Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities on coronavirus (COVID-19)



The following information has been provided by the Australian Government Department of Health. Stay strong by keeping active Coronavirus has had a big impact on our usual routines. Needing to stay at home more means many of us aren't getting the same amount of exercise we once did. It’s really important for the health of our bodies and our minds that we try to stay active even though we can’t spend as much time outside or go to the same places.


Try to get in some form of physical exercise at least once each day. If you have any health troubles, make sure you speak to a doctor or medical service about the right types of exercise for you. For most of us, anything that can get your heart rate up and make you puff will be good.

You can still go out for a walk or a jog close to your home, just make sure to keep a good distance from other people (two big steps). Riding a bike is another option, especially good to help get kids out and about.

If you live near the ocean, swimming is a great option. Just remember the ocean can be a dangerous place and should only be for those who have experience.

Surfing is allowed under the new laws and health guidelines, again, this is best for those who know how to stay safe in the ocean. Take note of any closures to public beaches.

You don’t need any equipment to do push-ups, sit ups, or core exercises that can strengthen your muscles and also raise your heart rate.

Other options include skipping with a rope, stretching or yoga, or simply just putting on some music and having a dance. You could even get family or kids from your household involved and turn it into your own aerobics workout - have fun with it. If you have a backyard, you can kick or pass a football around. Play tag or join in mini games of backyard touch football with your household. Starting some home improvement projects can also involve a lot of physical work.

Exercising with a punching bag is a great way to get your heart rate up, and if you don’t have one, shadow boxing in front of a mirror or reflection is a great and easy way to get moving. Anyone can do it. You don't even have to have the mirror and can go at your own pace.

These are just some examples of things you could try. Get creative and use your imagination for things you can do around the house that involve movement, as well as things you can use to keep your fitness up and your mind and body strong.

Info for mums and bubs Because this Coronavirus is a very new virus, we don’t yet know exactly how it affects pregnant women and unborn babies. There is no evidence at the moment that coronavirus will harm an unborn baby during pregnancy, or that newborn babies are at higher risk of developing health problems if they catch the virus. You can still go to all of your antenatal appointments, and you can still give birth at the hospital.


However, it is very important that mothers practise good hygiene and follow social distancing guidelines, which is avoiding groups of people, staying at home as much as possible, and keeping a distance of 1.5 metres (two big steps) away from people when you are outside your home.


Parents should wash their hands often, sneeze and cough into their elbows or a tissue, and avoid touching their face, or their baby’s face, and don’t put your fingers in the baby’s mouth. Keep your baby at home as much as possible. There is no evidence that coronavirus is carried in breastmilk, so you don’t have to stop breastfeeding.


However, it is now more important than ever to keep up good hygiene when you are breastfeeding. If you catch the virus, wear a face mask to protect your baby while breastfeeding. If you are worried, talk to your doctor or medical service. You can also call the free National Breastfeeding Helpline on 1800 686 268. A big thank you to our amazing health workers! A big thank you goes out to all of our mob who are working in health during these uncertain times. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors and other health care professionals are doing invaluable work to support us and keep us healthy.


Let’s make sure to let them know their work is highly valued and deeply appreciated. For those of you working in health, we want, and need, you to take care of yourselves.


  • Try to eat nutritious food.

  • Make sure to get enough sleep.

  • Make sure you take breaks – walking, running, signing, sitting under a tree whatever works. Recharging is really important.

  • Reach out to your peers and old friends by phone or social media.

  • Dial into your member organisation’s peer sessions or yarning circles that can connect you with your fellow Indigenous health care professionals.


Keep up the good work to #KeepOurMobSafe Thanks to all those people who have been following the health advice by staying at home and keeping a distance from other people. The infection rates of coronavirus have begun to fall.

This is great news and means all the efforts we are making will save lives and keep our communities healthy. While this is positive news, it doesn't mean we can get back to our normal way of life just yet. We still have to do all we can to protects our Elders and communities. In fact, it is now just as important as ever to keep following the health advice by staying home as much as possible and keeping a distance from others when we are out of the home.


By doing this we can make sure the rates of infection continue to remain low, so that when we start going back to work and spending time with other people in community, coronavirus won’t start to spread sickness again.


The job is not yet done. Please continue with all of the things you have already been doing to #KeepOurMobSafe


Launch of the Facebook profile frame.


You can now use a specially designed Facebook profile frame on your Facebook page to help promote the important health messages to keep our communities safe from coronavirus.

  • Getting ready for your day

  • Setting and maintaining a personal care routine

  • Cleaning your home and maintaining your garden 

  • Managing your day-to-day routine

  • Attending appointments 

  • Personal tasks and errands

  • Engaging with your local community

  • And much more

For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au


Call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.

The phone number of your state or territory public health agency is available at www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts

If you have concerns about your health, speak to your doctor.

#COVID19