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.
- Victoria Enters Seven Day LockdownFrom midnight 27 May 2021, Victoria will enter a seven day lockdown. Click here for more information.
- COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout Information for Carers: What You Need to KnowRare Voices Australia (RVA) attended the COVID-19 response update for carers webinar on 23 March 2021. The webinar was hosted by Professor Michael Kidd AM, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health. Speakers included Liz Callaghan, CEO, Carers Australia; Luke… Read more: COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout Information for Carers: What You Need to Know
- Victoria Goes into Five Day LockdownVictoria has entered into a five day lockdown due to a COVID-19 cluster that continues to grow from hotel quarantine. Click here to read more.
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:
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 RequirementsRVA 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… Read more: Flexible School Attendance Requirements
- COVID-19 Pandemic: Critical Care Guidelines for Australians Living with a Rare DiseaseOn 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… Read more: COVID-19 Pandemic: Critical Care Guidelines for Australians Living with a Rare Disease
- Priority Testing and Turnaround timesRVA 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… Read more: Priority Testing and Turnaround times
Other Useful Links and Information
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:
1300 22 4636
13 11 14
1800 55 1800
Suicide Call Back Service
1300 659 467
1300 78 99 78
1800 011 046
Call 000 if you, or someone you know, is at immediate risk.