Thank you for your feedback over the last week. As mentioned previously, the information you provide is very important to the Department and informs policy, decision making and government messaging.
Some of the key themes we have heard from you include:
Not knowing where to access reliable and centralised information;
Problems accessing official information about COVID-19 in languages other than English;
Difficulty accessing or using face masks; and
Understandable anxiety about the ongoing COVID-19 situation;
We thought we’d share some information that may assist.
Centralised government information
The Australian government has created a website that centralises the latest COVID-19 information from government agencies across Australia. Topics include government directions, health, travel information, and financial support for businesses and individuals.
Australian Government COVID-19
A link to the latest COVID-19 news, updates and advice from government agencies across Australia.
COVID-19 resources in other languages
The Australian government has been working on ensuring information on COVID-19 is translated into community languages and accessible to all Australians.
Department of Home Affairs
The Department has translated information into 8 languages (Arabic, Chinese simplified, Farsi, Greek, Italian, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese).
Department of Health
The Department of Health is in the process of translating COVID-19 fact sheets into additional languages (Arabic, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Farsi, Greek, Italian, Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese, Thai, Assyrian, Swahili, Dari, Nepali, Burmese, Hazaragi, Karen, Tigrinya, Farsi (Afghan)). These translations can be found on the Department of Health website as they become available.
Advice about wearing facemasks
Many of you in the community have reached out to tell us about your problems accessing face masks, or about being treated differently when wearing face masks.
The official advice from the Department of Health is that most people will not benefit from wearing a surgical mask, and its use by the general public should be limited to those who are sick or healthcare workers. It is also worth noting if you are suspected of having COVID-19 you will be provided a surgical mask by your primary care provider for use when entering the emergency department or general practice and in all public places.
Department of Health – information on the use of surgical masks
These fact sheets are also available in simplified Chinese, Farsi, and Korean.
Anxiety about COVID-19
The high levels of uncertainty around health and financial security are causing considerable distress and anxiety in the community. While we are limited to hand washing and social distancing at this stage, it is important to remember that we can each take responsibility for our response.
Head to Health
Practical psychological skills to help you and your loved ones cope with anxiety and worry about infectious diseases. Links are also provided to Lifeline and MindSpot resources that people can access via telephone for further support.
Hopefully these resources are of value to you, please distribute this information to your communities so they remain informed and updated.
In the meantime, please continue to pass your concerns and questions to us in writing at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone at 08 9415 9210.
We are interested in feedback on the following topics:
Any community concerns
Racism or discrimination
Reception to government messaging
Issues related to travel restrictions and associated processes
Any other emerging community issues
Thanks again for your assistance.
WA Community Engagement Team
WA Community Engagement | Citizenship & Multicultural Programs Division
Citizenship & Social Cohesion Group
Department of Home Affairs
P: 08 9415 9210