About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a pandemic. For the latest updates on COVID-19 please visit the Department of Health and Human Services website
If you cannot find the information you are looking for on this website, please email Infectious.Diseases@dhhs.vic.gov.au
As a last resort, please call the dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398.
Plain English guide to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)(PDF, 457KB)
Face masks for our vulnerable community members
The State Government is supplying local councils with free disposable face masks to distribute to vulnerable residents.
Victorians who can access the free reusable face masks include:
■ People who are being actively managed for the following chronic conditions:
|Heart disease, diabetes and stroke
|Chronic Lung disease
|Alcohol and drug dependency
■ People living in public housing, in crisis accommodation, or who are homeless
■ People living in rooming houses and supported residential services
■ People living with a disability
■ People experiencing mental health and their carers
■ People with health and/or social issues that make them vulnerable, including people with alcohol and drug issues, including those attending primary and secondary needle and syringe programs
■ People experiencing family violence
■ People living in residential facilities
■ Young people living in mandatory facilities
■ Aboriginal people
■ Refugee and asylum seekers (including temporary visa holders).
To access them please contact your local service provider or contact our Customer Service team on 5461 0610 to arrange a collection time.
For more information about reusable face masks visit: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/reusable-face-maskscovid-19
Emergency relief hampers
Victorians self-isolating due to the COVID-19 with no access to food and essential supplies will receive emergency relief packages under a State Government program.
This is the last resort for people in mandatory self-isolation, who have little or no food, and no network of family and friends to support them. Each household that meets the criteria will receive a two week supply of essential goods.
It can be accessed by calling Victoria's dedicated coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398. This service is being provided by Red Cross in partnership with Foodbank Victoria under the direction of the State Relief Coordinator.
Uniting Care Emergency Relief are assisting families in need of food and toiletries - 03 5443 4972
Salvation Army is assisting families in need of food - 5440 8410.
COVID Hardship Support Hotline and no interest loans
The experience - and research Good Shepherd commissioned from Roy Morgan - shows that young people, recent migrants and women have been impacted most by the pandemic. It’s a group who largely have never had to ask for financial support but are now struggling to pay rent, utility bills and rates. Unfamiliar with the system, they are not aware of the array of support potentially available to them or how to negotiate special consideration with their landlords or utility providers.
Phone 1300 121 130 to access the free COVID Hardship Support Hotline, check eligibility and apply for a Household Relief Loan Without Interest or visit www.householdrelief.org.au.
Good Shepherd(PDF, 932KB) is supporting these people with a free COVID Hardship Support Hotline to help them navigate the often-complex service system, including the financial supports available. Loans of up to $3,000 are available for rent, bond, rates, body corporate fees and utility bills – with no interest, charges or fees. Funded by the Australian Government, in partnership with NAB. In addition, assisting in weighing up if a Household Relief Loan Without Interest is right for them. It’s all about understanding the best way forward to cover utility bills, rent, bond, body corporate fees and rates. They are committed to ensuring people don’t turn to pay day lenders and other-high risk sources of credit which may create a cycle of personal debt.
Helpful links from Centrelink
Pharmacy home delivery service
Australia Post has launched a home delivery service to support vulnerable members of the community and those in self-isolation, so they can have ongoing access to essential medications. Pharmacies can offer free delivery on prescriptions to their customers so speak to your pharmacy to see if you or a family member qualifies for this service.
NBN Relief and Assistance Package
The relief fund, created following a short industry consultation led by NBN Co, is aimed at helping internet providers connect low-income households with home schooling needs, supporting emergency and essential services, and assisting small and medium businesses and residential customers who are facing financial hardship.
To help unconnected low-income families with school children get connected, NBN will be waiving its $37 monthly wholesale charge for internet providers for many services on the 25/5 Mbps speed tier between April and September.
For more information, visit NBN Working From Home