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The new ‘Call-to-Test’ COVID-19 service is a topic of discussion for many people with disability at the moment.

This free service is for people in metropolitan Melbourne, who have COVID-19 symptoms but cannot leave home due to injury or mobility problems. To access this service, a referral to a GP is needed from a telehealth consultation.

Once you have a referral you can call the 1800 675 398 hotline.

A nurse will visit your home within 48 hours of the service receiving the GP referral. You will be encouraged to remain in isolation for a few days until the results are given to you.

Gina, a Summer Foundation Program Officer in our Lived Experience Team interviewed some people with disability in our network about their experience of this new ‘Call-to-Test’ Procedure.

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“Smile Em,” my sister instructs from behind her camera.

I’m sitting fully masked (posing as directed) with my nieces and nephew standing at the required COVID distance.

I roll my eyes sarcastically and muffle, “Seriously Bec, smiling with a facial palsy’s hard enough! Now I’m doubly challenged with this mask!”

Hiding behind my eyepatch and bandages was once quite comforting earlier on in my stroke recovery. I could internalise my emotions. Botox masked my wrinkled lopsided expressions. My tears were plugged as my tear ducts no longer worked. My vocal cords were damaged so I couldn’t moan or whinge.

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