Print

People with disability: Information about COVID-19

About COVID-19

COVID-19 is a virus that has affected many people around the world. It can spread quickly from one person to another which is why it is called a pandemic.

Everybody is at risk of getting COVID-19. Most people will only develop mild illness and recover. Others can get very sick and may need to go to hospital.

Some people with disability could have more serious complications if they get sick with COVID-19, depending on the nature of their disability and other medical history.

Increased risk of COVID-19 for people with disability

Some people with disability may be more vulnerable to COVID-19, especially if they:

  • have high support needs and cannot physically distance
  • have pre-existing health conditions such as a respiratory condition, a compromised immune system, heart disease or diabetes
  • face challenges in accessing healthcare information
  • have a disruption to their regular medication and services
  • are aged 70 years and over
  • are a First Nations person aged 50 years or over
  • are living in supported accommodation or group residential settings.

These factors can increase the risk of people with disability catching the virus and getting very sick.

Preparing for COVID-19

Think about essential supports you need and consider the services you can't live without. Talk to your service providers and health professionals to develop a plan for your own personal health and safety.

You can make your own ‘Emergency Preparedness Plan’ using the Queensland Disability Network’s individual planning tool for COVID-19, available in accessible formats. The plan will help you prepare for staying at home for a long period of time, and prepare for what to do if you, or your carer, have COVID-19 symptoms.

Find out more information about preparing for COVID-19 at Get COVID-Ready.

What to do if you feel sick

It is important that all Queenslanders are tested for COVID-19 if they are experiencing symptoms.

Take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)

A Rapid Antigen Test, or RAT, is a COVID-19 test you can do at home. There are different types of RATs. Kits either use a swab to test your mouth or your nose, or use your saliva.

If someone looks after you, like a carer or support worker, they can help you with the test. They will need to wear full personal protective equipment (PPE).

You can buy a RAT kit from supermarkets, pharmacies, and online stores. If you are a NDIS participant, you can access funding for RATs through your plan.

Find out how to complete a:

How to use a saliva Rapid Antigen Test

Duration 00:03:05 |

How to get tested using a Rapid Antigen Test.

Hi, I'm Dr Dinesh Palipana.

I'd like to talk to you about the RAT test and show you how to use it.

There are two types of Rapid Antigen Tests, the nasal swab and the saliva test.

The saliva test

Here are the basic steps.

Step one - Cough deeply three to five times covering your mouth with the mask or tissue.

Step two - Put the mouthpiece on top of the tube.

Step three - Squeeze the tube in the middle.

Step four - Spit into the mouthpiece.

Step five - Stop squeezing the tube.

Step six - Do this until the spit gets to the first line at the bottom of the tube.

Step seven - Take the mouthpiece off the tube.

Step eight - Open the pack with the buffer and pour it into the tube.

Step nine - Put the lid on the tube.

Step ten - Squeeze the bottom part of the tube ten to 15 times.

Step eleven - Get the strip that will show you if you have COVID 19.

Step twelve - Squeeze two drops from the tube onto the circle.

Step thirteen - Set your timer or watch for 15 minutes.

Step fourteen - after 15 minutes, read the result.

Reading the test result - your test is positive if you will see a red line next to the letter C and next to the letter T, even if it's a very faint line.

Your test is negative if you will only see a red line next to the letter C.

There will be no red line next to the letter T.

The test did not work - if you do not see a line next to the letter C or there is no line at all.

If your test was negative but you still think you might have COVID 19, do another test after one day or go to a testing clinic and ask for a PCR test.

When you have finished with the kits.

Put the used test kit inside the box and throw it in the bin.

Clean the area where you did the test and wash your hands.

Always remember that if you test positive, isolate immediately and follow the important steps on how to protect yourself, your family and friends.

How to use a nasal Rapid Antigen Test

Duration 00:02:23

How to get tested using a Rapid Antigen Test.

Hi, I'm Dr Dinesh Palipana.

I'd like to talk to you about the RAT test and show you how to use it.

There are two types of Rapid Antigen Tests, the nasal swab and the saliva test.

For the nasal swab, here are the basic steps.

Step one - Wash your hands.

Step two - Open the packaging.

Step three - Swab each nostril five times.

Step four - Put the swab in the tube and then swirl it for ten seconds, then remove the swab.

Step five - Put the cap on the tube.

Step six - Put five drops on the test.

Step seven - Wait 15 to 30 minutes and then

Step eight - Read the result.

Reading the test result. Your test is positive if you will see a red line next to the letter C and next to the letter T, even if it's a very faint line.

Your test is negative if you will only see a red line next to the letter C. There will be no red line next to the letter T.

The test did not work if you do not see a line next to the letter C or there is no line at all.

If your test was negative but you still think you might have COVID 19, do another test after one day or go to a testing clinic and ask for a PCR test.

When you have finished with the kits, put the used test kit inside the box and throw it in the bin.

Clean the area where you did the test and wash your hands.

Always remember that if you test positive, isolate immediately and follow the important steps on how to protect yourself, your family and friends.

Visit a testing clinic

PCR tests are available at testing clinics if you cannot access or use a RAT. Find a testing centre, book your appointment via HotDoc or call 1800 022 222. Some testing centres can offer booked appointments to avoid long wait times.

Call your doctor

Your doctor may be able to offer a testing option. Call ahead so your doctor can be prepared. You doctor can also discuss other testing options with you.

COVID-19 test at home

If you are unable to leave your home for a test, your doctor may be able to arrange for a COVID-19 test at home with one of the private pathology providers, including QML Pathology, Sullivan & Nicolaides Pathology or Mater. The availability for in home testing will be dependent on demand and arrangements for in home testing need to be made by your doctor.

You can find advice on how to explain the testing process to a person with disability (PDF). You can also watch the video Getting tested for COVID-19 with transcript on this page.

If the above COVID-19 testing options are not viable options due to a person’s disability specific support needs, please contact 134 COVID (134 268) to discuss alternative arrangements.

Find out more about testing for COVID-19 and different types of tests:

Close contacts of COVID-19 cases

If you are a close contact of a confirmed case, you need to follow the guidelines for close contacts.

What to do if you have COVID-19

If you take a COVID-19 test and the result is positive, that means you have COVID-19 and must isolate at home for at least 7 days. You must tell your close contacts that you have COVID-19. If you get your result from a RAT, report your result to Queensland Health.

Most people with COVID-19 who are fully vaccinated will only get mild symptoms that last a few days. Looking after yourself is important and you should let someone know if you are getting worse.

Seek medical help if your symptoms do not improve after 2-3 days, or if you are getting sicker.

Call emergency services on 000 if you are very sick and have symptoms like:

  • difficulty breathing
  • coughing up blood
  • bad chest pain
  • severe light-headedness or fainting.

There are number of ways for you to get help. Call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 or complete the online COVID-19 care self-checker to find out the type of care you need. Someone can help you with this. You can also read Queensland Disability Network (QDN)'s Getting the COVID care you need for more information.

Read more about the first steps to follow if you have COVID-19 to protect yourself and others.

If you have a carer or support worker

If someone looks after you, like a carer or support worker, they can continue to do so even if you have COVID-19. They will need to wear full personal protective equipment (PPE) while providing your care.

What to do if I have COVID-19?

Duration 00:04:33

What to do if I am COVID 19 positive?

Hi, I'm Dr Dinesh Palipana.

If you find out you have COVID-19 using a Rapid Antigen Test at home, the first thing you must do is to isolate at home and then report your positive RAT result to Queensland Health.

This is so they can get in touch with you and offer you the support you need.

There is an online form on the Queensland Health website.

You can use this form to report a positive RAT result for you or anyone under your care.

If you need help with the form, including having a free interpreter, call 134 COVID on 13 42 68.

These are the important steps you need to follow to protect yourself and others from getting the virus.

Step one - Immediately isolate at home or accommodation for seven days from the date you had your test.

This means that if you got a positive result on a Sunday, you need to isolate until the following Sunday.

You can leave your home on Monday.

Isolate means that you need to stay away from other people as much as possible so you don't give someone else the virus.

If you're a participant of the NDIS, your support providers will continue to deliver your essential care even if you have COVID 19.

But it's always good to have a COVID ready kit ready now. This includes a thermometer, pain relief, your regular medications, a COVID 19 care plan, which includes how to get your food and essentials for two weeks, face masks, hand sanitizer and gloves, a plan for how your essential needs will be managed, a list of phone numbers for people you can call if you need help, and stay at home activities to keep you entertained.

Step two. Tell the people you live with that you have COVID 19. They need to quarantine at home with you for the same period. They need to get tested if they develop COVID 19 symptoms.

Step three. If someone looks after you, for example, a support worker or a carer, they can continue to do so even if you are sick.

They need to wear a 95 mask, goggles, gloves and a gown to keep themselves safe. It would also help your support worker to be safer if you are able to wear a face mask or a face shield.

It is important that you think about the daily tasks where you will need support.

Ask yourself what you can do on your own or which tasks are not very essential.

Examples of essential supports are: getting out of bed, showering mealtime or other personal needs.

Step four. Manage your symptoms and your health. Now, more than ever, it is important for you to get lots of rest, drink lots of water, take paracetamol or ibuprofen to help with your head or body aches.

Keep in touch with your friends and family to let them know how you're doing.

It's also a good way to cheer you up while you're in isolation.

Use the COVID 19 symptom diary to track your symptoms so you know when they become worse and when it's time to seek medical care. Sometimes you can feel well when you first test positive, but get worse throughout the illness.

That's why it's important to keep a close eye on how you're doing and to seek help early. If you have any concerns, call your GP or your virtual hospital for severe symptoms call 000 or go to an emergency department.

When you call the hospital, tell the hospital staff that you have COVID-19.

The model of care for COVID-19

Duration 00:03:25

The Queensland model of care.

Hi, I'm Dr Dinesh Palipana.

I'm here to talk to you about the kinds of care that you could get when you get sick with COVID-19.

The way you get treatment and care if you get COVID-19 is changing.

After you have reported your positive RAT result to Queensland Health, the first step is to call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. This helpline is available 24 hours, seven days a week.

If you're a person with a disability or caring for someone with a disability, press five.

The person on the COVID helpline will go through questions with you to check your COVID health needs.

They will also advise the care that's right for you.

If you are happy to go online, you can also go to the COVID Care Self Checker on the Queensland Health website to assess your symptoms.

Your carer can help fill out the self-checker with you.

There are four different ways you can be cared for.

One - is to recover at home. This is for most people who feel well enough to manage their symptoms at home.

Two - COVID care in the home with GP's support. If you have an existing health condition or are immunocompromised and need extra monitoring and care, you will be looked after by a GP.

You need to call your GP or healthcare provider for an appointment. This will likely be a telehealth appointment.

This is a safe and effective way to be reviewed by your doctor as closely as possible.

Three - COVID care at home from a virtual hospital. Some people have a higher risk of getting very ill because of their existing health conditions.

These people will be cared for at home remotely by hospital staff.

If you are referred to a virtual hospital, you will stay at home and the hospital staff will check on you by phone. This could be multiple times a day if needed. A hospital staff member will call you within 24 hours to arrange this. Make sure your phone is always charged and close to you.

Four - Go to hospital. If you are assessed as very high risk, you will be advised to call 000 or go to the nearest hospital using a private vehicle. You cannot use public transportation including taxis.

If you can't use a private car, call an ambulance.

When you the hospital, tell the hospital staff that you have COVID-19.

Remember that wherever you live, whatever your health conditions and whatever your vaccination status.

Care will be available if you need it.

If you want to know the care that you need, call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.

Getting tested after having COVID-19

If you have had COVID-19, you do not need to get tested for COVID-19 in the 12 weeks after your release from isolation; however you will need to be tested when it has been more than 12 weeks. Learn more about getting tested after having COVID-19, including information for close contacts.

Getting help with COVID-19

Call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 (Press 5) for help with COVID-19 symptoms or looking after yourself at home.

If you are not sure of your symptoms or the kind of care you need, you can check your symptoms using the online COVID self-checker. You can ask someone to help you with the helpline and self-checker.

If you cannot get the things you need in isolation, contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

Call emergency services on 000 if you are very sick.

If you need more help you can contact:

  • the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787
  • Queensland Health on 13 HEALTH (13 43 25) – for health-related advice, questions and support
  • 134 COVID on 13 42 68 to register a positive RAT result, booking a vaccine, testing or information about COVID-19 restrictions
  • TTY users who have a hearing, visual and/or speech impairment can call 133 677.
  • National Relay Services - you can use this service to contact any number given here, including to call 000 in an emergency.

More information about COVID-19 including updates and support is available from:

If your support person gets sick

If your support person feels unwell, they should get a COVID-19 test as soon as possible.

Your support person will not be able to work while they are waiting for their test results – this could take a few days. During this time, your support person should arrange for someone else to meet your support needs. You can also call your service provider to discuss what your options are.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) have made changes to how people with a NDIS plan can access support. Visit the NDIS website or call the NDIA on 1800 800 110.

If you don’t have a regular service provider, call the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

The following video, How to get help, has captions, audio and a transcript. It includes advice on what to do if your support person is sick.

How to get help

Duration 00:04:13

How to get help.

Hi. I'm Dr. Dinesh Palipana.

COVID-19 continues to circulate in Queensland and it can be scary thinking about what could happen if you got the virus, especially if you're living by yourself or if your family or support workers get sick too.

That's why it's very important for you to have a COVID care plan and a COVID ready kit in case you get sick and need to isolate immediately.

If your support person feels unwell, they should get tested and call a doctor or helpline to ask what to do next.

Your support person will not be able to work while they're waiting for their test results. This could take a few days.

During this time your support person should arrange for someone else to look after you.

You can also call your service provider to discuss what your options are. If you don't have a regular service provider and need support call the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

It's important to seek medical care if you are worried about your symptoms, especially if they're not improving and you are getting worse.

If you need more help during isolation, there are helplines you can call.

Option one, The National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. For help with your symptoms or looking after yourself at home. Press four, if you work in disability or aged care. Press five, if you are a person with disability or carer of a person with disability.

Option two, if you are not sure of your symptoms or the kind of care you need, you may check your symptoms using the online self-checker form. Once you complete the form, you'll be given the self-care information you need.

Option three, if you want to speak to a nurse, call 13 HEALTH on 13 43 25 84 and press three for health advice about COVID-19.

Option four, for help registering a positive RAT, booking a vaccine, testing or information about COVID-19 restrictions. Call 134 COVID on 13 42 68. If you have a hearing, visual and/or speech need, call the Teletypewriter or TTY on 133 677 in an emergency call 106 using a teletypewriter or text phone use only.

Option five, call triple zero or go to an emergency department if you have severe symptoms. When you call the hospital, tell the hospital staff that you have COVID-19.

Option six, for latest advice on COVID-19 services and support, you can also call the Queensland Disability Network on 07 32 52 85 66 or visit the QDN website.

The Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme, or NDIS on 1800 800 110 or visit the NDIS website.

The National Disability Insurance Agency or the NDIA have made changes to how people with NDIS plan can access support.

Going out and gathering in public during COVID-19

Even while COVID-19 is active in your community, you can still go out for your normal activities, such as attending medical treatment, exercising, meeting a friend for a coffee and going out to work. It’s important to look after yourself when going out by:

  • choosing to wear a mask even if it’s not required
  • keep 1.5 metres from others if you can (socially distancing)
  • avoiding public gatherings.

You can still go to hospital during COVID-19. You can use the Julian’s Key Health Passport, a tool to communicate your healthcare and support needs with health staff when you attend a hospital. Watch our video Going to hospital during COVID-19 for more information.

Some people with disability may still choose to stay at home as much as possible to protect themselves. If you need advice and support to help you plan your stay at home:

Looking after yourself

Your mental wellbeing

There may be times when you feel worried, scared or upset about COVID-19. This is normal. You may also feel isolated if you are spending less time with family, friends or your support network. Now, more than ever, it’s important to look after your mental wellbeing.

Beyond Blue has trained counsellors available to offer you support 24/7. Visit the Beyond Blue website or call 1800 512 348.

The Council for Intellectual Disability has easy-read resources to support mental health. The Australian Government also has many helpful resources at Head-to-Health.

Getting your regular medical care and prescriptions

You should not stop your regular health care services and appointments as this will put you more at risk of getting sick.

Phone and video calls (telehealth) can now replace some face-to-face appointments. Call your doctor or other healthcare professionals to discuss your options.

The Australian Government has also provided funding to get your medicines delivered to your home from your regular pharmacy. For more information read the Home Medicines Service (PDF).

Written resources

The Australian Government has easy read coronavirus resources for people with disability.

The Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) also have accessible information on:

The Access Easy English website contains useful resources on hygiene, cleaning and personal protective equipment (PPE).

The NDIS website also provides COVID-19 information for NDIS participants.

Video resources

How to complete a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)

Duration 00:01:09

How to get tested using a Rapid Antigen Test.

Hi, I'm Dr Dinesh Palipana.

I'd like to talk to you about the RAT test and show you how to use it.

The Rapid Antigen Test can tell you if you have COVID-19.

They are called RAT for short.

A RAT should be done within the first seven days when symptoms first appear.

Most tests produce results within 10 to 20 minutes.

You can buy a RAT kit online, from a pharmacist, supermarkets and select retail stores.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration or TGA has a list of all the approved kits that you can use at home.

You may be eligible to get a free RAT kit if you have a concession card or are NDIS participants.

To find out more, visit the NDIS website.

Q&A with Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM

Duration 00:05:37

Q&A your questions answered.

Hi, I'm Dr Dinesh Palipana. I'm here to answer some questions about what you can do to keep safe from getting COVID-19 and what could happen if you get sick with COVID-19.

Why are booster shots important? It's still important to get vaccinated or a booster shot after contracting COVID-19. Even after your immunity's high after getting COVID or a COVID vaccination. This can wane over a period of time, and that's why it's important to still get a booster shot.

Everyone has different immunity levels, and you can still get COVID again.

Why is it important to get the flu vaccination as well as your COVID-19 vaccination or booster shot this year?

For high risk groups in particular, influenza has always caused a higher risk of complications  or severe disease.

So the influenza vaccine is still important even during these times. The current advice is that you can get your flu shot and your COVID-19 vaccination or booster shot on the same day.

How do I know when my symptoms are bad enough to seek help or go to the hospital?

The symptoms can vary, and it may be experienced differently for people who have their normal daily symptoms due to a chronic illness.

You can experience a range of symptoms with COVID-19, but really among a bunch of symptoms that you can get, the main thing to look out for is breathlessness and certainly increasing breathlessness.

If you are experiencing that or worsening symptoms in any way, then please seek help urgently.

Why should I have a COVID care plan?

Our lives, and I know certainly my life  with a spinal cord injury is unique. There are so many things that we need  to think about our medications. Who cares for us? Different aspects of our daily routine that are important. Our disability equipment.

The best way to manage all this if we are affected by COVID is to plan ahead.

And there are a number of tools  that can be used to help us.

For example, you can have your disability documents like Julian's Key, the disability passport handy.

The Queensland Disability Network has an emergency plan that will help you be prepared too.

Otherwise, you could just note down everything yourself.

With the help of someone, if needed, and that way if something happens, you can just pick up the plan and continue so you can have a safe recovery.

How will I be able to access a hospital as a person with a disability who is infected with COVID-19?

During this pandemic our hospitals are still dedicated to providing the best care  for people with disability.

If you need a hospital, you can access it by private transport or, if that is not available, by ambulance. It's important to note that you cannot use public transport or taxis if you are affected by COVID-19.

When you call the hospital, tell the hospital staff that you have COVID-19. How soon can I get help if my support person gets sick?

Who can I talk to if I'm worried about getting essential support? One of the best solutions to this problem is to make sure that you have a plan in place  if your support person gets sick. But if you're otherwise out of options, if you are NDIS participant, speak to your service provider.

If you don't have a regular service provider and you still need support, you can call the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

Is a Rapid Antigen Test accurate? Why are we using this instead of the PCR test? A Rapid Antigen Test is not as accurate as a PCR test. When there is a low amount of infection in the community, we can have the resources  to do PCR tests for a lot of people but when infections increase and the numbers go up, we need a quick and easy way to still screen people for COVID-19 infections. And this is where Rapid Antigen Tests come in.

They are a quick and easy way to allow people to test themselves and get on with their normal lives  in the absence of a PCR test.

How can I keep safe? Some of the most important things  you can do to protect yourself include getting vaccinated, getting the booster shot, wear a mask when you can't physically distance. get a COVID-19 test if you have symptoms, stay at home when you're feeling unwell, even with only very mild symptoms. Maintain a physical distance of 1.5 meters, wash your hands regularly with soap, use a hand sanitizer.

If we follow these steps, we can stay safe.

We can keep each other safe and as a community we can get through this.

Getting tested for COVID-19

Duration 00:03:29

Hi – I’m Alex and I want to help you understand what it means if you need to get tested for COVID-19. You might have heard people talk about coronavirus. In these videos, COVID-19 means the same thing.

Getting tested for COVID-19 is very important so that we can find any people that have COVID-19 and stop it from spreading.

If you feel sick with a fever, scratchy or sore throat, cough, a runny nose, feeling short of breath, fatigues, loss of taste or sense of smell, diarrhoea, vomiting or nausea, you should get tested for COVID-19.

Stay home and call your doctor or call 13 HEALTH.

They will tell you if you need to get tested.

You can choose where and when it suits you, your carer or family member to get tested.

You can get tested in your car at a drive through clinic, at your doctor, at a fever clinic or hospital. You can even ask to be tested at home.

You must only leave your home when you need to get tested. You must not go anywhere else before getting your test or after getting your test.

You can take a carer or support person with you. This may help you feel more relaxed.

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms you should wear a mask to your appointment.

If you do not have a mask, the place where you get tested can give you one.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, let the person testing you know this by writing it on a piece of paper or typing on your phone. You can ask to be given all information in writing.

An interpreter, such as an AUSLAN interpreter, can also be organised to help you communicate with the person testing you.

It is free to have a COVID-19 test. It helps the nurse if you can bring your Medicare card with you.

The test for COVID-19 is very quick. It only takes a couple of seconds, but it might feel a bit uncomfortable.

When you go to get tested, staff might ask you some questions and check your temperature.

You may also be asked to clean your hands with hand sanitiser.

The staff will be wearing gowns, gloves and masks to keep everyone healthy.

If you do not like being touched or are feeling stressed, let the doctor or nurse know.

The doctor or nurse will put a swab on a thin stick in the back of your throat and inside one or both sides of your nose.

The swab is then put in a tube and sent to a place with a machine that can test for COVID-19.

You should get your test results within a few days after your test. You will get your results by text message or a phone call.

After being tested you will have to stay at home and away from other people. This is called self-isolating. There is another video you can watch that tells you how to self-isolate. But if you are very sick, the doctor may decide you need to go to hospital.

So remember, if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor and they will tell you what to do.

How to self-isolate during COVID-19

Duration 00:03:56

Hello – I’m Alex and I want to help you understand what you need to do if you have a test for COVID-19 and need to self-isolate.

You might have heard people talk about coronavirus. In these videos, COVID-19 means the same thing.

Self-isolating means staying away from other people. This will help stop the spread of COVID-19.

When you are waiting for your COVID-19 test result, you must stay at home and self-isolate.

Only leave your home to go to the doctor or hospital, or because of an emergency.

You can continue to receive the supports you need – this includes support services that keep you physically and mentally healthy.

Call your service provider and let them know you are waiting for your COVID-19 test results so they can make plans. These people can come into your home but should stay at least 1.5 metres away from you if possible.

The people who care for you should wear a mask, gown, gloves and eye wear or a face shield when they come to your house.

You cannot have any other visitors apart from people providing essential support while you are self-isolating, and you should stay away from other people who live in your house.

Try to stay in the one room most of the time and use a separate bathroom to other people you live with, if you can.

Make sure you clean things you eat with, drink from or touch.

Ask someone to bring your food, medicine and other necessary items to your front door or to your room if you live with other people.

If you need help with this, call your service provider or the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

If you become very sick while you are self-isolating, call your doctor or an ambulance on 000. Let them know you are waiting for your COVID-19 test results.

What happens if my test is negative? A negative test result means that you do not have COVID-19. But you should still stay home until you feel better and your symptoms have gone away.

If you feel sick with COVID-19 symptoms again, you may need to get another COVID-19 test.

If you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, you might need to stay at home or get another COVID-19 test to make sure you don’t get sick.

What happens if my test is positive? A positive test result means that you have COVID-19. If you get a positive test result, someone from the Public Health Unit will call you and help you understand what to do next. They will ask you questions about your health and your symptoms. They will also ask you about who you have seen lately, where you have been, and what support you need.

You will have to isolate at home until you have no symptoms. This means you don’t leave your home.

If you are very sick, you may need to go to hospital. There is another video you can watch about what it is like to go to hospital during COVID-19.

If you receive supports through the NDIS, please call your service providers.

If you have COVID-19, the people you live with will also have to be tested and stay home for 14 days.

If there is an emergency, you should still contact an ambulance on 000. But when you call, you should let them know that you have tested positive for COVID-19 so they can make plans to keep everyone healthy.

Going to the hospital during COVID-19

Duration 00:03:26

Hi – I’m Alex and I want to help you understand what it means if you need to go to the hospital during COVID-19.

You might have heard people talk about coronavirus. In these videos, COVID-19 means the same thing.

If you need to go to hospital, you might see that things are a bit different because of COVID-19.

When you arrive at a hospital you may be asked some questions and have your temperature checked.

You may be asked to wear a mask and use some hand sanitiser to clean your hands.

If you can’t wear a mask, you may be able to wear a face shield.

You may see that some of the doctors and nurses are wearing gowns, masks, face shields and gloves. These changes are to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.

When you come to hospital it is helpful to bring information about yourself. You could bring a disability health passport such as ‘Julian’s Key’ or a list of your medications, health conditions or other important information.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can ask to have information written down for you or you can get a ‘Hospital Kit’ from Better Hearing Australia.

You can have a family member, carer or support person with you when you go to hospital.

Call the hospital before you go and let them know who is coming with you.

The rules about who can visit you in hospital change often during COVID-19. Make sure you check on the hospital website or phone the hospital and ask someone for the latest rules.

Doctors and nurses will ask you questions when you come to hospital – about how you are feeling, how you like to communicate, if you are an NDIS participant and what supports you usually have.

They will also ask you questions about where you have been recently to check if you have been in the same place where someone who is positive for COVID-19 has also been at the same time.

Nurses and doctors might need to do tests like taking your temperature or checking your blood pressure. If you have any questions or are feeling confused, you can ask the doctor or nurse to explain what they are doing and why.

When you are in hospital, a doctor might give you medicine or other treatments that you have not had before. If you do not understand what the treatments are for or you have any questions, ask your nurse or doctor. They are happy to explain things to you.

Your doctor or nurse will talk to you about going home. They will tell you about any steps you need to follow when you get home.

Remember - you can ask as many questions as you like.

You can also ask to have information written down so you can look at it later or give it to your family member or support worker.

You also have the right to tell the hospital if you have any suggestions, compliments or complaints about the care you received. You can ask hospital staff the best way to do this.

COVID-19 Essentials: Queensland Disability Network

Learn about COVID-19, staying well and what to do if you or your carer becomes sick.

Duration 0:02:39

Coronavirus and my disability support

Hi. I’m Paige.

At Queenslanders with Disability Network, QDN, we know that people with disability are hearing lots of news and information about Coronavirus also known as COVID-19. We know that this is causing worry and anxiety and people are feeling confused and anxious.

Everyone has different needs and different circumstances. Many people have support needs that mean we need to have contact with other people. For those people, those support needs are essential for their day to day lives.

Government, providers and people with disability in Queensland are working together to put arrangements in place so that people can get the essential supports they need. It is good for us all to be talking to our family, friends, neighbours and service providers about what we can do to help each other out.

If you and your support workers are well – then you don’t need to cancel the support you need. Everyone needs to follow the guidelines about washing hands, covering sneezes and coughs and avoiding unnecessary close contact with each other. No hugs, handshakes or kisses.

If you feel unwell and have symptoms of coronavirus call your Doctor or call 13 Health. Their number is 13 43 25 84. If you are seriously unwell, call 000 for an ambulance.

If your paid support worker gets sick, call your service provider. If you are an NDIS participant and your service isn’t answering your call, call the NDIA.

The Community Recovery Hotline is now open to help people who have been told to stay at home and don’t have anyone to help them get essential food and medication. Their number is 1800 173 349.

Red Cross teams are also calling people who have been told to stay home in quarantine to make sure people are coping well and have what they need. Keep up to date with information on Queensland Health website www.health.qld.gov.au You can also call QDN on 1300 363 783. You can also go to QDN’s website www.qdn.org.au.

And remember we are all in this together.