CoronaVirus (COVID-19) Information

We will be keeping this page up-to-date during the CoronaVirus outbreak, so please check back regularly for new information and resources.  We will tag new information with “NEW” for at least 24 hours so that you can easily find new resources.

Latest News – 29th March

Australians can gain access to a new messaging service on WhatsApp by typing oz.gov.au/whatsapp.  You can also get up-to-date information from the Federal Government’s CoronaVirus Australia app, available on the App Store and Google Play store. 

Current Restrictions – Read the Fact Sheet here.

  • All Australians need to stay home unless it is absolutely necessary to go outside.
    Australians are permitted to leave home for the essentials, such as:

    • shopping for food
    • exercising – in a public space such as a park, limited to no more than 2 people
    • going out for medical needs
    • providing care or support to another individual in a place other than your home
    • going to work if you cannot work from home (Australians are encouraged to work from home where they can)
  • Visits to your house should be kept to a minimum, with a very small number of guests. Extended
    family gatherings, barbeques, birthday parties and house parties are not permitted.
  • No public gatherings of more than two people (the limit does not apply to members of your own household, or for education and employment)
    • Example: you can still take your kids for a walk or to kick a footy or whatever.  The two-person limit doesn’t apply to members of your own household
  • The Australian Government has suspended mutual obligation requirements for JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance as a job seeker, as well as Parenting Payment until 27 April 2020.  More information here.
  • There is a six-month ban on landlords evicting commercial and residential tenants in financial stress because of the CoronaVirus outbreak. We are waiting to see more details about this.
  • Australians can now access support in their own home using their telephone, or video conferencing features like FaceTime to connect with:
    • GP services
    • mental health treatment
    • chronic disease management
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health assessments
    • services to people with eating disorders
    • pregnancy support counselling
    • services to patients in aged care facilities
    • services to children with autism
    • after-hours consultations and nurse practitioners.

These new telehealth arrangements will be in place until 30 September 2020, when they will be reviewed in light of the need to continue the fight against coronavirus.

Protect others and stop the spread

We can all help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia.  To protect others you must:

Government information & fact sheets

The Australian Government has created a website with the latest COVID-19 information from government agencies across Australia.  You can visit this website at www.australia.gov.au

The Australian Government has also launched a national campaign to inform all Australians about the CoronaVirus (COVID-19).  The campaign includes four videos with captions and is aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19:

Videos

Fact Sheets and other resources

The most reliable sources of information on the COVID-19 is on the new Australian Government website www.australia.gov.au and the Department of Health website.  These websites are updated regularly to give you the latest COVID-19 news, updates, and advice from government.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

CoronaVirus information on the NDIS website has moved to a new Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and support section, instead of the disaster response page as of 27th March, with lots of new questions and answers about recent changes.

State and territory information

You can follow this link for information by state and territory

Aboriginal

Audio files with health messages for COVID-19 in Aboriginal languages are being rolled out across the NT to cover a majority of language groups. More recordings will be added as they become available.

Auslan

National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIS)
NDIS Covid-19 Update (Auslan)

Expression Australia is providing regular updates for the Deaf community on the Expression Australia website as well as on the Expression Australia Facebook page.

Centrelink Information

Economic Justice Australia has published a new fact sheet to provide information about how Centrelink can help if you’ve been affected by COVID-19.

Easy Read Information

We have pulled together a list of Easy Read resources about the CoronaVirus.  Please visit this link to access the Easy Read resources 

Medication and medical supplies

You are advised to have 1 months’ supply of medications at home.  But it is also important not to panic as the Department of Health has not received any notifications about medicine shortages.

*NEW*  Australia Post has launched a home delivery service for prescription medicines.  Australian Pharmacies will be able to offer free Express Post delivery of medications to people with chronic health conditions or who are immunocompromised. Contact your local Chemist for more information.

Other languages

  1. The Department of Health is the most reliable means for you to access information on COVID-19.  Their website has information in several languages and includes factsheets on hygiene, overseas travellers etc.
    Visit https://www.health.gov.au/resources/translated to access resources in your preferred language.
  2. National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
    The NDIS has recently published a list of multilingual resources, in Easy Read, on what the NDIA is doing to stop Coronavirus spreading.  You can view the resources here.
  3. Ethnolink (24 languages from around the world).
  4. Northern Territory Government (Aboriginal Languages for remote communities).
  5. SBS has a webpage with Coronavirus information in 63 languages: Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Assyrian, Bangla, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Cantonese, Croatian, Dari, Dinka, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hakha Chin, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Karen, Khmer, Kirundi, Korean, Kurdish, Lao, Macedonian, Malayalam, Maltese, Mandarin, Nepali, NITV Radio, Pashto, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Rohingya, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Serbian, Sinhalese, Slovak, Slovenian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Thai, Tibetan, Tigrinya, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese.

Supermarkets

Due to panic buying in response to the CoronaVirus crisis, supermarkets like Woolworths and Coles have announced a dedicated shopping hour for seniors and people with disability.  Supermarkets have also made changes to their opening hours, item limits and deliveries, to help people access groceries.

Woolworths and Coles are open between 7am – 8am exclusively for the elderly and people with disability.  All other shoppers will be able to enter after 8am.

Online shopping

The current advice is that people should have two weeks’ worth of food supplies in their home.

Coles has suspended its online shopping and its Click & Collect Service for now.

Woolworths is providing online shopping to seniors and people with disability through their Priority Assistance program.  Eligible customers include seniors, people with a disability and those with compromised immunity or who are required to self-isolate.  To register for Priority Assistance and be able to order online, you need to fill out the form: Woolworths Priority Assistance Request Form

To find out what your local supermarket is offering, click the relevant link below:

Support

If you are concerned about your exposure to CoronaVirus, the Department of Health has a specific hotline to respond to your enquiries.  You can call 1800 020 080 (24 hours a day, seven days a week).

If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can use the National Relay Service to access any of the department’s listed phone numbers.  You can visit the National Relay Service website or call 1300 555 727. If you need translation and/or interpretation support, Translating and Interpreting Services are offered by the Australian Government on the Department of Home Affairs website .

Beyond Blue also have some tips on Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak and a Support Service for short term counselling by phone and webchat.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or sad, please reach out for support. Talking to someone can help.  If you would like to talk to someone now, you can contact:

Tips and Strategies

Other Resources

Providers

  1. National Disability Services have published information for providers on the NDIS website.
  2. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has published information on provider obligations – how to reduce the risk to people with disability, as well as links to updates and resources. This information is available on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission website.
  3. Disability Services Consulting have put together a 30-minute online training module for workers. It is designed to provide practical strategies to prevent and control infections. Best of all it is free!