Staying safe

With COVID-19 now in the community, there are things we can all do to make ourselves and others safer.

How we live

Follow these COVID-safe principles:

  • Follow current public health and social measures (external site).
  • We strongly recommend that you wear a face mask if you can’t physically distance, have any symptoms, or if you are with people who may be vulnerable to COVID-19.
  • Carry a mask when leaving home in case you need it. Read about where face masks are required (external site) and mask information.
  • Get all recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination protects you, your loved ones and your community, and reduces your risk of becoming seriously ill or going to hospital if you contract COVID-19. Book an appointment today. Book in to receive all recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccination by visiting rollup.wa.gov.au (external site).
  • Check the latest testing and isolation requirements.
  • You can reduce risks by maintaining 1.5 metre distance from others where possible, using hand sanitiser and practising good hygiene.
  • Good ventilation and additional air filtration can help reduce the risk of transmission. Consider opening windows to let the fresh air blow through or catching up with friends outside.
  • Show proof of vaccination (external site) when visiting hospitals and residential aged care facilities.
Who is most at risk of COVID-19?

All people are at risk of infection, but some groups are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill. These groups include:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 50 years and older with one or more chronic medical conditions
  • People 65 years and older with chronic medical conditions. See this page on the Department of Health website for more information
  • People 70 years and older
  • People with compromised immune systems.

For the most up to date information on who is most at risk of COVID-19 please see the following:

Measures to keep us safe

Public health and social measures play an important part in helping to keep the community safe and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Based on the latest heath advice, these measures are regularly updated to help limit the progress of the disease in the community.

See the latest advice (external site).

Resources

Welcoming visitors safely into your home

COVID-19 may spread when people are in a crowded indoor space. Some people with COVID-19 will not display symptoms.

Read tips for having visitors safely in your home (PDF 322KB).

Reducing air transmission of COVID-19 at home

The risk of COVID-19 spreading in crowded, indoor spaces is much higher than outdoors. This is because an infected person can spread the virus in droplets and aerosols that go into the air when they breathe, talk, cough or sneeze.

Diluting the air in your home with outdoor air is one way you can reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in your home.

Ventilation and other easy and low-cost actions can be taken to limit the spread of the virus and make your home safer, particularly if you are inviting guests.

  • Limit the number of invited guests into your home and encourage physical distancing where possible.
  • Consider entertaining in the outdoor space at your home.
  • Open external windows and doors to allow for a good exchange of outdoor and indoor air.
  • Increase airflow with the use of electric or ceiling fans, on the lowest setting and turning on kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans.
  • Use air conditioning systems that can bring outdoor air into house. Not all air conditioning systems can do that as some just recirculate indoor air. You should check your system, know how it works and follow instructions on maintenance and cleaning.
  • Portable air cleaner units, with proper HEPA filters, can also help to reduce the number of viral particles in the air.

For more detailed information see:

Information on managing COVID-19 at home is available here:

It is helpful to plan how you will purchase and receive groceries and medications, keep in touch with your family or friend/support person, and who will care for your pets and/or children if you need to be hospitalised. Preparing for COVID-19 checklists are available on the HealthyWA website under Measures to keep us safe on the Staying safe webpage.

Be prepared

If you do not have these essentials, discuss your options with your support person.

  1. Face masks, hand sanitiser and gloves
  2. Pain relief medication and electrolytes (available from your pharmacy or supermarket)
  3. Your regular medications
  4. Thermometer
  5. Rapid antigen tests (RATs) for your household
  6. Should you need to go to hospital, you will need a plan to look after your children, pets, or people in your care
  7. How will you get food delivered? Will it be through a supermarket or can your support person help?
  8. Ensure you have the phone numbers for people you can call if you need help
  9. Make sure you have activities to keep you and others in your house, such as children, entertained
Check in

It’s important to continue to check-in and show proof of vaccination when required (e.g. hospitals and some high risk settings). Refer to WA.go.au (external site) for the current requirements.

You can use ServicesWA, which enables you to activate and access the following WA Government services in one place:

  • SafeWA – for individuals checking in at WA businesses, venues and events.
  • Import COVID-19 digital certificate – for secure presentation of your proof of vaccination or exemption on demand.
How can I protect myself against COVID-19?

Every Western Australian needs to play their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

To stop the spread of coronavirus, everyone must:

  • receive your recommended COVID-19 vaccinations, including the booster and winter booster doses (if applicable). Register at rollup.wa.gov.au (external site) to be notified when you can book your vaccination
  • practise good hygiene
  • practise physical distancing where possible
  • stay at home if unwell and get tested

How do I practise good hygiene?

  • Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use your inner elbow. Throw the tissue in the bin and wash your hands immediately.
  • Stay home if you are sick and get tested. Do not go to work or school.
  • Clean surfaces and objects such as doorknobs, keyboards and phones regularly with detergent and disinfectant.

What is physical distancing?

  • Keep at least 1.5 metres or two arms lengths (minimum) away from others.
  • Avoid physical greetings such as handshaking, hugs and kisses.
  • Use tap and pay instead of cash.
  • Avoid large public gatherings and places where there are lots of people. Visit places at quieter times or, if you arrive and it is busy, leave and come back when the crowds have reduced.
  • Do not visit others if they are unwell.

For more information about how to practise physical distancing at home, work, school or keeping in touch with others, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website (external site).

Should I wear a mask?

Face masks must be worn in certain settings for people aged 12 years and over (year 7 and over for schools). Refer to the face mask page for further information and advice.

Visit WA.gov.au (external site) to stay up-to-date with current public health and social measures.

Even if you are not required to wear a mask, you should consider wearing one whenever physical distancing is not possible.

Visit WA.gov.au (external site) to stay up-to-date with current public health and social measures.

Stay at home if unwell and get tested

If you are feeling unwell or sick you must stay at home. Do not go to work or school. If you experience any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, get a COVID-19 test.

Social stigma and COVID-19

What is social stigma?

Social stigma is a strong feeling of disapproval that people in a society have about something, especially when this is unfair. COVID-19 has provoked social stigma and discriminatory behaviours against people of certain ethnic backgrounds as well as people who have become unwell with COVID-19. These feelings and behaviours have been extended to anyone perceived to have been in contact with the virus, such as recent travellers or healthcare workers.

Such attitudes can negatively affect those with the disease (or those who may have been in contact with the disease), as well as their caregivers, family, friends and communities.

What is the impact of social stigma?

Stigma can disrupt community harmony and prompt behaviours that result in the social isolation of certain groups. These behaviours can contribute to a situation where the virus is more, not less, likely to spread. For example, people may try to hide their illness to avoid discrimination.

How to address social stigma

How we communicate about COVID-19 is critical in supporting people to take effective action to help combat the disease and to avoid fuelling fear and stigma. The way we can do this is by:

  • correcting misconceptions, rumours or misinformation
  • sharing facts and accurate information about COVID-19;
  • sharing stories and experiences of people or groups who have been affected by COVID19
  • communicating support and encouragement for people working on the COVID-19 response frontline (e.g. healthcare workers).

Facts about being a positive case

  • If you are a COVID-19 positive case, this doesn’t mean you have done anything wrong.
  • Anyone can become sick with COVID-19 regardless of their nationality or cultural background.
  • For most people, the risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus that causes COVID-19 is low.
  • When someone who has been unwell with COVID-19 recovers and is medically cleared and released from self-isolation, they do not pose any risk of infection to other people in the community and can safely return to work, school and other normal activities.
COVID-19 Care Plans

It is important to plan in case you or anyone in your household gets COVID-19 and needs to isolate at home.

Most people with up-to-date vaccinations who get COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms and can care for themselves at home, with support from their GP. Other people may need to go to hospital.

A COVID-19 Care Plan (Care Plan) includes important information about you and your health, and details your plans for the care of your pets and other adults in your care, should you need to go to hospital.

You can share your plan with:

  • your GP
  • your family or support person
  • hospital staff and other health workers.

Resources

 

Last reviewed: 22-06-2022