COVID-19 information for Aboriginal communities

Last updated: 17 January 2022


Information for Aboriginal people and communities on COVID-19 (coronavirus) to keep you and your community safe.

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COVID-19 – Advice for travel to rural and remote Aboriginal towns and communities

COVID-19 spreads easily between family members, especially when they gather together for joyful celebrations or sorry business. Let’s keep our mob safe!

NSW Health strongly recommends that anyone travelling to rural and remote Aboriginal communities:

  • Get vaccinated to minimise risk to people in these communities, yourself and your family
  • If you are sick, don’t travel!  Do the right thing, do a rapid antigen test, and if your result is negative, wait at home until you feel better. 
  • If you’re travelling through rural and remote areas for work, check advice on keeping workers safe and COVIDSafe Travel Choices

And remember, whether you are travelling for work or coming together with family and friends, it’s important to protect one another:

By taking these steps, you can help to keep you and your loved ones safe from COVID-19.

More information

Visit NSW Government - Coronavirus (COVID-19) for information about COVID-19 symptoms, testing and physical distancing.

Getting vaccinated

Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, friends and family from COVID-19. 

All people aged 5 and older are eligible to get COVID-19 vaccines.  All COVID-19 vaccines used in Australia are safe and are effective against COVID-19.

Booster doses are now available and recommended for anyone 18 years and over who received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine 4 months or more ago. 

Book your vaccination online or call 1800 020 080.

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine have a yarn with your GP, pharmacist, Aboriginal Medical Service or Aboriginal Health Worker. 

Find out more about:

Testing for COVID-19

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, even mild, should have a rapid antigen test immediately and stay home until they no longer have symptoms. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness or breath (difficulty breathing)
  • Runny nose
  • Loss or taste and smell.

If you return a positive rapid antigen test, you must register your result on the Service NSW app or website to ensure the right support is made available to you. You must follow the advice for confirmed cases of COVID-19, including self-isolation for 7 days.

Anyone who has been exposed to a person with COVID-19 must follow the testing advice for people exposed to COVID-19. 

Read the rules if you need to self-isolate

Stay COVID-safe

COVID-19 is circulating across NSW and it is important to practice COVID safe behaviour wherever you go:

Have a yarn with your GP, pharmacist, Aboriginal Medical Service or Aboriginal Health Worker if you have any questions about COVID-19 and your health.

Staying safe at large gatherings and sorry business

It is important to stay COVID-safe when attending large gatherings, including sorry business, to protect your family, friends and community. COVID-19 is more likely to spread at large gatherings such as funerals and weddings. 

  • Do not attend any event if you feel unwell, even if you have been vaccinated. Do a rapid antigen test and self-isolate to keep others safe. Also encourage your guests to get tested if you notice they have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Wear a face mask when you are indoors or around others
  • Keep a physical distance from others (eg. spacing out chairs during a service)
  • Wash your hands well and often and keep some hand sanitiser with you
  • Don’t share things like knives and forks, plates, cups and cigarettes. This can put you at risk of catching COVID-19 or passing it on to others.

Social and emotional wellbeing

COVID-19 can have an impact the social and emotional wellbeing of you, your family and friends. 

During this time, it is important to:

  • Connect with friends and family
  • Maintain connection with culture
  • Keep a daily routine
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a range of healthy foods. 

If you or someone you know needs help, there is always support available. Speak with someone you trust or reach out to on support services available in NSW. 

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