Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – Remote Communities in the Northern Territory
Remote communities in the NT face health challenges including high rates of chronic disease that make them more vulnerable to a virus such as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
As a result of that vulnerability, medical organisations and the NT Government have issued advisories and plans to combat the spread of COVID-19 into remote communities.
Please read and follow the advice below.
What can I do – COVID-19 and remote communities?
Please read, adhere to and distribute within your organisations and communities.
The advice for individuals coming from the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) and other organisations including the NT Government is clear and simple:
- Do not visit remote communities if you have been overseas in the last two weeks.
- Do not visit remote communities if you have cold/flu like symptoms.
- Self-isolate for the minimum recommended time in regional hubs before travelling to remote communities if you are part of an at-risk group.
To get the latest updates on COVID-19, please visit the Australian Government health alert page (updated daily).
What is the NT Government doing?
The NT Health Department this week finalised its COVID-19 Remote Communities Plan, with the goal of keeping coronavirus transmissions low by minimising the amount of traffic that’s going to go in and out of remote communities. It includes the following recommendations:
- NT public service members consider their need to travel into remote communities.
- Anyone who has travelled overseas to a high or moderate-risk coronavirus country in the previous fortnight not visit remote communities unless absolutely essential and cleared with the health service.
Additionally, you can read the NT Government Coronavirus update, 10 March 2020.
What can I do – COVID-19 transmission and infection?
To lower your chances of being infected with or transmitting COVID-19:
- Frequently clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow
- Avoid contact with anyone who has symptoms such as a cough, fever, fatigue, sore throat, and shortness of breath
- Stay home if you are unwell
If you have been overseas in the last 14 days and are feeling unwell, see a doctor immediately.
How can I learn more about COVID-19 in remote communities, in Australia and around the world?
Here are some additional resources on COVID-19:
- Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about coronavirus and COVID-19 including information about how people catch COVID-19, what happens if somebody gets infected, how we can stop COVID-19 from spreading and what to do if you’re feeling unwell.
- World Health Organisation (WHO) – A guide to breaking some of the ‘myths’ surrounding coronavirus and COVID-19 and trustworthy information to learn about it.