Covid-19 Resource for the Pilbara

COVID-19 can be a very serious illness. It is especially dangerous for the vulnerable people in our
community. Getting a vaccine is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your community from
getting very sick or dying from COVID-19.
Early evidence shows COVID-19 vaccines help reduce the virus spreading. By getting vaccinated,
we can slow the spread of the virus.
COVID-19 has changed how we live. When more people are vaccinated, COVID-19 outbreaks are
less likely to happen.

Below is more information on how you can protect yourself and your community from Covid-19.

Protect your Family

Where to get the jab

After the jab

Questions and Answers

External Resources

Protect your family

Why it is important to get the jab

Where to get the jab

The priority for PAHA and its Member ACCHS’s is to improve the health outcomes for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People; Families; and Communities, in the Pilbara region. Below are some info on where you can get your vaccination.

Mawarnkarra provides COVID Vaccination and it is open for EVERYONE
Walk In Anytime, No Booking required. Our office is located at 20 Sholl Street Roebourne WA 6718
For enquiries please contact us at
(08) 9182 0850

Mawarnkarra Health Services

PAMS is an approved vaccination provider for the COVID-19 vaccines. We are happy to help provide COVID-19 immunisation for our local community. Our health professionals have all completed the mandatory training to ensure that our patients will receive the best standard of care.
Click here to book your vaccination.

Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service

Wirraka Maya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation is a community controlled, primary health care service. You may contact us below to learn more about our COVID Vaccination:
Medical Clinic – 08 9172 0400
Wellbeing Centre – 08 9172 0444

Wirraka Maya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation

After the jab

Will it make me sick?

All vaccines can have some side effects. These side effects are usually mild and only last for a few days. This video explains what you can expect after receiving your COVID-19 vaccination.

After your COVID-19 vaccination Fact Sheet

When People Won’t Vaccinate – How to overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

A 20 minute talk followed by open Q&A

PAHA is pleased to host a live Teams event next Thursday 13 January at 12:30 AWST. The event will feature Professor Julie Leask who has devoted the last 24 years of her career working on how to address concerns about vaccines. Julie is an advisor to the World Health Organisation on vaccine uptake. She is professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney’s Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery and is a member of the Sydney Institute for Infectious Diseases and a visiting fellow at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance.

For meeting details contact  [email protected] 


Questions and Answers

What is a coronavirus and COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses known to cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak in Hubei Province, China.

How is this coronavirus spread?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 metre (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.


Can CoVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?

The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other colds and flus and include:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing

While coronavirus is of concern, it is important to remember that most people displaying these symptoms are likely suffering with a cold or other respiratory illness – not coronavirus.

What do I do if I develop symptoms?

If you develop symptoms within 14 days of arriving in Australia or within 14 days of last contact with a confirmed case, you should arrange to see your doctor for urgent assessment. You should telephone the health clinic or hospital before you arrive and tell them your travel history or that you have been in contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus. You must remain isolated either in your home, hotel or a health care setting until public health authorities inform you it is safe for you to return to your usual activities.

What are the criteria for getting tested for COVID-19?
  • You have returned from overseas in the past 14 days and you develop respiratory illness with or without fever
  • You have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days and you develop respiratory illness with or without fever
  • You have severe community-acquired pneumonia and there is no clear cause
  • You are a healthcare worker who works directly with patients and you have a respiratory illness and a fever

If you meet any of these criteria, your doctor can request you are tested for COVID-19. It is important to remember that many people with symptoms similar to COVID-19 will not have the virus. Only suspected cases are tested to ensure our labs are able to cope with the demand. There is no need to test people who feel well and do not meet the criteria above.

Who needs to isolate?

All people who arrive in Australia from midnight 15 March 2020, or think they may have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Someone I live with is getting tested for COVID-19. Should I self-isolate and get tested as well?

If a household member is a suspected case, you may need to be isolated. This will be determined by your public health unit on a case-by-case basis. Your public health unit will contact you if you need to isolate.

What does isolate in your home mean?

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must stay at home to prevent it spreading to other people. You might also be asked to stay at home if you may have been exposed to the virus.

Staying at home means you:

  • do not go to public places such as work, school, shopping centres, childcare or university
  • ask someone to get food and other necessities for you and leave them at your front door
  • do not let visitors in — only people who usually live with you should be in your home

You do not need to wear a mask in your home. If you need to go out to seek medical attention, wear a surgical mask (if you have one) to protect others.

You should stay in touch by phone and on-line with your family and friends.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing is one way to help slow the spread of viruses such as COVID-19. Social distancing includes staying at home when you are unwell, avoiding large public gatherings if they’re not essential, keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people whenever possible and minimising physical contact such as shaking hands, especially with people at higher risk of developing serious symptoms, such as older people and people with existing health conditions.

There’s no need to change your daily routine, but taking these social distancing precautions can help protect the people in our community who are most at risk.

Who is most at risk of a serious illness?

Some people who are infected may not get sick at all, some will get mild symptoms from which they will recover easily, and others may become very ill, very quickly. From previous experience with other coronaviruses, the people at most risk of serious infection are:
·       People with compromised immune systems (e.g. cancer).

·       Elderly people.

·       Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as they have higher rates of chronic illness.

·       People with chronic medical conditions.

·       People in group residential settings.

·       People in detention facilities.

·       Very young children and babies.*


*At this stage the risk to children and babies, and the role children play in the transmission of COVID-19, is not clear. However, there has so far been a low rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases among children, relative to the broader population.

How is the virus treated?

There is no specific treatment for coronaviruses. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care.

How can we help prevent the spread of coronavirus?

Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and keeping your distance from others when you are sick is the best defence against most viruses. You should:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • If unwell, avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people).
  • Exercise personal responsibility for social distancing measures.
Can I visit family and friends in aged care facilities?

The outbreak of any virus in aged care facilities can cause significant problems. However COVID-19 is a health risk for older people. In order to protect older people, restrictions apply. Do not visit aged care facilities if you have:

  • returned from overseas in the last 14 days
  • been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • have a fever or symptoms of a respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, shortness of breath)

From 1 May you must have your influenza vaccination in order to visit an aged care facility.

The Government has also announced that aged care facilities must take extra precautions when it comes to visits, including:

  • Ensuring visits are kept short.
  • Ensuring visits are kept to a maximum of two visitors, including doctors, at a time.
  • Ensuring that visits are in a resident’s room, outdoors, or in a specific area designated by the facility and not in communal areas.
  • There be no large group visits or gatherings, including social activities or entertainment.
  • School groups of any size are not to visit.
  • Children under the age of 16 are not permitted, except in special circumstances.

If visiting family and friends in residential aged care facilities is not possible, it’s important to keep in touch via phone and video calls, send postcards, photos or artwork, or videos. 

Can I go to public gatherings such as concerts and sporting events?

As of Sunday, 29 March 2020:

  • Public gatherings, excluding household members, have been reduced to maximum of two people. Check State and Territory websites for further enforcement information.
  • Everyone should stay home unless you are: shopping for essentials, receiving medical care, exercising or travelling to work or education.
  • People aged over 70, aged over 60 with pre-existing conditions or Indigenous people aged over 50 should stay home wherever possible for their own protection.
What about indoor events like the gym, bars, movies and restaurants?

Gyms, bars and cinema are now closed. Restaurants remain operational but customers can only get take away food.


Elders and family and friends who have other health and medical conditions can be at higher risk of contracting Coronavirus.

FOOD, MEDICINE and ESSENTIAL ITEMS – check what they have at home and make sure that if they take regular medication they have extras on hand. Picking up groceries or medicine for them is a helpful way to reduce the changes of them coming into contact with COVID-19.

CREATE AN EMERGENCY CONTACT LIST – have a list of emergency contact numbers handy and a plan for if they fall ill so they know what to do if they feel unwell, including contact numbers for local GP’s or medical centre.

STAY CONNECTED – even though self-isolation is being encouraged it’s important we stay connected. Pick up the phone and have a yarn with family & friends and check in regularly on each other during this time.

LIMIT COMMUNITY GATHERINGS – it is better to self-isolate than risk exposing others so be cautions and stay connected in other ways.

What about public transport like planes, buses, trains, ride shares and taxis?

All Australians should reconsider non-essential travel. While the risk of contracting COVID-19 on a plane is low, non-essential travel is not recommended.

Most public transport is considered to be essential. However the Government does recommend that employers offer flexible working arrangements to minimise the number of people catching public transport at any one time. Long distance services carry a higher risk of infection and should be reconsidered at this time.

If possible, sit in the back seat of taxis and ride share vehicles.

Group transport of at-risk people, including older people should be avoided where possible.

My workplace has more than 100 people. Can I still go to work?

Yes, you can still go to work. The Government currently recommends that organised, non-essential gatherings be limited to a maximum of 100 people. This advice does not include workplaces, schools, universities, shops, supermarkets, public transport and airports. If you are unwell, you should stay home to avoid spreading germs to others.

Should I be taking my kids out of childcare or school?

No, at this stage the Government recommends continuing essential daily activities including school and childcare. If your child is unwell, you should keep them home to avoid spreading their germs to others.

So far, information from around the world indicates that children who develop COVID-19 have very mild symptoms and very little transmission appears to occur between children.

Singapore is currently providing a strong example of the benefits of keeping child care and schools operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.   

Schools should ensure their hygiene practices are appropriate and that children are educated about and encouraged to practice social distancing wherever possible.

What about sports and activities?

Major sporting events and community activities may be postponed or cancelled depending on the size of the event and the expected number of attendees.

Community sport can continue at this stage. However, only essential participants should attend activities, i.e. players, coaches, match officials, staff and volunteers involved in operations and parents/guardians of participants

How long does the virus survive on surfaces?

It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).

If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose

Is it safe to receive a package from any area where COVID-19 has been reported?

Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.

Should I wear a face mask?

You do not need to wear a mask if you are healthy. While the use of masks can help to prevent transmission of disease from infected patients to others, masks are not currently recommended for use by healthy members of the public for the prevention of infections like coronavirus.

More information

For the latest advice, information and resources, go to

Call the National Coronavirus Help Line 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

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

Skip to content