At risk groups

Some people are at more risk of serious illness from COVID-19 than others, and extra precautions can be taken to help you stay safe.

People most at risk of complications from COVID-19 are:

- People aged 70 years and over;
- People aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions;
- People with compromised immune systems; and
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50 with one or more chronic medical conditions.

The Community Services Directorate website has detailed information on the community services and supports available to people at risk during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Protecting yourself

Stay at home as much as possible to reduce the risk of infection.

This is not a formal direction under the Public Health Act 1997, but it is a precaution the ACT Government encourages.

This does not mean you cannot leave your home or have help at home. But for your own safety, you should only go out when you really need to and only have essential carers or service providers visit.

Consider having groceries or medications delivered to the home or ask a friend or relative to pick up supplies.

COVID-19 spreads from person to person, usually during close contact. Therefore, practising good hygiene and physical distancing are the best ways to stop the spread of the virus.  Ask any carers or visitors coming to your home to wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser when they enter your home.

Where support is needed to go out you should, where possible, only use one support person only.

Limit physical interactions with others for the safety of your own health and others. Remember that limiting physical interactions does not mean you need to limit social interactions. Technology can really help in this – phone calls, emails, social media are different ways of connecting with friends and family. For further information on maintaining good mental health please visit the Mental Health and Wellbeing during COVID-19 webpage.

If you are working, work from home as much as possible.  Your employer should support you to do this. If you can’t work from home, discuss with your doctor the risk of continuing to go to work. Avoid contact with people who are sick.

If you need medical help for routine medical issues, please contact your GP first.

For all emergency medical issues (chest pains, difficulty breathing, severe fever), please contact 000.

Information for seniors

People aged 70 years or older are at increased risk of serious illness if they are infected with COVID‑19. It is recommended that seniors follow the advice above to reduce their risk of exposure throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Seniors Information Line run by the Council of The Ageing (COTA) ACT is still operating.

Staff are available to take your calls, listen to your concerns, and provide advice.

They can provide information about:

  • ACT Seniors Cards and discounts
  • Social activities
  • Aged care and retirement options
  • Household assistance
  • Transport
  • Community and government services

Call the Seniors Information Line on (02) 6282 3777 , Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

You can also visit the Council on the Ageing or Community Service Directorate websites.

For information about visiting aged care facilities, please visit the Aged care page.

Information for people with chronic conditions

People aged 65 years or older with chronic health conditions or people with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

Chronic conditions are a broad range of health conditions, such as:

  • chronic and complex health conditions
  • mental illness
  • trauma
  • disability
  • genetic disorders

For more information about chronic conditions, visit the Australian Department of Health website .

For access to support services, please visit the Community Service Directorate website.

Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The ACT Government is working to provide the services you need.

We are working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations to do this.

We will make sure these services are available and culturally appropriate.

We are working with the community to share information about how to stay safe.

Key health services are still operating.

If you need to access these services, please check websites and call ahead to find out your options.

We are working on flexible arrangements, such as options to stay at home and with family.

For more information, please visit the ACT Health website and download the ‘How to support our mob and communities’ factsheet.

Supermarkets and food relief

Some supermarkets now have services and in-store changes to help vulnerable people safely buy groceries.

This includes:

  • Special shopping hours
  • Priority delivery services
  • Changes in store for social distancing

For more information about these services and changes, please visit the supermarkets’ websites:

The Canberra Relief Network (CRN) is a group of community services organisations in Canberra.

The ACT Government has partnered with CRN to deliver essential food and supplies to people in need.

You can contact the CRN on (02) 5104 9599.

For more information about support for the community, visit the Economic Survival Package page.

acknowledgement icon
Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: May 05 2020