This section aims to keep you updated with the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19). There are links to updates from the Australian Government Department of Health (Department of Health), the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and contact details for state and territory websites. NACCHO provides regular updates for its members and community and the latest news is available via the NACCHO Covid-19 updates and information link. The NACCHO Facebook page also has regular updates.
There is a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources by scrolling to the bottom of the page, where you can filter your search by community or health professional.
There are Temporary telehealth medicare bulk-billed items for COVID-19 for health professionals as part of the Australian Government’s response to COVID-19), these have been introduced to ensure continued access to essential Medicare rebated consultation services.
The Australian health sector emergency response plan for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a living document and guides the Australian health sector response. The Coronavirus Australia app will give you the latest up to date information on COVID-19. The COVIDSafe app, is another tool developed to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia. The app aims to help state and territory health officials quickly contact people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and is completely voluntary and free to download.
This online tool allows you to check your symptoms using a simple-self-guided process with answers to many common questions about COVID-19. The healthdirect website coronavirus hub also has a range of resources, infographics, videos, and a Video Call Service for healthcare professionals.
National coronavirus helpline Ph: 1800 020 080. Urgent enquiries can be directed to the Department of Health’s National Incident Room via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group on COVID-19 (the taskforce) was co-chaired by the Department of Health and NACCHO to fast-track an emergency response plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to any potential spread of COVID-19. The Australian Government offered 45 flexible grants to help 110 remote communities across Australian to protect themselves against COVID-19. The STOP the spread COVID-19 specific graphics and social media resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities were developed by NACCHO. These are for the promotion of healthy messages to help stop the spread of COVID-19. You can also stay informed via the National Indigenous Australian Agency. A coalition of peak Australian health professional groups has come together to develop new ‘living guidelines’ that will provide continually updated evidence-based guidance to clinicians caring for people with COVID-19.
In response to COVID-19, the Victorian Government has established a Coronavirus Aboriginal Community Response and Recovery Fund. $10 million will be provided to give local organisations the support they need to develop community-led responses at a local level over the coming year. Applications are open until midnight 30 November 2020.
The Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (Congress) has been approved by the Australian Government Department of Health to provide testing to all people in the community with symptoms, including mild symptoms. To access COVID-19 testing, Congress clients can call Congress’ COVID-19 hotline (free call) Ph: 1800 514 400 or (08) 8959 4782.
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The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has a range of resources for health practitioners on mandatory notifications these can be downloaded via this link. The Mable online platform is part of the Australian Government’s contingency measures to ensure continuity of the aged care workforce during COVID-19. It allows registered (and retired) nurses and allied health professionals to list their availability.
For people feeling isolated or lonely the Australian Red Cross has established COVID Connect, a free service to provide support and community connection for people who are feeling isolated or disconnected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The HealthInfoNet in partnership with the Heart Foundation has recorded a webinar about Heart health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people during COVID-19. The Respiratory Health section also has information and resources.
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