Health information

Health information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues we all have a role to play in stopping the spread within the community. 

It is important that we take all steps to keep our vulnerable community members safe, especially Elders and those with health conditions such as diabetes, renal disease, cardiac and respiratory issues.

In addition to taking care of yourself by eating a healthy, balanced diet, getting regular physical activitysleeping well and reducing stress, it is important that you also practise good hygiene, follow social distancing rules and travel restrictions, and self-quarantine if you are unwell.

Signs and symptoms

The common signs of COVID-19 are a fever (a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees) and a cough.

People may also have a sore throat, experience shortness of breath, tiredness, aches and pains, headaches and a runny or stuffy nose.

Learn more about the signs and symptoms.

How people get coronavirus

You can get the virus and become sick if:

  • someone sneezes or coughs on you
  • you touch a surface (like a door handle) — which someone has sneezed or coughed onto — and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes. 

Learn more about COVID-19

How to practise good hygiene

There are three simple things you can do to practise good hygiene.

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds to stop passing on germs.

    It is important that you wash your hands regularly, such as when you:

    • sneeze or cough into a tissue
    • blow your nose and use a tissue
    • bin your tissue
    • touch your face
    • care for someone who is sick
    • prepare food
    • eat food
    • use the toilet
    • use bins.

  2. If you need to cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or a bent elbow.

  3. Avoid touching your face — especially your nose, mouth and eyes.

Learn more about practising good hygiene.

How to practise social distancing

Everyone needs to practise social distancing to minimise the spread of COVID-19.

Social distancing means:

  • Stay at home as much as possible.
  • Keep 1.5 metres away from anyone you don’t live with.
  • No shaking hands, kissing or hugging others.

Learn more about social distancing.

Follow public gathering rules

As part of Stage 1 of Queensland’s roadmap to easing COVID-19 restrictions, from 11.59pm Friday 15 May 2020, inside and outside gatherings can take place under the following conditions.

Inside

You can have a maximum of five visitors, from separate households, gathered in your home at any one time in addition to the number of people who usually live in the house. Children are infants are counted individually as part of this limit.

General and non-essential shops, hairdressers, beauty businesses, libraries, cafes, pubs and licensed venues can have a maximum of 10 people gathered at any one time.

If you are unwell, you should not have visitors and you should not visit other households

Outside

You can gather in groups of a maximum of 10 people, with family members or people from other households. Children are infants are counted individually as part of this limit. 

As part of a group you can take part in non-contact activity in parks, playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gyms. You can also gather in a group at public spaces, beaches, pools, lagoons, splash parks, and do recreational activities in national and state parks. 

Recreational gatherings do not include camping or overnight stays of any kind. 

There are restrictions on funeral services.

Whether you are in or outside, social distancing and good hygiene should be maintained at all times — this means that you shouldn’t shake hands, hug, or kiss people you don’t live with and that you should continue to regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds to stop passing on germs. 

You must also ensure that when you get together with other people, you follow the recreational travel restrictions that apply in your region.

Learn more about public gathering rules (PDF).

Stay at home if you are at greater risk

If you are an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslander over the age of 50, or if you have an existing health condition, you should stay at home for your own protection where possible.

People in this group are at risk of severe illness if they catch COVID-19.

If you live with other people, they can remain in the home. You must practise good hygiene and social distancing (staying at least 1.5m from people).

Ask your family members to get essential supplies — such as food and medicine — for you so you don’t have to go outside.

You should avoid having lots of visitors come to your home.

Learn more about staying at home.

Travel restrictions

To stop the spread of COVID-19, the safest place for you is in your home, community, homeland or outstation.

Currently people are restricted from entering remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Queensland that are designated areas under the emergency provisions of the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cwth).

As part of Stage 1 of Queensland’s roadmap to easing COVID-19 restrictions, from 11.59pm Friday 15 May 2020, new restrictions about recreational travel will impact people differently, depending on where they live.

If you live in a designated remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community — plus the Burke and Cook Shires — you can travel within a 150km range of your home address for day trips only.

But if travelling this distance takes you outside your designated biosecurity area, you will need to go into quarantine at your own expense before returning home.

If you live in one of the local government areas that make up the Outback region (PDF), you can travel within a 500km range of your home, ensuring that you don’t leave the Outback region or cross the state border.

If you live in other regions of Queensland — that do not have travel restrictions or restricted access in place — you can travel within a 150km range of your home address for day trips only, ensuring that you do not cross into the Outback region or cross the state border.

As part of these restrictions you must continue to practise social distancing, maintain good hygiene, and stay home if you’re sick.

Learn more about the travel restrictions.

Help is available

If you — or someone you care about — is distressed, in crisis, suicidal or needs someone to talk to, help is available.

  • 1300 MH CALL (1300 642255) this service is a confidential mental health telephone triage service for Queenslanders that provides the first point of contact to public mental health services.
  • 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) this service provides 24 hour assessment, referral, advice, and hospital and community health centre contact details.