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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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Q: What has been your biggest concern during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Staying COVID-free mainly… Especially in a household where we have support workers coming and going. Luckily I have a great team of women supporting me who understand that keeping me safe means keeping themselves and their families safe too. As long as everybody is doing their part to do that, we can prevent the spread amongst ourselves and our loved ones.

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The Summer Foundation has joined forces with 2 of Australia’s largest providers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – RSEA Safety and Blackwoods – to launch 2 online stores offering PPE for people with disability. 

The online stores will supply reasonably priced gloves, gowns, surgical masks, face shields, hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes, and will be accessible to NDIS participants from today.

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