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COVID-19 latest information

COVID-19 latest information

Updated 12/01/2022

Here is the latest information to support your child and family.

On this page:

Speaking up for children and families

ACD is speaking up for the needs of children with disability and their families during COVID.

We are calling for:

  • Prioritising of children with disability to get vaccinated
  • Free Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) for all families with children with disability
  • Increased support for advocacy so families can get the support they need

For the latest updates, follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Vaccination

Everyone aged five and older is eligible for a COVID vaccine.

The vaccine is free.

More appointments are opening up every week. 

Think through what will help your child get vaccinated.  This vaccination plan can assist you. 

There are a number of options for getting children with disability vaccinated:

  1. GP or pharmacy
  1. State vaccination centres – to book call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398
  1. Drive through at Melton or Cambellfield – to book call the Coronavirus Hotline 1800 675 398
  1. Low Sensory Clinics which offer longer appointments, quiet environments, trained staff, and distraction aids such as VR goggles

    These are located at Austin Hospital, Monash Medical Centre, Campbellfield, Frankston, Caroline Springs, West Melbourne, Heidelberg, Ringwood East, Wodonga, Bendigo, Belmont in Geelong, and Traralgon

    To book at a Low Sensory Clinic contact the Disability Liaison Officers
  1. Vaccination at home. The eligibility criteria includes people with an injury, chronic health issue, frailty affecting mobility, moderate to severe physical or psychosocial disability, mental health or behavioural issues, plus carers with moderate to severe disability

    To book vaccination in the home contact the Disability Liaison Officers
  1. Children who need sedation. Speak first with the Disability Liaison Officers to talk through all the options. Sedation requires a referral from a GP or specialist from the Victorian Specialist Immunisation Service (VicSIS)

Disability Liaison Officers

Contact the Disability Liaison officers by emailing DLOcoordinator@dhhs.vic.gov.au or complete the online request form or call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.

Useful resources

Booster shots

Booster shots are recommended for everyone aged 18 and older who had their second dose more than four months ago. You can get a booster at a GP, pharmacy or at state vaccination centres. Many vaccination centres offer walk-in appointments for boosters.

Here is more information about getting a booster shot.

Third shots

Third shots of a COVID vaccine are now recommended for people aged 12 years and older who are severely immunocompromised.

The third shot should be scheduled between two to six months after the second vaccination.

Find out more about what conditions are included as severely immunocompromised,

Testing

COVID testing is free and available across Victoria.

Get tested if you have symptoms or if you are a household contact of someone who has tested positive.

If you have a positive Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) you do not need to get a PCR test at a testing centre. You simply need to register your positive result online with the Department of Health.

In-home testing is available for people with disability who cannot get to a testing site. Call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.

If you or your child has disability support needs in accessing COVID testing, contact the Disability Liaison Officers.

If you test positive you need to isolate for seven days from the day of your test. Household contacts need to get tested and also isolate for seven days. These are the rules for positive cases and close contacts.

Useful resources

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Protect your family from COVID

With high rates of community transmission it is important to take steps to protect you and your family from contracting COVID. 

This includes:

  • Get vaccinated. Everyone aged five and older is eligible for a vaccine. Boosters are available for everyone aged 18 and older who had their second shot more than four months ago
  • Avoid crowded indoor places
  • Reduce how many places you go to and how many people you see
  • See family and friends outdoors if possible or in well ventilated indoor locations
  • Wear a mask and keep washing or sanitising hands
  • Make sure Support Workers are wearing masks and that they wash or sanitise hands regularly when in your home
  • Increase air flow at home. This is especially important when you have Support Workers, family and friends coming into your home. This includes having doors and windows open, turning on ceiling fans and pedestal fans, or using an air purifier if you have one

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Prepare to isolate

Start by making a plan. Think about how you will occupy your children and who can help care for them if you are unwell.

Buy enough food for a week, including food and drinks your children like if they are unwell.

Stock up on prescription medications and over-the-counter children’s pain relief, masks, soap and hand sanitiser.

Have a good thermometer (plus spare batteries).

Consider buying an oximeter. They cost approximately $60 and are easy to use. They measure the oxygen levels in the blood. This may help you monitor your child’s symptoms, especially if they are non-verbal or cannot tell you how they are feeling. Your GP can advise you at what oxygen level to seek medical attention.

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What to do if you or your child has COVID

If you test positive you need to isolate for seven days from the day of your test. Household contacts need to get tested and also isolate for seven days. These are the rules for positive cases and close contacts.

If you test positive you will be sent an online form to complete. Let the Department of Health know that your child has a disability and any underlying medical conditions.

Monitor symptoms and contact your GP or seek medical assistance if you have concerns.

Rest, drink plenty of fluids and take paracetamol if needed.

Connect with neighbours, friends and family who can help you emotionally and provide practical help by dropping off food, etc.

Support Workers who help provide essential care for your child can continue to provide care in your home if needed, with extra precautions such as everyone wearing masks and increasing airflow.

The Disability Liaison Officers can assist you if you need help isolating.

If one member of your household is positive and the rest are negative you can reduce the risk of catching COVID by:

  • Everyone wearing masks
  • Increasing air flow – keep doors and windows open, use fans and an air purifier if you have one
  • Using separate bathrooms if possible
  • Physically distancing if possible
  • Regularly washing or sanitising hands

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School, child care and kinder

If there is COVID at child care you will be notified. Your child does not need to isolate. Monitor for symptoms and get tested if there are symptoms.

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NDIS

Support Workers who provide essential care can come to your home or your child can go to the Support Worker.

Most NDIS funded therapists are providing services via telehealth but some continue to offer face-to-face support. Speak with your provider.

It’s important to talk with your child’s Support Worker and service provider about how you want to manage your child’s and family’s health and safety during COVID.

This includes:

  • All Support Workers must now be vaccinated. You can ask your Support Worker for proof of their vaccination status
  • Face masks should be worn by Support Workers
  • When the Support Worker is in your home you can choose for everyone at home to wear face masks
  • Where possible maintain physical distancing
  • Increase ventilation by keeping doors and windows open, turn on fans or use an air purifier if you have one
  • Regularly wash or sanitise hands

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Looking after yourself

Support is available over the phone and online:

Parentline 13 22 89
LifeLine 13 11 14
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800
1800Respect 1800 737 732
Ask Izzy for food relief and other help
Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre 1800 015 188

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