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COVID-19 and vulnerable people

How to lower the risk of coronavirus exposure if you are older, have a compromised immune system or chronic medical condition.

Protect yourself and others

If you are a vulnerable or older person you may be more at risk of coronavirus (COVID-19). There are steps you can take to lower the risk to yourself.

  • avoid unnecessary travel
  • avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms, including;
    • fever (37.5 ° or higher)
    • cough
    • sore or scratchy throat
    • shortness of breath
    • runny nose
    • loss of smell or
    • loss of taste.
  • consider having your groceries and medications delivered to your home
  • clean and disinfect surfaces
  • frequently wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub
  • cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or a flexed elbow.

Aged care and other residential facilities

If you are living in or visiting a residential care home, you must take extra precautions.

  • Limit visits to a short duration.
  • Limit visits to a maximum of two visitors at one time per day.
  • No large group visits or gatherings, including social activities or entertainment (including school groups of any size).
  • Visits should be conducted in the resident’s room, outdoors, or in a specific designated area, rather than in communal areas.
  • All visitors should have up to date vaccination against influenza.
  • All visitors must practice physical distancing where possible, including maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres.

Tips for coping during COVID-19

There are things you can do to help you stay mentally and physically healthy during COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Find ways to keep in touch – use the phone or email to have daily conversations with your family or friends.
  • Keep an eye on your diet – make sure that you eat healthy and regular meals. Consider delivery of fresh produce. If you need help with shopping, supermarkets are offering support services.
  • Keep your medical needs up to date – make sure that you continue to go to your regular medical appointments and remember to maintain your medications. Ask your GP and chemist for assistance.
  • Read information from official sources – make sure you get information from official sources such as the NSW Government and the Australian Government.

Information and services on COVID-19

Explore the support services and information available to people who are vulnerable and their carers.

Protect yourself and others

If you are providing care for a vulnerable person, there are things that you can do to protect the person you are caring for from COVID-19.

Mental health and wellbeing

If you are feeling anxious or stressed, you are not alone. There are services that can help your mental wellbeing and the mental wellbeing of the person you are caring for.

Community information

Information to promote good hygiene and mental health, physical distancing and staying connected with your community.

Financial support

Support may be available if you’re affected by COVID-19 and are experiencing financial difficulty through unemployment or need help with rent and housing payments.

Translated resources

Educational resources are available on COVID-19 for communities and health workers where English is not the first language.

Government services

Find the latest updates and changes to government services for COVID-19, step-by-step information for dealing with complex life events, support for carers, disability services and emergency housing.

Phone contacts


National Coronavirus Helpline 1800 02 00 80 (operates 24/7) for information on COVID-19. 

Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line 1800 17 18 66 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 6pm) provides information and support to senior Australians, their families and carers.

Ageing and Disability Abuse Helpline 1800 62 82 21 if you have any concerns about abuse, neglect or exploitation.

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