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Aboriginal communities

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

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Keeping COVID safe

To help protect the community 

  • anyone with any symptoms such as fever, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose and loss of smell or loss of taste, should get tested at a COVID-19 testing clinic or ask for a test at
    • a local doctor or
    • the nearest Aboriginal Medical Service
  • self-isolate immediately after getting tested until you receive a negative result
  • stay at home if you are unwell
  • wash your hands often with soapy water or hand sanitiser
  • get the vaccination when you are eligible.

Read the rules for gatherings at home and outdoors, especially if you are planning a large event.

COVID-19 testing

Testing is safe and you will have a safe place to wait before and after the test.

The COVID-19 test is free at a public testing clinic and you don’t need a Medicare card. 

Watch Dr Kelvin Kong as he talks about physical distancing and getting tested.


The best thing you can do to protect community is to keep a safe distance from others. This means two big steps.

You should watch out for any symptoms of COVID-19 in yourself and in your family. Even if you feel well, you could be infectious and spread the virus to others without knowing.

Come forward and get tested, even if you only have mild symptoms. You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

For the latest information, go to the NSW Government website. 

Look after yourself and manage stress

If you are feeling anxious or stressed

  • keep a daily routine
  • stay connected with your family and friends.

This can help you stay grounded and keep a positive frame of mind.

Exercise and eating well also helps your wellbeing, especially during uncertain times.

Get tips from health and wellbeing consultant Jeffrey Morgan on how to manage stress and anxiety.



Feeling stressed and anxious is normal, especially during the coronavirus outbreak. 

There are things you can do to feel better. Keep a routine to your day. Do things that make you feel happy. Exercise, eat healthy.

Remember, this won't last forever. Help is available.

Talk to your GP or local medical service, or speak with a trained counsellor anytime by calling 1800 512 348.

For the latest information, go to the NSW Government website. 

Keep up with your medical appointments

Keep up with your medical appointments and medications, especially if you have an ongoing health condition.

It's safe to seek help – your hospital and local medical services are taking steps to stop the spread of COVID-19. You're not a burden on the healthcare system, so don't delay your health care.

Watch keeping up with your medical appointments featuring Raylene Gordon.


It's more important than ever to keep up with medical appointments and medications, especially if you're over 50 and have an existing health problem.

Self-isolating doesn't mean you should stop seeing your doctor, specialist or mental health provider. Speak to your doctor about any worries and keep visiting health services when you need to.

Come forward and get tested, even if you have only mild symptoms. You can help stop the spread of COVID-19.

For the latest information, go to the NSW Government website. 

Connection to culture for your wellbeing

Staying connected to culture is important for health and wellbeing. When you can’t see the people you love, use time at home to share your culture and stories.

Watch this video with professional dancer Darren Compton as he shares ways to stay connected to culture.


Our lives have gone through some big changes since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

We can use this time we are spending at home to share our culture and stories. We can still dance, weave, paint and do lots of things that connect us to culture.

Especially at this time, stay connected to your culture for your wellbeing and to keep our communities healthy.

For the latest information, go to the NSW Government website. 

Visiting rural and remote communities

Advice for travellers

Due to the COVID-19 risk, many Aboriginal communities in NSW are uncomfortable about tourists travelling to their towns and communities.

Be respectful of the concerns and wishes of the local community.

Before you travel to or through a small remote town or community, check the local Community Action Plan or contact the Local Council for advice.

Advice for workers and organisations

It is crucial that workers do not visit Aboriginal communities if they

  • are ill, no matter how mild the symptoms, or
  • have had contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

The risk to Aboriginal communities from visiting workers could increase depending on the nature of the work, the locations the worker has travelled from and work practices.

To minimise this risk, organisations with staff who travel to rural and remote Aboriginal communities should complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan which includes consideration of the issues outlined in the checklist for visiting remote Aboriginal communities.

Community Action Plans

Community Action Plans (CAPs) set out actions and responsibilities for organisations and agencies in three stages.

CAPs are developed through the Local Emergency Management Committees in consultation with community members, NSW Health, NSW Aboriginal Affairs, Local Aboriginal Land Councils, and other interested stakeholders and partners.

The plans set out an agreed approach for managing:

  • Level 1: Prepare: COVID-19 has not entered the community
  • Level 2: Confirmed Cases in Community
  • Level 3: Elimination – virus is not contained


Plans have been prepared for the following communities:

Visitor preferences

Communities have nominated their requirements for visitors. 

Community Action Plan - preference on visits (PDF, 115.23 KB)


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