COVID is also called Coronavirus

COVID is a virus.

A virus is a sickness that can spread from one person to another.

Most people who get COVID will get better quickly.

They often only feel a little unwell.

Sometimes people can get very sick with COVID.

If you are very sick with COVID you might have to go to hospital.

In hospital the NSW Health staff will help you.

You can ask the hospital staff questions about your care.

You can ask them for medicine if you are in pain.

You can also tell hospital staff if you need help with

  • reading
  • speaking
  • understanding information
  • other supports

Your family, friends and support workers can also talk to the hospital staff. They can talk to them about what you need when you are in hospital.

Having visitors in hospital

There are rules about who can visit people who are sick with COVID-19.

These rules help keep everybody safe.

You can talk to the doctor or nurse if you want to have visitors.

Visitors could be your family or support workers. The nurses can tell you what the rules for visitors are.

You can use stay in touch with people over

  • video like facetime
  • text message
  • phone call

Where people with COVID stay in the hospital

There is a place in the hospital to help people who have COVID.

It is called a COVID ward.

Some people who are very sick with COVID will go to the Intensive Care Unit. ICU for short.

The ICU has more staff and more help if you are very sick

The hospital staff will wear Personal Protective Equipment.

PPE for short.

Types of PPE are:

  • face masks
  • goggles
  • gloves
  • gowns.

Health staff wear PPE to keep themselves safe from COVID.

Why some people need a ventilator

Sometimes people with COVID need to use a ventilator

A ventilator is a machine that helps people breathe.

Not everyone who has COVID will need to use one.

The NSW Health staff at the hospital will decide who needs to use a ventilator.

They will make this decision based on what care someone needs to get better.

Giving consent in hospital

When you give consent you say it is ok for someone to do something.

People who are in hospital need to give consent about what help they get.

Health staff will talk to you about your care and giving your consent.

You can

  • ask questions
  • talk to someone you trust about giving consent
  • say yes or no

Leaving hospital

The hospital staff will tell you when you can leave the hospital.

They will make sure it is safe for you to go home.

You will get a discharge plan when you leave hospital.

A discharge plan has information about what care you

need when you leave hospital.

Getting a COVID vaccination in hospital

You can talk to the hospital staff about getting a vaccination in hospital.

Get more information

You can call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080

You can also call Service NSW about support from the NSW Government during COVID on 13 77 88.

You can call Service NSW at any time.

You can use the National Relay Service if you

  • are deaf
  • have a hearing or speech impairment.

You can call the National Relay Service on 133 677

Document information

Develped by: Health and Social Policy Branch


Current as at: Thursday 21 July 2022
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW