COVID-19 advice for people with disability

Information and Easy Read resources for people with disability and their carers, including advice about vaccination, antivirals, testing and staying safe.

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Simple steps to protect yourself

 

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Speak to your doctor before you get sick

 

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Understand what test to do when you feel unwell

 

Antiviral medicine icon

Check if you're eligible for antivirals

 

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Stay up to date with your vaccinations

Staying safe 

Some people with disability are at a higher risk from COVID-19. 

Read the NSW Health advice for people at higher risk of severe illness.

You can do things to help avoid getting sick, like: 

  • staying a safe distance from people you don’t live with (except your carers and support workers) 
  • washing your hands often 
  • wearing a face mask if you can 
  • staying at home if you are sick. 

People who might have COVID-19 can: 

  • have a fever 
  • have a cough 
  • have a sore throat 
  • have a runny nose 
  • find it hard to breathe 
  • find it hard to smell and taste things. 

If you have any of these, you should call your GP (doctor) or the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080

Vaccinations for people with disability

NSW Health recommends getting vaccinated to help protect yourself and your family and friends.

Talk to your pharmacist, GP (doctor) or Aboriginal Medical Service about your needs and your vaccination options.

If you have completed your primary dose course of COVID-19 vaccination, check if you are eligible to get a booster vaccination

Some people, including residents in disability care facilities, are also now eligible to receive an additional booster (second booster).

Book your vaccination

Find an accessible clinic that meets your needs then book your appointment.

Search for a clinic

Help with vaccination

  • For help booking a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, call the Disability Gatewaylaunch on 1800 643 787launch (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm AEST).
  • EVA (Easy Vaccine Access) launch is a simple callback service to help you book a COVID-19 vaccine. If you need help making a COVID-19 vaccine booking, send an SMS with 'Hey EVA' to 0481 611 382launch (every day, 7am to 10pm AEST).

Vaccinations for disability support workers

Disability support workers, including volunteers, are required to be up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Find out more about this requirement from NSW Health

Getting tested for COVID-19

It’s important you speak to your doctor now about what test you should get if you get sick and if you need a pathology form for the test. 

If this isn’t possible and you already have symptoms of COVID-19, get a PCR (nose and throat swab) test immediately as these tests are more accurate. You can find a free testing clinic near you by using our testing clinics finder tool.If you can’t get a PCR test result quickly, do a rapid antigen test (if you have one) while you wait for the PCR test result.

After you’ve been tested, NSW Health recommends that you stay home while you have symptoms, even if you get a negative COVID-19 test, so you don’t infect other people.

If you test positive to COVID-19

If your test is positive, you may be infectious for up to 10 days, but you are most infectious in the two days just before your symptoms start, and while you have acute symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough and fever). 

People you live with or spend a lot of time indoors with are at greatest risk of catching COVID-19 from you.

While it is not mandatory to self-isolate if you test positive to COVID-19, it is recommended that you stay at home and take steps to protect others by:

  • staying home until your acute symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever) have stopped 
  • wearing a mask when indoors and on public transport if you must leave the house
  • avoiding large gatherings and indoor crowded places
  • avoiding visiting people at high risk of severe illness, anyone in hospital, or an aged or disability care facility at least 7 days. 
  • talking to your employer about when you should return to the workplace. If you work in a high-risk setting such as health, disability and aged care, you should only return after 7 days, subject to your employer’s work, health and safety assessment, and if you have no symptoms. 
  • registering a positive rapid antigen test with Service NSW (if you test positive on a rapid antigen test). Voluntarily registering your result helps you access medical support from NSW Health, including COVID-19 antiviral medicines if you are eligible, and helps NSW Health respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 antiviral medicines

COVID-19 antiviral medicines help stop you getting very sick from COVID-19. The medicines work best if you start to take them as soon as possible.

If you get COVID-19 you might be able to get antiviral medicines. 

Talk to your doctor now to find out if you can take these medicines.

If you are eligible for antiviral medicines, it is important to get tested for COVID-19 as soon as you develop symptoms.

If you have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19

If you have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you are at increased risk of getting COVID-19. There are simple steps you can take to reduce the risk to others:

  • Monitor for symptoms. If you get sick, get tested and stay home.  
  • Avoid visiting high-risk settings such as a hospital, aged or disability care facilities, or visiting anyone at high risk of severe illness for at least seven days, and then ensure you have a negative rapid antigen test before visiting. 
  • Wear a mask when indoors and on public transport.
  • Regular rapid antigen testing (RAT) may help identify the infection early – this is particularly important if you are in contact with people at high risk of severe illness.

For people with vision impairment

Resources for people with vision impairment or blindness.

For people who are deaf or have hearing impairment

AUSLAN resources

COVID-19 information and services that can help people with hearing impairment. 

Australian Government Department of Health AUSLAN resources.

NSW Health AUSLAN resources

Resources for carers

If you are supporting and caring for someone with disability, there are resources to keep informed about COVID-19, the rules and tips for staying healthy.  

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