COVID-19 coronavirus: Information for Aboriginal people and communities

Information for Aboriginal people and communities on COVID-19 and the flu to help keep you and your community safe.

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Most people who get COVID-19 or the flu will have mild symptoms (especially if they are vaccinated and otherwise healthy) but others may get very sick. Some people may end up in hospital and can even die from COVID or the flu.

Remember you can help protect yourself, your family and community by:

  • Getting vaccinatedStay up to date with your COVID-19 and flu vaccinations (including all recommended doses).
  • Staying home if you feel unwell
  • Getting tested – if you have any COVID symptoms.
  • Wearing a mask indoors – and when you can’t physically distance from others.
  • Washing your hands often – with soap and water or use hand-sanitiser.
  • Covering your cough with a tissue or your inner elbow.
  • Cleaning shared surfaces often.
  • Getting together outdoors or in well-ventilated areas (open windows) when meeting up with family, friends or colleagues.
  • Asking your doctor or healthcare worker if you are eligible for COVID-19 antiviral medications. Some people who are at higher risk of serious illness may be eligible for these medications if they get COVID-19.
  • Keeping up to date – remember to get true advice by speaking to your doctor or healthcare worker, pharmacist or Aboriginal Medical Service if you have any questions about COVID-19 or flu.

By taking these steps, you can help to keep you and your loved ones safe

If you get COVID, wait 3 months before you receive your next dose. If you’re unsure how many doses you should have or need advice about the timing of vaccines around treatments, speak to your doctor or healthcare worker.

To book an appointment for a COVID vaccination, talk to your doctor or healthcare worker, Aboriginal Medical Service, local pharmacy, or visit Roll up for WA (external link).

If you are at risk of getting very sick from COVID, don’t be afraid to ask your friends or family to take a rapid antigen test (RAT) before catching up. Remind them to stay home if they are not well.

How to test for COVID?

It's important to get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms (external link).

Rapid antigen tests (external link) (RATs) are a convenient, safe and fast way to test for the disease at home. If you're unsure about a negative RAT result, test again after 24 hours.

You can also take a PCR test at a COVID clinic (external link), or at regional public hospitals and health services and remote health clinics where COVID clinics are not available. You can find a list of testing locations across WA here (external link). Remember you must go home straight after your PCR test and isolate until you receive your results.

Even if your result is negative, you should stay home until your symptoms are gone to prevent spreading sickness to others.

For more information, visit our COVID testing page (external link).

What to do if you test positive to COVID

Follow the advice in the HealthyWA factsheet I have COVID – What should I do? (external link)

  • Stay home for 7 days (or longer if you still have symptoms). Make sure you follow the isolation guidelines. Make sure you protect the people you live with by following some simple advice (external link).
  • If you tested positive using a rapid antigen test (RAT), register your positive result (external link) with WA Health as soon as possible.
  • When you receive a text from WA Health, make sure you answer the survey questions, so they know if you need extra support.
  • Register with WA COVID Care at Home (external link) (online or by calling 13COVID on 13 268 43). WA COVID Care at Home is a free service that provides home monitoring care for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID. This includes people chronic illness like diabetes, kidney problems, immunosuppressed, pregnant, unvaccinated, overweight or elderly people.
  • If you are at greater risk of getting very sick, tell your doctor or clinic immediately, even if you have mild or no symptoms, to find out if you are eligible for COVID antiviral prescription treatment. These treatments need to be started;within the first 5 days (external link).
  • Remember to tell your close contacts you have COVID. They will need to follow special testing and isolation rules.

Can I get COVID again?

If you feel sick again one month after getting better from COVID, have another COVID test. If your test says you have COVID, you will have to stay home for another 7 days.

Where can you get RATs (Rapid Antigen Tests)

Free RATs are available for the WA community to help ease the cost of living pressures and support you to test regularly. Visit the WA free RAT program webpage for more information on a location near you.

RATs are also available for purchase from supermarkets, pharmacies and other retailers.

Complete a COVID care plan

It helps to plan in case you or anyone in your house gets COVID.

Most vaccinated people who get COVID have only mild symptoms and can care for themselves at home, with support from their GP (that’s why it’s important to stay up to date with your vaccinations). Other people may need to go to hospital.

A COVID Care Plan (external link) includes important information about you, your health, and other details such as the plan to take care of others or your pets should you need to go to hospital.

You can also share your plan with your GP, your family or support person, and hospital staff and other health workers.

Prepare a COVID kit

If you or someone in your house tests positive to COVID, preparing a COVID kit with the items in this checklist will help you monitor and manage your symptoms.

WA Health has also developed a checklist (external link) that you can complete,

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.

Useful resources:

Page reviewed 15 August 2022