Information and Links
Information on COVID-19
What is COVID-19 | The risk to older Australians | Available services
LAST UPDATED: 22 June 2020
Please scroll down the page to see more information and links to other important websites.
Please note this information was current as at 22 June 2020 and could change at very short notice. Branches will be aware that there have been some changes to the rules around the COVID-19 pandemic. The NSW Government has lessened the restrictions. Here is our latest advice about Branch meetings.
Re-opening of Branches
- Classes, organised events or groups must not have more than 20 participants.
- Capacity must not exceed one person per 4 square metres including staff members.
- People must remain seated – or on their yoga mat – and maintain social and physical distancing of 1.5 metres. Activities such as carpet bowls, outings and bus trips are not permitted.
- To inhibit the spread of the virus, wind instruments, singing and calling out are not allowed.
- The owner of the premises must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
What to find out prior to your Branch resuming its meetings:
- Is the owner of the premises planning on allowing your Branch to hold meetings?
- Is the room large enough to accommodate the number of Branch members and any invited guests and still comply with the 4 square metre rule? Note: There cannot be more than 20 participants present
- Does the owner of the premises have a COVID-19 Safety Plan?
If the answer to ANY of the three questions above is NO, then the Branch cannot meet in those premises and the Branch should continue to suspend its meetings.
If the answer to ALL these questions is YES, then the Branch could consider recommencing meetings on 1 July or later in the year.
What is COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses known to cause respiratory infections. This new coronavirus causes the disease COVID-19. Viruses and the diseases they cause often have different names. For example, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms are similar to other colds and flus, they include:
- sore throat
- difficulty breathing
Who is most at risk?
People aged 70 years and over, people aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 50 are at greater risk of serious illness if infected with COVID-19.
What to do if you think you have COVID-19
If you experience a fever, flu-like symptoms (such as
coughing, sore throat and fatigue) or shortness of
breath, contact the Coronavirus Health Information Line
24 hours a day, seven days a week: 1800 020 080 or
ring your GP.
For older Australians and carers there is a dedicated Coronavirus hotline that you should ring instead of the number above.
It is: 1800 171 866
What is the most likely source of transmission of COVID-19?
COVID-19 spreads in tiny droplets released from the nose and mouth of an infected person as they cough, or simply speak.
A single cough can produce up to 3,000 droplets. These droplets can stay airborne for hours.
A common way of transmission is for people to breathe in airborne droplets.
But eventually these droplets land on clothing and surfaces.
How long does COVID-19 stay alive on surfaces?
It is likely the virus lasts from a few hours up to several days outside the human body. This depends on the type
of surface, the temperature and the humidity of the environment.
The harder the surface, the easier it is for the virus to survive. Fortunately, hard surfaces are also easy to
clean with common household disinfectant.
The lower the temperature, the longer the virus can survive.
The drier the air, the longer the virus can survive.
Tell us your story
Stay up-to-date with reliable information
There is a lot of information about COVID-19 available, so much so it is overwhelming. To ensure you are engaging with reliable information stick to official government sources.
This section will provide links to Federal and NSW government pages. This information is continuously updated and can be trusted.
Federal Government – COVID-19 information sources
NSW Government – COVID-19 information sources
Getting your medication
The Home Medicines Service has made it possible for medications to be delivered to your door.
This service is available for people who are self-isolating and are a high risk if exposed to COVID-19. Australia Post will be working with pharmacies to deliver medications to Australian doors.
Contact your pharmacist to find out if this is available to you.
For more information click here.
Meals on Wheels
Clients of Meals on Wheels receive meals delivered by volunteers who have time for a friendly chat. Services work to meet clients’ individual needs, across differences in; culture, diet, religion, medical condition, language, physical ability and personal taste.
Call 02 8219 4200 or click this link to organise a Meals on Wheels service.
How to get groceries while in isolation
Groceries can now be purchased over the phone or online and delivered to your door. Each major supermarket’s available services are listed below.
The ‘Priority Assistance’ service to ensure vulnerable members of the community can receive their essentials. Eligible customers include seniors, people with a disability and those with compromised immunity or who are required to self isolate.
You can sign up to the service here or call 1800 000 610
Woolworths Basics Box
Available for $80, the ‘Woolworths Basics Box’ will contain meals, snacks and a few essential items. You can find more info or to sign up for the Basics Box here.
From 7am-8am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, seniors and people with a disability will be the only people allowed to enter participating Woolworths stores.
Coles Online Priority Service
You can call Coles on 1800 061 562 or order online from Coles Online Priority Service (COPS) here.
Coles Community Box
You can have an $80 box of essentials delivered to your door. The box contains nutritious items for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with the total calorific content of the box enough to support two people aged 65+ for 7 days. Order one here.
From 7am – 8am Monday, Wednesday and Friday stores will be open only for elderly customers, those in need of assistance, as well as carers, friends and neighbours who shop on behalf of vulnerable customers. (carers, friends and neighbours simply need to present one of the following cards of the person they are shopping on behalf of):
Pensioner Concession Card
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
Health Care Card
IGA Priority Shop
This service is available for people aged over 70, in participating areas. You will have a choice of four different pre-selected packages (similar to the box deals offered by Coles and Woolworths) that will be delivered to your door.
Head to igashop.com.au/ or call 1800 018 384 to sign up and order.
Telehealth services are now available. This means you can have your doctor’s appointment over the phone, or via video call on services such as Skype, Zoom or FaceTime.
Get in touch with your doctor’s office to see if this is an option for you.
For more information on Telehealth services follow these links:
Red Cross Telecross
The Red Cross Telecross service provides participants with a phone call each morning to check on your wellbeing. For more information head to the Telecross web page or call the Red Cross on 1300 885 698
Talk it through
Staying connected while in isolation
It is important to remain connected in isolation. Although you may not be able to interact with people in person there are a number of services that are available to maintain your relationships with relatives or friends or even provide the opportunity to interact with new people.
Your local council may be offering services for vulnerable people. You can find your local council online or you can call the Office of Local Government on 02 4428 4100 for assistance.
NSW Seniors Card
The NSW Seniors Card provides COVID-19 updates, discounts on goods and services and fun games within their weekly newsletters
Apply for a NSW Seniors Card, if you haven’t already!