Emily Morris is currently in isolation and monitoring her symptoms.(Supplied: Emily Morris)ShareFacebookTwitterArticle share optionsShare this onFacebookTwitterLinkedInSend this byEmailMessengerCopy linkWhatsAppPrint contentPrint with images and other mediaPrint text onlyPrintCancelA week and a half ago 32-year-old Emily Morris noticed some unusual aching in her lower legs.Key points:More than 700 healthcare workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in VictoriaMany healthcare workers feel a sense of shame when they contract COVID-19Healthcare workers are pleading with the public to listen to health warningsAs an emergency department nurse at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, she was used to being on her feet all day, but this was different.She immediately spoke to her manager."I was taken off the floor, tested and then self-isolated until I got my result, which was around 24 hours later, which said that I was COVID positive," Ms Morris told 7.30."I was absolutely devastated."I think that, as a health care worker, there is a little bit of shame and stigma around being diagnosed as COVID positive."Her close contacts were identified and isolated, and Ms Morris is now isolating in a government apartment while monitoring her symptoms, so she doesn't put her housemates at risk."I feel terrible. I haven't felt like eating and have difficulty keeping down fluids," she said."I have definitely been knocked around in a way that I didn't necessarily think that I would, especially being such a young and healthy person."For the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic follow our live coverage.Look after us so we can look after you Emily Morris wears PPE while working as a nurse at The Royal Melbourne Hospital.(Supplied: Emily Morris)Ms Morris is among at least 719 healthcare workers in Victoria who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.She has worked directly with COVID-positive patients, but suspects she contracted the virus in the community."Considering the high quality of the PPE that we have and the procedures that we have in place [at The Royal Melbourne], I am very certain that this was a community-acquired transmission," she said.Ms Morris is now pleading with others in the community to wash their hands, socially distance and not leave their home unless absolutely necessary."We need to look after our healthcare service so that we can look after you," she said."I'm putting myself out there to say, 'I'm young, I'm fit, I'm healthy, I was doing the right things and I got coronavirus.'"My message to healthcare workers in particular is there is no shame in contracting coronavirus."We are all members of the community at large."The reality is that we are probably going to get it, we're probably at a higher risk of getting it and the best way that we can move forward through this is by talking about it."Read more about coronavirus:Want to know which masks work best? Check out this experimentWith all our lives changing due to corornavirus, you could be experiencing disenfranchised grief'I just collapsed on the floor' Sam Martin struggled to stand while infected with COVID-19.(Supplied: Sam Martin)Contracting coronavirus has been a life-threatening ordeal for Melbourne couple Sam Martin and Sarah Robson, who work as midwives and nurses for The Royal Women's Hospital.Mr Martin suspects he contracted coronavirus earlier this month through community transmission and likely passed it onto Ms Robson.Both are confident they had no contact with patients while infectious, as Mr Martin was doing educational training in a building across the road from the hospital, and Ms Robson was already isolating by the time she tested positive."This weakness washes over your body and you just know, 'I'm not getting enough oxygen right now'," Mr Martin told 7.30."I got up and basically just collapsed to the floor."Mr Martin had symptoms so severe he was rushed to the emergency department of The Royal Melbourne and admitted to the COVID ward."It's so scary to know that your lungs aren't working the way that they should," Mr Martin said."You can feel your heart trying to compensate, trying to pump blood even harder and faster, but that it's just not working."After three days in hospital, the 26-year-old was discharged.'It feels like someone is stabbing my lungs' Sarah Robson was also admitted to the COVID ward after her partner was discharged.(Supplied: Sarah Robson)By the time Mr Martin was sent home, Ms Robson, who had been in isolation, had tested positive to coronavirus and was beginning to develop more severe symptoms."It's an inflammation of the lining of the lungs, which has caused me quite severe chest pain," Ms Robson told 7.30."When I have acute exacerbations of the pain, it feels like someone is stabbing my lungs all over."The rest of the time it just feels like a constant scraping or rubbing, like sandpaper."Ms Robson also ended up being hospitalised and spending time in the COVID ward."That was really upsetting and really terrifying for me," Mr Martin said, about sending his girlfriend to the hospital in an ambulance."You felt that hopelessness and just the anxiety around what is going to happen."What is this virus going to do to her?"Ms Robson and Mr Martin are now both isolating and monitoring their symptoms at home.Mr Martin has been feeling better, but Ms Robson's condition deteriorated again over the weekend.The midwife has never struggled with respiratory problems before.During the interview with 7.30, Ms Robson obviously struggled for breath and needed to use Ventolin."My heart's been back racing and shortness of breath has returned," she said."I'm just feeling completely exhausted and empty, as I did in week one."It's a little bit terrifying knowing that I could go down that path again."'This can kill you' Sarah Robson and Sam Martin were fit and healthy before they contracted coronavirus.(Supplied: Sam Martin and Sarah Robson)The young health care workers want others to know the virus can ravage otherwise fit and healthy people."This can make you really, really, really sick," Mr Martin said."This can kill you."It doesn't matter how old you are, doesn't matter how fit you are, you're not necessarily immune."You may be one of those lucky people who is asymptomatic, but if you're doing the wrong thing and you pass it on to someone else, it could kill them."Victoria's new face mask rulesWearing masks will be compulsory for people outside the home in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire from Thursday. Here's what we know about the new rules.Read moreDespite their ordeal, both Ms Robson and Mr Martin said they have faith in their colleagues to handle the pressure of the pandemic."I don't think you could find a more adaptable, resilient workforce," Mr Martin said."They are bloody good at what they do, and so that's something that gives me hope because, you know, people are going to be sick, but we are going to be able to manage it.""I would really appreciate the community to not, sort of, get fatigued by those messages we're hearing daily," Ms Robson said."You are the frontline now, as the community."We need to protect health care workers, protect people like Sam and I and all of the incredible staff who were able to care for both of us in our periods of hospitalisation."What you need to know about coronavirus:When and how to wear a face maskThe symptomsThe number of cases in AustraliaGlobal cases, deaths and testing rates
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