What is COVID-19?
The symptoms to watch out for are:
- runny nose
- sore throat
- shortness of breath
- chills or sweats.
Headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and loss or changes in sense of smell or taste can also occur.
No matter how mild the symptoms, it is important that you get tested as soon as you show any of the symptoms of COVID-19.
How to protect you, your family and your community against COVID-19
We can all stay well by choosing to stay ahead of COVID-19. Follow these 6 simple steps to help prevent severe illness and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community:
All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 5 years and over are eligible to receive two primary doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. A booster dose is available for everyone 18 years and above.
You may need additional doses based on your medical condition. Please speak with your GP or local ACCO service for more information.
Testing for COVID-19
Rapid antigen tests (RATs)
You should take a RAT:
- if you have COVID-19 symptoms, even if they’re very mild
- if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19
- before visiting a hospital, aged care facility, or disability care facility
- before visiting elderly people, people with disability or people at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness.
COVID-19 can spread before you have symptoms. You can protect others by checking that you are negative before you leave home.
If you need a PCR test, you will need a GP referral to a private pathology provider. You may need to pay for your PCR test.
If you are at high risk of severe illness and have symptoms, you should speak to a GP about a PCR test even if you have tested negative on a RAT. This is so you can get any help you need, including , as quickly as possible.
What to do if you test positive for COVID-19
Information for people who have recovered from COVID-19
If you’ve had COVID-19, it’s still important to get vaccinated, including getting any booster doses you are eligible for. An infection with COVID-19 will provide some natural immunity, but it will decrease over time. Vaccination is important to get maximum protection against further COVID-19 infections.
You can have your booster dose 6 months after your last dose or COVID-19 infection.
Looking after your mental health
It’s important to look after your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember that you are not alone, and support is available.
If you or someone you love is feeling anxious, lonely or uncertain, you can call:
- Yarning SafeNStrong - Call (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). A free and confidential phone crisis line for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who want to talk to someone about their wellbeing.
- 13YARN: 13 92 76
- Dardi Munwurro Aboriginal Men's Support Line - Call (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). A free and confidential phone support line for Aboriginal men to reach out to talk to someone when times are tough.
- Lifeline Australia - Call (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). A crisis support service offering short-term support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe.
- Beyond Blue - Call (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). A COVID-19 mental wellbeing support service.
Taking care of your mental and physical health has never been more important. Take a look at the for self-care advice that can help you feel healthier and happier. This resource is an initiative of the Aboriginal Health & Mental Research Council of NSW.