Coronavirus Hotline to Expand Significantly

The Marshall Liberal Government is expanding the capacity of its coronavirus hotline with training for 850 new call centre staff beginning this week.

Premier Steven Marshall said the additional 850 call centre staff will enable the capacity of the centre to increase from 15 seats to 100 with the COVID-19 Information Line operating 7 days a week for 12 hours a day.

“Boosting the capacity of the call centre is one part of our strong plan to protect South Australians from the impacts of coronavirus,” said Premier Marshall.

“In the fight against the coronavirus, the public needs to have access to accurate information from a trusted source and that is precisely what the coronavirus hotline is delivering.

“Trusted public information has a vital role to play in the State Government’s fight to defeat public enemy number one.”

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the Marshall Liberal Government understands that many people just need some reassurance that they are doing the right thing in this very challenging time.

“The hotline has already taken more than 15,000 calls in the 3 weeks it has been open with people wanting to know the symptoms for COVID-19, whether they should be tested or how self-quarantine works,” said Minister Wade.

“South Australians have overwhelmingly done the right thing by themselves, their families and community in terms of social distancing, washing their hands and self-isolating when required.

“The hotline will support many more South Australians continue to take the necessary action to keep COVID-19 at bay.

“The increase in capacity for the coronavirus hotline complements the additional hospital capacity the State Liberal Government has marshalled to deal with the coming peak.”

State Control Centre Health Commander Andrew Stark said the expansion of the hotline is another string in the bow of the campaign to protect the community during this pandemic.

“The State Emergency Information Call Centre Capability provides an ongoing capability which is regularly used for bushfire and other natural hazard events, so it’s great to see the service now utilised and expanded as demand increases with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mr Stark.

“We know this pandemic is affecting every South Australian, so to have a personal contact point available for the community to get information during this time is vital.

Thank you to all SEICCC operators who continue to provide sound advice, and reassurance to our community.”

Statistics to date for coronavirus call centre

– 15,783 calls taken since March 21.

The most frequent topics of categorised calls have been:

Testing criteria – 22.8%

Reassurance – 21.8%

Border Information- 16.75%

COVID-19 Symptoms – 16%

Work Place Restrictions – 11.25%

Self-Isolation Requirements – 7.4%

Travel Bans and Restrictions – 4%

For the latest information on COVID-19 in South Australia call 1800 253 787 or visit the SA Health website at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVID2019.