COVID-19 information for women with disabilities
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a virus that feels like a flu or a bad cold. It can cause long term side effects in some people.
It is very easy to pass on COVID-19 to other people, so it is important to understand how to protect yourself and others.
What rules do you need to follow?
There are some new rules that we need to follow because of COVID-19. The rules in Victoria are:
You must wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose whenever you are indoors. The only place you do not have to wear a mask is in your house.
You must get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19. A symptom is something that happens in your body when you are sick. Symptoms of COVID-19 could be:
- a cough or a sore throat
- a runny or blocked nose
- a fever
- that it is hard to breathe
Some places will not let you come inside without seeing a certificate proving that you have had two COVID-19 vaccines and a booster. A vaccine is medicine. It is usually given as a needle in your arm.
Some people have a medical exemption. A medical exemption means that a doctor has said that you cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine.
People who are under 18 years old do not need to show that they have had the COVID-19 vaccine.
If you can work from home, you should do that.
You are allowed to see as many people as you want. But it is safer to see people outside.
Looking after Yourself
The most important things you can do to keep yourself safe from coronavirus are:
- Wash your hands.
- Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose.
- Stay at least 1.5m away from other people.
- Get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Here are some fact sheets for people with disability about staying safe from COVID-19:
- Physical distancing (Australian Department of Health)
- Wheelchair users and Coronavirus (nu -motion website)
If you have an assistance animal and have concerns about how COVID-19 may impact your animal, please contact your training organisation for support.
What do you do if you get COVID-19?
If you have COVID-19, you must stay inside for at least 7 days.
The Victorian government has created a “What to do if you test positive for COVID-19 Checklist.”
Here are some of the things you should do while you are isolating at home:
- drink plenty of water (aim to drink 2 to 2.5 litres a day)
- if you have vomiting or diarrhoea, drinking oral rehydration fluids such as Gastrolyte and Hydralyte
- eat healthy food
- take over the counter pain medicine such as paracetamol or ibuprofen if you feel uncomfortable. Pregnant women should not take ibuprofen.
- continue to take your regular medicines
If you are isolating at home and your symptoms get worse Contact Nurse on Call 1300 606 024 or a GP as soon as you can.
There is a treatment called sotrovimab for people who are immunocompromised and are experiencing very bad COVID-19 symptoms.
Someone is immunocompromised if they have a condition that makes it hard for their body to fight off viruses like COVID-19.
Sotrovimab is a medicine that is given as an infusion (through a needle in your arm).
You can contact your doctor if you have COVID-19 and you think sotrovimab might help you.
If your doctor says that sotrovimab will help you, you will be able to get it for free.
You do not need to get tested again to leave the place where you were isolating after 7 days.
If you have had COVID-19, you do not have to get tested or isolate if you are re-exposed to a case within 30 days of ending your isolation period. After 30 days, you must follow the relevant Government advice.
If you still have symptoms of COVID-19 weeks or months after you first tested positive, you may have Long COVID. You can learn more about long COVID at the Victorian government website.
Where can you get the COVID-19 vaccine?
You can book your COVID-19 vaccine or booster using the Victorian Government website. You can also search for a GP clinic near you who is doing vaccines using HotDoc.
If you have difficulty accessing vaccine hubs or clinics, you might be able to get your first and second doses at home by contacting a Disability Liaison Officer.
Self-advocacy Resource Unit (SARU) is helping people with disability to get their COVID-19 vaccine until May 31 2022.
They can help to:
- Book an appointment.
- Answer questions.
- Pay for transport to and from the appointment.
You can call Annie on 03 9070 9053 for more information.
Or you can email Annie at [email protected]
Disability Resource Centre (DRC) is also helping people with disability to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
DRC can support people with:
- finding reliable information,
- making vaccine bookings,
- getting to vaccination clinics or
- being vaccinated at home.
For help with getting your COVID-19 vaccination you can contact Cath or Phyllis on 0434 709 263. Or you can email [email protected].
COVID-19 and the NDIS
NDIS participants can now use their NDIS funding to pay for Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs). Find out more at the NDIS website.
You can call the NDIS Contact Centre on 1800 800 110, Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm
- WIRE has produced a Financial resources during COVID-19
- The Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health has put together multilingual COVID-19 health information for migrant women
The organisations below have provided Auslan videos on COVID-19:
- First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDN)
- The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO)
Here is some information about COVID-19 in different languages:
- WWDA(About Coronavirus in 11 languages from around the world)
- Northern Territory Government (Aboriginal Languages for remote communities).
Social isolation can result in increased domestic violence.
If you are in danger call 000. If you are experiencing violence please call 1800RESPECT or visit the 1800RESPECT website.
You have the right to feel safe, access medical support and maintain contact with friends and family.
For more information on seeking safety during COVID-19, visit the safesteps website.
If you feel unwell
If you have any concerns about COVID-19 please telephone:
- the Victorian Department of Health and Human Service Hotline on 1800 675 398, or
- the Commonwealth Coronavirus Information Health Line on 1800 020 080 (including with National Relay Service). For language translations: 131 450.
Both hotlines are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Auslan-interpreted information is available via Expression Australia
Mental Health and COVID-19
Joining online groups
Women with Disabilities Australia recommends joining online groups:
- Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) Community
- Disability and Chronic Illness COVID-19 Information Clearinghouse Australia
- Or join your local community group (search your suburb or town)