Keeping our mob healthy & safe

Image of a young person with a tissue and hand washing
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Keeping our mob healthy & safe

Last updated 16 September 2020

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a disease caused by a new germ or bug. Germs are tiny organisms that live in our environment and can make us sick if they get in our bodies. You cannot see germs with your eyes, only under a microscope. It is passed from person to person through tiny droplets when people cough or sneeze.

Symptoms

They can be similar to cold and flu symptoms, such as: fever, breathing difficulties or breathlessness, cough, sore throat, fatigue or tiredness, or loss of sense of smell or taste. Even if you’re feeling only a little bit unwell, it is important to get tested and stay at home until you receive the results to keep our community safe. It’s better to know, than not know and risk spreading it further. You will be supported and guided to know what to do if you are sick through First Nations services. Tests are free and available across the state.

Ways we can keep our communities safe

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is serious business. Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are more at risk, because of underlying health issues, such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease. We need to look after our Elders, old people and community members who have other health issues, as it is more dangerous for our mob if we become infected. It is important to protect our Elders and old people who are our cultural and knowledge holders so they can continue to guide us.

  • It’s important to not shake hands, hug or kiss mob. Keep 1.5 meters between yourself and others and as a guide put your hands out by your side.
  • Try not to touch your face with unwashed hands. Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds, especially before and
    after eating, or after you have been in a public place. Use hand sanitiser if you have some.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with a tissue and immediately throw it away. If you do not have a tissue, use your elbow or upper sleeve, then wash your hands straight away.
  • Across Victoria, we must all wear a mask or face covering when we leave our home (there are only some exceptions). If you need a face mask, or want to learn more about them contact Victorian Aboriginal Healh Service (VAHS) or Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Inc. (VACCHO).

What's it like in community? What can I do?

There are restrictions that we must follow to keep ourselves and our communities safe. Police can give large fines if you don’t follow the restrictions below. It’s important to stay up to date with the latest restrictions, as they have been changing quickly:

Ways to keep ourselves connected and grounded

It is a stressful time and can feel overwhelming. You might be feeling disconnected because of all the changes and feeling unsure from your friends, family or school during this time.

Medical Services / Tests / Masks

Up to date restriction info

Remember to stay up to date – as this info is constantly changing!

Illustration by Rubii Red, Lama Lama.

Three logos: Koorie Youth Council's logo, Victoria State Government - Justice and Community Safety logo, and Victoria Aboriginal Justice Agreement with 'Koori Strong, Koori Proud, Koori Justice' logo.