COVID-19 coronavirus: Help to suit your needs

Information for people who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

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Advice for those at higher risk

Some people in our community are at a higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19. These groups include:

  • older people (over 65 years, and over 50 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people)
  • people who are not up to date with COVID-19 vaccination
  • pregnant women
  • people with other health conditions (for example, lung disease, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, kidney failure)
  • people who are immunocompromised (due to a health condition or certain medication/treatments).

There are steps everyone can take to manage COVID-19 in the community:

  1. Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations
  2. Get tested if unwell and follow the steps if you’re COVID-positive or a close contact
  3. Wear a mask in high-risk settings such as hospitals and in crowded indoor spaces where you can’t physically distance
  4. Practise good hygiene, like covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands and cleaning shared surfaces regularly
  5. Prepare a COVID-19 kit and COVID-19 Care Plan (external link) for your household

Help to suit your needs

Help for Aboriginal people

Most people who get COVID-19 will have mild symptoms (especially if they are vaccinated and otherwise healthy) but others may get very sick and may end up in hospital.

Remember, you can help protect yourself, your family and community by getting vaccinated, testing for COVID-19, and staying home if you feel unwell.

By taking these steps, you can help to keep you and your loved ones safe. View videos on what you can do to keep WA safe and strong.

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

Contact details for local Aboriginal medical services, regional hospitals and other medical support are provided below:

Further resources and support for Aboriginal people can be found on the HealthyWA website. Posters and signage is also available for Aboriginal organisations and businesses.

Travel to remote communities

Residents of remote Aboriginal communities are more vulnerable to COVID, and remote communities may have some restrictions in place for non-residents. Make sure you contact the visitor centres (external link) in each region before you travel to the community.

Help for older people

Risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases as people become older. Older people may be at higher risk of severe illness due to existing health conditions or a weakened immune system.

You should follow the steps to stay safe listed above and speak to your GP or regular health service about your personal situation, including if you are eligible for COVID-19 antiviral medication.

You may be eligible for COVID-19 treatment with an antiviral medication, 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.

A list of supports and services are available at The Department of Communities’ advice for seniors. Further advice for older people and carers on how they can protect themselves from COVID-19 can be found on the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aged Care article.

Help for pregnant women and young children

Pregnant women can have increased risk of complications with COVID-19. Information on COVID-19 and pregnancy can be found on the Health Direct website.

The best protection is to stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends pregnant women of all ages receive the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines at any stage of pregnancy. It’s also important to follow the steps to stay safe listed above.

More information on the COVID-19 vaccines for Pregnant or breastfeeding women and a shared decision-making guide can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website.

Vaccinate your children aged 5 years and over

Children aged 5-11 are eligible for vaccination against COVID‑19, receiving a smaller dose of the vaccine created specifically for their age group.

Vaccines help protect the immune system against serious illness, and possible long-term effects of COVID-19. Even though COVID-19 in children is often milder than in adults, there’s strong evidence to support vaccinating children.

Most people should receive 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine for their primary course.

ATAGI recommends a third or fourth dose of the paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination for some children in this age group.

This includes children:

  • who are severely immunocompromised
  • with a disability
  • who have complex and/or multiple health conditions that increase their risk of severe COVID-19.

Speak to your GP or paediatrician for more information. To find your nearest COVID-19 vaccination provider, search on the Roll Up for WA website or use the Vaccine Clinic Finder

Taking care of children with COVID-19

Here are some useful resources to help you know what to do if your child tests positive and is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Visit Healthdirect for advice on children and COVID-19
  • Watch Perth Children’s Hospital short video about caring for your child at home and what to expect
  • Visit the Telethon Kids Institute’s COVID-19 Resource Hub for fact sheets, videos and articles with helpful, science-backed advice on a range of topics

If you have a child health check appointment while you or your child has COVID-19, try to reschedule or arrange a Telehealth appointment. Face-to-face appointments are also offered at a COVID-19 safe child health clinic in East Perth if you need to see a child health nurse.

Managing COVID-19 at school

West Australian schools have measures in place to ensure students, staff and families are safe. Information for parents on measures in place to help protect children at school from COVID-19 can be found at the Department of Education.

If your child has tested positive to COVID-19 or is unwell with COVID-19 symptoms, they should stay home until symptoms resolve.

Help for people with a disability

People with a disability are at risk of developing serious illness from a COVID-19 infection. This may be due to underlying health conditions and difficulties in social distancing and hygiene measures.

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19. Make sure you stay up to date with your vaccinations and have received all the recommended doses. Should you need special assistance when receiving your COVID-19 vaccine, additional support is available.

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 may be eligible for COVID-19 treatment with an antiviral medication, 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.

Further assistance can be provided through the COVID-19 coronavirus: disability services:

Help for people with other health conditions

People with underlying health or medical conditions are at higher risk of needing to go to hospital. Underlying medical conditions, or medications or treatments for a health condition, may mean that a person has a weakened immune system.

It is important that you speak with your GP and understand what you should do to reduce your risk of severe illness due to COVID-19.

If your 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 and making alternate arrangements for work and school where necessary.

You may be eligible for COVID-19 treatment with an antiviral medication, 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.

Further advice for people at greater risk of serious illness can be found on Healthy WA.

Help for people who speak English as a second language

You can find COVID-19 information in your preferred language on the HealthyWA website. For translated advice on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

If you require an interpreter, you can call:

  • National Coronavirus Helpline – call 1800 020 080 and press 8 if you need an interpreter

Translating and Interpreting Service – call 13 14 50 and they can connect you to a health service.

Page reviewed 9 December 2022