising your hands wherever possible whenever you are entering or leaving a building;
  • Using ‘tap and pay’ rather than paying with cash;
  • Avoiding crowds and heading out during quieter times;

In your household, you can avoid the spread of germs by:

  • Practising good hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly and sneeze or coughing into your arm or elbow;
  • Avoid handshaking and kissing with members of your household;
  • Regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces such as tables, kitchen benches and door knobs as the virus can live on various surfaces for up to 72 hours;
  • Increase ventilation in your home by opening windows or adjusting your air-conditioning;
  • Reduce your trips to the shops and only go when absolutely necessary, and, if possible consider using online shopping for essential items;
  • Reconsider any plans to leave the house and only do so when absolutely necessary. Necessary visits including going to the shops to buy essential items or trips to the pharmacy to pick up medication.

As of midnight on Wednesday, March 25, the Australian Government will tighten restrictions on non-essential gatherings, goods and services. For the full list of restrictions, click here.

If you are living with diabetes and having difficulty visiting your health professional, or have any questions or concerns, you can speak to a diabetes educator for free and without leaving your home, via the Diabetes WA Helpline on 1300 001 880, or get in touch via email at

You can also book in for a free one-on-one Diabetes WA telehealth consultation (via videoconferencing from your smartphone or computer) by calling the number above. This is now available to all Western Australians. Find out more here.

Source: Australian Department of Health.

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