COVID-19 coronavirus: Help for people with a disability

With COVID-19 cases in WA, there are things we can do to stay safe. Speak to your GP if you require more specific information about managing COVID-19.
A portrait of Deafblind advocate Deborah Kazich

For information about free RATs for people with disability and frontline disability support workers see the Department of Communities’ website.

Some groups have additional needs or are at a greater risk from COVID-19, including people with a disability.

6 steps everyone should take when dealing with COVID-19

  1. Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations (external link)
  2. Get tested (external link) if you have symptoms (external link) and follow the steps if you’re COVID-positive or a close contact
  3. Wear a mask where required (external link) and follow the health and safety guidelines
  4. Keep up healthy hygiene habits (external link).
  5. Prepare a COVID-19 kit and COVID-19 Care Plan (external link) for your household.
  6. Speak to your GP or regular health service if you have concerns. Some conditions and lifestyle factors (external link) can increase your chance of illness from COVID-19.

If you are a person with a disability, the additional information on this page is particularly important for you.

What to do to prepare for COVID-19 

Make sure you’re up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccinations

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19. Make sure you’re up-to-date with your vaccinations and have received all recommended doses (external link).

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective (external link).

Additional support or assistance (external link) is available if you need it - there are enhanced access and sensory clinics, and therapy dogs to help with any anxiety.

Additional measures

If your disability or medical condition puts you at increased risk of serious illness with COVID-19, you may consider taking additional measures, including using high quality masks, working from home where possible (external link) and making alternate arrangements for work and school where necessary.

You can ask friends or family members to take a rapid antigen test (RAT) before catching up or visiting you, and continue to keep up good hygiene habits (external link) like washing hands and using hand sanitiser, and hold gatherings outside where possible.

Speak to your general practitioner (GP) if you are concerned about catching COVID-19, particularly if you have a medical condition that puts you in a higher risk category. You can work with them to complete a COVID-19 care plan (external link), and you can ensure you have a COVID-19 kit.

You may be eligible for COVID-19 treatment with an antiviral medication (external link), depending on your age, existing medical conditions, when you were diagnosed with COVID-19 and the severity of your symptoms. Your GP can prescribe antiviral medication treatments.

Mask wearing

With COVID-19 in the community, it is understandable if you are hesitant about masks not being required in some settings, especially if you have an underlying medical condition, or if there are people at risk of serious illness living in your household or family. You are encouraged to wear a mask, if it makes you feel more comfortable.

Wearing a well-fitting mask is a simple and effective precaution you can take to stay safe and minimise the spread of COVID-19.

It is a good idea to carry a mask when you leave home and wear one if you can't physically distance from others.

Visit HealthyWA’s Face masks (external link) for information on the different types of masks and how to care for them.

For information about mask rules in Western Australia and the different types of face masks.

What to do if you test positive

  • Register your positive rapid antigen test (RAT) result (external link) on HealthyWA as soon as possible.
  • People at risk of severe illness should register for WA COVID Care at Home (external link) (more below).
  • Speak with your GP about treatment options, especially if you are at high risk of severe illness, to find out if you are eligible for a COVID-19 antiviral treatment.
    • Some medicines must be started within specific timeframes of developing COVID-19 symptoms (within 5 days) to be effective, therefore it is important that you seek treatment for your symptoms as soon as possible.
  • Follow the isolation protocols for  COVID-19 positive cases.
  • Monitor your symptoms by keeping a daily diary and discuss with your GP if required.

WA COVID Care at Home

WA COVID Care at Home (external link) delivers home monitoring via the telephone for COVID-positive people with risk factors that put them at greater risk of hospitalisation.

You must test positive to COVID-19 to register for WA COVID Care at Home (external link). If you are unable to complete the form by yourself and do not have someone to help, call 13 COVID (13 268 43) for help to complete registration on your behalf.

The free program will enrol patients based on risk factors such as age, severity of symptoms, medical history and social factors. You will be asked to consent to enrol in the program.

Useful resources

Page reviewed 5 August 2022