COVID-19: Information and Useful Resources

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the team at Rare Voices Australia (RVA) shares our best wishes to those impacted personally and to the wider community during these uncertain times.

We encourage all people living with a rare disease to talk to their doctor about COVID-19 to understand the implications for their unique circumstances. RVA continues to monitor the situation closely and will act accordingly.

Latest News

  • Greater Brisbane Goes Into 3-day Lockdown
    Greater Brisbane will go into lockdown for three days from 6pm Friday 8 January, while contact tracers work to ensure the UK strain of COVID-19 is not circulating in the community. Click here for the latest updates.
  • COVID-19 Outbreak in NSW
    A COVID-19 outbreak on Sydney’s northern beaches has led to fresh warnings around the country and new restrictions being introduced in New South Wales. Click here for more information.
  • Victoria’s Restrictions to be Eased
    Metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria’s restrictions will be eased from 11:59pm 18 October 2020. Click here to read more.

View all COVID-19 News Stories

Updates and official advice from the Australian Government

Please see the Australian Government’s Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alert website for the latest information.

The Government has identified those with chronic medical conditions and compromised immune systems as being among those most at risk.

An advisory group has been established by the Morrison Government to guide development and implementation of a response plan focusing on the unique health needs of people with disability during the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to read more. 

The Government released its Management and Operation Plan for People with Disability in April 2020. 

National Coronavirus Helpline

For information on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), call the Australian Government’s National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.

COVID-19 App and WhatsApp feature

From 29 March, a new app is available and allows users to navigate the latest advice and information about COVID-19 in real-time. Coronavirus Australia is available from Apple App Store (Apple devices) and Google Play (Android devices). The Government has also launched a new WhatsApp feature.

COVID-19 Symptom Checker

You can use Healthdirect Australia’s Symptom Checker if your circumstance is not urgent and to find out if you need to seek medical help. See Healthdirect Australia’s website for more information about COVID-19.

Australian Department of Health guidance and announcements to be aware of:

Identifying the symptoms

Pharmacy deliveries to COVID- affected and vulnerable people

Advice on public gatherings and visits

COVID-19 Related Scams

The Australian Government agency, Stay Smart Online has issued a warning related to COVID-19 scam messages. Click here for more information.

RVA Advocacy Updates

Below, we’ve listed RVA’s COVID-19 advocacy activities to date and the responses we have received regarding each issue by state. RVA has been encouraged by the prompt responses to these activities and each state’s willingness to engage with RVA and the rare disease community. We look forward to continuing to develop and build these relationships moving forward.

  • Flexible School Attendance Requirements
    RVA has reached out to all state education ministers and Chief Health Officers regarding the need for flexible school attendance requirements for the rare disease community. Here is a template of the letter that has been sent. We encourage you to use this […]
  • COVID-19 Pandemic: Critical Care Guidelines for Australians Living with a Rare Disease
    On 8 April 2020, RVA released this statement, which has been developed in conjunction with our Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee following the COVID-19 press release issued by EURORDIS on 31 March 2020.  RVA distributed the statement publicly and reached out to our state […]
  • Priority Testing and Turnaround times
    RVA has reached out to all state Health Ministers and Chief Health Officers to request that they prioritise COVID-19 testing and turnaround times for people living with a rare disease who are displaying symptoms. Here is a template of the letter that […]

View all RVA Advocacy Updates

Other Useful Links and Information

People with Disability Australia

World Health Organization: Rolling Updates on COVID-19

COVID-19 Strategy resources – the World Health Organization

24/7 Mental Health Support

If COVID-19 and its impacts are making you feel anxious or worried, there are a number of support organisations available 24/7 that can help with providing mental health support. Reach out to the following mental health services:

Beyond Blue
beyondblue.org.au
1300 22 4636

Lifeline
lifeline.org.au
13 11 14

Kids Helpline
kidshelpline.com.au
1800 55 1800

Suicide Call Back Service
suicidecallbackservice.org.au
1300 659 467

MensLine Australia
mensline.org.au
1300 78 99 78

Open Arms
openarms.gov.au
1800 011 046

Call 000 if you, or someone you know, is at immediate risk.