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Optimising Quarantine Study

Responding to COVID-19 and preparing for the future: Understanding the experiences and needs of specific population groups during home-isolation/quarantine for COVID-19 to inform current and future pandemic responses.

Novel respiratory virus outbreaks such as COVID-19 pose a significant threat to public health due to their ability to spread rapidly among populations with little prior immunity.

In an attempt to contain and slow the spread of infectious disease outbreaks such as COVID- 19, asking members of the general public to undertake isolation or quarantine in their homes has become a key public health protection measure and will become increasingly important as healthcare resources are stretched across a growing population.

Isolation is for when a person has symptoms or a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 and quarantine is for when a person is well but may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19.

Research has been conducted via qualitative phone interviews in March and April 2020 to understand the experiences of people who were participating in or had completed community-based isolation/quarantine in Australia related to COVID-19.

The next phase of this research has been expanded to include investigation into the experiences that specific population groups are having during home-isolation/quarantine.

This research study is looking to interview people who are 18 years and older, and have been instructed to undertake isolation or quarantine at home by a public health authority for one of the following reasons:

  • Testing positive to COVID-19
  • Being identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive to COVID-19 by a public health authority
  • Returning from overseas or interstate travel

And identify as one or more of the following groups:

  • You are a woman who is pregnant or have given birth within the past 6 weeks (Maternal and newborn health)
  • You work as a healthcare professional (Healthcare workers)
  • You are a first-generation migrant to Australia, or an International student currently residing in Australia for study from a non-English-speaking country (Culturally and linguistically diverse communities)
  • You self-identify as having been affected by the bushfires of the summer of 2019/2020

Stephanie Franet

Contact Stephanie Franet for more information about this project. 


Partners +

  • Professor Allen Cheng - Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of public Health and Preventive Medicine
  • Professor Lisa Gibbs - Director of the Child Health and Community Wellbeing Program in the Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Lead of Community Resilience in the Centre for Disaster Management and public Safety, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Brett Sutton - Chief Medical Officer, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services
  • Meghan Bohren - Senior Lecturer, Gender and Women’s Health, Centre for Health Equity School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
  • Karen Block - Associate Director, Child and Community Health Unit, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
  • Alison Coelho – Co Manager, Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health (CEH)
  • Phoebe Quinn - Child & Community Wellbeing Unit, Centre for Health Equity the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Associate Professor in Law and Global Health, Melbourne Law School and Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne