COVID Update - Summer Foundation
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COVID Update


Information and links about COVID-19 for people with disability and close others

Are you eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Everyone in Australia aged 5 years and over is eligible for free COVID-19 vaccination.

Learn more about the vaccine rollout, COVID-19 vaccines and getting vaccinated. Find resources for vaccine providers at www.health.gov.au.

Need more information and support?

People with disability, families, carers and support workers can contact the Disability Gateway for information about COVID-19. It is free, private and fact-checked.
Phone (free call): 1800 643 787
National Relay Service: 133 677  

For help with the vaccination or testing process use the Request for Disability Liaison Officer support form or use this email.

State COVID-19 Information 

All states are regularly making announcements about COVID safe practices and rules. Click on the buttons below to give you the latest information and advice in your state.

Getting Vaccinated and Booster shots

Everyone in Australia aged 5 years and over is eligible for free COVID-19 vaccination.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine protects you from getting very sick or even dying from COVID-19. Getting vaccinated also helps protect people around you by slowing the spread of the virus. 

Disability vaccination hubs

These clinics help people with disability, their family and carers, and the disability workforce get vaccinated in the fastest way possible specific to their circumstances.

In addition to booked appointments which can be made via the button below, there are also walk-in service for people with disability that do not have an appointment. Department of Health have assured that people that choose the walk-in option and present on the day will be prioritised.

For more Australia and state wide information on vaccines click on the buttons below:

Phone Services

National Relay Service: 133 677

National COVID-19 helpline: 1800 020 080Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National): Call 131 450 and ask for the National COVID-19 helpline.

Booster Shots

You may need a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine to really be protected from COVID-19.

Booster doses are now available. If you have any questions about vaccinations you should talk to your GP or specialist. 

Fact sheet about the third dose

Fact sheet about booster doses

Winter doses

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has approved a winter dose of COVID-19 vaccine to increase vaccine protection before winter for people at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

If you have received your primary vaccination and third dose and are:

  • A resident in an aged care or disability care facilities
  • Aged 16 years and older
  • Are severely immunocompromised

You can receive your winter dose 4 months after receiving your third dose, or from 4 months after a confirmed COVID-19 infection, if infection has occurred since the person’s third dose.

Read more about this.

Fourth Doses for Immunocompromised People

ATAGI also recommends that people aged 18 years and older who are severely immunocompromised receive a fourth doses of the vaccine, 3 months after their third primary dose.

Read more here.

Types of COVID-19 tests – including Rapid Antigen Tests

There are 2 types of test that can detect if you have the COVID-19 virus:

  1. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR or RT-PCR)
  2. Rapid antigen self-tests (RATs)

Visit this link to keep up-to-date with new information about testing

If you test positive using a rapid antigen test, your result does not need to be confirmed with a PCR test.

Accessing free rapid antigen tests

You can access free RATs if you hold an eligible Commonwealth concession card:

  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold, White or Orange Card
  • Health Care Card
  • Low Income Health Card
  • Pensioner Concession Card

You can access up to 10 RATs over a 3-month period (max 5 over a 1-month period) through community pharmacies.

Listen to the How people with disability can access free rapid antigen tests (RATS) podcast

NDIS Funding

NDIS participants can claim RATs from their plan for themselves or their support worker. 

Information on how to claim is in the NDIS Price Guide Addendum.

Rapid antigen tests are available to buy at  pharmacies, supermarkets and other retail outlets.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

For information about NDIS funding for PPE, go to this web page. Support worker agencies need to give their staff PPE. This means masks, sanitiser and gloves. They need to give these to you and to your support workers especially if either of you have any cold or flu symptoms. Talk to your agency if this is not happening.

If you employ your support workers yourself, you might need to give them  PPE. If you self-manage, and need close personal care, you might be able to use your NDIS consumables budget to buy PPE.

If you don’t have enough funding in your budget for PPE:

  1. Call the NDIS on 1800 800 110
  2. Press 5.
  3. Tell them you need funding for PPE for your support workers
  4. Ask for a light touch plan review 

You can watch this video to learn about plan reviews.

Talk to your support coordinator or your planner/local area coordinator if you have any questions about how you can use your funding.

National Medical Stockpile: The Australian Government has the National Medical Stockpile (NMS). This means there is PPE stored to give to NDIS providers and self-managing participants who need it the most. You can submit a request here. The Department of Health will decide who can have this PPE.

More information:

Australian Government Disability Information Line: 1800 643 787

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission: COVID-19 information for people with a disability

Australian Government Department of Health: Advice for people with a disability during COVID-19

Department of Social Services: COVID-19 accessible resources

Department of Health: Management and Operational Plan for People with Disability

NDIS: COVID-19 Health and Safety Q & A

Training for disability support workers on PPE: COVID-19 PPE for disability support workers

World Health Organisation: COVID-19 advice for the public

Choice Magazine: Cleaning in the time of coronavirus

Choice Magazine: How to clean your smartphone to protect against COVID-19

NDIS and COVID-19 Support

Information about COVID-19 changes all the time and quickly. The NDIA keeps up with these changes. Look at the NDIS webpage for the latest information about COVID-19 and the NDIS.

NDIS Webpage:

Team Disability Services Consulting (DSC):

Talking to support workers, friends and family about COVID-19

It is important to be honest with your support workers, family and friends about any worries you have about COVID-19, your safety and vaccines. It is OK to have these conversations with the people that support you. Sometimes these conversations can be hard. 

Read these articles to give you ideas about talking to people about COVID-19:

Summer Foundation Blog: Moving Forward with COVID-19

Click here to read an article about having hard COVID vaccinations conversations. 

Listen to our Reasonable and Necessary podcast series: Living with COVID discussing ‘How people with disabilities can stay safe as Australia learns to live with COVID-19’ with Dr George Taleporos.

How to keep staying safe

Information about how to plan ahead and manage COVID-19 at home can be downloaded from the Carers NSW website. It covers helpful topics like:

  • Preparing for COVID-19
  • Finding out if you need to self-isolate
  • Self-isolating safely
  • Managing practical challenges when self-isolating

A good article to assist participants help reduce everyone’s anxiety can be read here – Emotional support – Information Guide for Participants.

Handwashing

Regular hand washing is a good way to stop the spread of COVID-19. Washing your hands with soap and water is better than using hand sanitiser. Hand sanitiser is good when you are out or you do not have access to soap and water.

You should also ask your support workers to wash their hands often, especially when they arrive to see you and before they leave.

Cleaning

Keeping table tops and areas in your house clean helps stop the spread of COVID-19. Use disinfectant to clean surfaces including door knobs, light switches, taps and phones.

Click on the links below for more ways to keep clean and safe.

 I have COVID or I have been exposed. I can’t stay in my home.

Every state has a quarantine program or emergency accommodation program. 

Call your state’s COVID hotline to get quick help. 

New South Wales Government – 137 788

Northern Territory Government – 1800 020 080

Australian Capital Territory Government – 02 6207 7244

Queensland Government 134 268

Victorian Government – 1800 675 398

Tasmanian Government – 1800 671 738

South Australian Government – 1800 253 787

Western Australian Government – 1800 595 206

Sometimes the quarantine programs or emergency accomodation programs are full or not accessible enough for people with disability. 

The Housing Hub is working on an idea to solve this problem. We are talking to housing providers to ask them if they want to list their properties as emergency housing for you. 

Keep looking at the Housing Hub, Summer Foundation social media and here for news about this.

Tools to help you if you need to go to hospital

Making sure you have a ‘hospital passport’ (otherwise known as a ‘health passport’ or ‘covid companion’) or support person with you when going to hospital is very important. You, a family member or trusted support can fill in the ‘hospital passport’ form and always have it with you if you need to go to hospital. Tools like these are vital in a time with COVID-19 because you might not be able to take a support person in with you to hospital. 

These forms give information to frontline health workers to make sure they understand your needs. It includes:

  • Personal details
  • Details of key support people
  • The best form of communication for you
  • Information on your usual presentation and behaviours (i.e. when not sick)
  • Information to support you if your are anxious or distressed
  • Health information
  • Medicine information

See links below for more information on tools to prepare for going to hospital. You can choose the one that suits you the best.

Nobody left Behind – COVID Hospital Toolkit

Department of Health – COVID-19 Companion

Admission to Discharge (A2D) Together – The A2D Together Folder

Queensland Health – Julian’s Key Health Passport

Managing ourselves in a COVID world

Living with COVID podcast series

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