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Aboriginal communities COVID-19 advice

Everybody is at risk of getting coronavirus (COVID-19). For most people, they will only develop mild illness and recover easily, but others may develop severe sickness that affects the lungs.

People with weaker immune systems are more likely to get seriously ill. This puts Aboriginal Elders and people with chronic health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease) at risk.

SA Health is working closely with key stakeholders across the state to ensure that Aboriginal Communities have access to current, culturally appropriate and localised information.

This page contains information to help you protect yourself, your family and community.

Why is COVID-19 dangerous for Aboriginal Communities?

Aboriginal people are particularly vulnerable when it comes to COVID-19 because:

  • Living arrangements and social connectedness (particularly where many people are living or gathering in one household), makes transmission more likely.

  • Aboriginal people have higher levels of pre-existing health conditions (particularly diabetes and respiratory conditions). People with these health conditions, especially those aged over 50, are at risk of more severe COVID-19 outcomes.

  • Increased remoteness makes access to health care more challenging.

  • COVID-19 can spread quickly—it will only take one person coming into the community with the sickness to put the whole community at risk.

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19

As with other respiratory illnesses, some people infected with COVID-19 may experience mild symptoms and will recover easily, and others may become very ill and need urgent medical care. If you experience any of the following symptoms, no matter how mild, you should get tested for COVID-19 as soon as symptoms appear:

  • fever (a temperature of 37.5˚C or higher) or chills

  • cough

  • loss of taste or smell

  • sore throat

  • tiredness (fatigue)

  • runny or blocked nose

  • shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)

  • nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea 

  • headache

  • muscle or joint pain 

  • loss of appetite 

Call 000 (Triple Zero) in an emergency, such as having difficulty breathing or chest pain. 

How and where can I get tested?

Call the Testing for COVID-19 number 0481 275 753  to book 


Book online on

What to do after your test

After your test, go straight home and self-isolate while you wait for your test result (which you should usually get within 2 days) and:

  • stay at home and do not attend work, school or childcare

  • wash your hands often with soap and water

  • cough and sneeze into a clean tissue or your elbow

  • avoid close contact with others, including members of your household.

If you have a negative test result

If you receive a negative test result, you should still stay at home and not attend work, school or childcare until you are feeling well again.

People in self-isolation or self-quarantine will need to remain at their place of quarantine for the prescribed period even if they return a negative test result.

If you have a positive test result

It is important that you follow medical advice.

If your result is positive you will be contacted directly by SA Health.

If you have received a positive result for COVID-19, visit the information about a positive result for COVID-19 page for information about what to do.

Mental Health Support - COVID-19

It’s normal to feel stress and worry when there is a health event happening in the community that is affecting people’s wellbeing, such as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

This can affect people through isolation from loved ones and usual supports, changes to normal daily routines, changes to or loss of work, difficult financial situations, as well as anxiety about becoming unwell.

To support the mental health of South Australians during this time we have established a Mental Health Support Network of services based locally in SA. This page provides information about the services and other resources for mental health support during this challenging time.

If you are in self-isolation or quarantine, see the Mental Health information for people in home isolation fact sheet (PDF 325KB) for information and support services.

Thirrili for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities

Available 24 hours, seven days a week (including public holidays).

Thirrili’s COVID-19 service is available to provide guidance and support for South Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to access mental health and other services during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information about Thirrili services, see the Thirrili website.


Regional Access

Available 24 hours, seven days a week (including public holidays).

Regional Access provides free professional telephone and online counselling 24/7 for people 15 years and older living or working in regional South Austral






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