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The government hasn’t yet released any new coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for people with chronic conditions, however, we can make some predictions. While coronavirus is still a risk in the community, people with conditions that put them at greater risk will still need to take extra precautions. This will mean staying at home if you can, and using options like telehealth and ordering prescriptions from home. There are also processes your workplace should be following to keep you safe.
As restrictions ease, there will still be some rules that everyone will need to follow. These will vary state to state, but may include things like:
If you’re in a high-risk category, recommendations will not likely change for you until the risk in the community has significantly lowered or a vaccine is readily available.
People with chronic health conditions or weakened immune systems have a higher risk of serious illness from coronavirus. If you have two or more conditions, your risk can be higher still.
You are at high risk of severe illness if you:
You are at medium risk of severe illness if you have:
Your level of risk depends on other factors as well, including your age, gender and whether you smoke.
If you have a health condition that makes you more vulnerable to coronavirus, your workplace should be doing a risk assessment and, where possible, finding a way for you to continue working safely. Safe Work Australia lists the steps an employer should take to make sure any vulnerable employees are kept as safe as possible from contracting coronavirus. This includes options like:
Employers shouldn’t be telling you to take leave to keep you safe. They first need to try and find a solution to keep you working, if that’s what you want to do.
You can read more information about coronavirus and people with chronic health issues on the Department of Health’s website.
You can find information about what employers should be doing to keep vulnerable people safe on the Safe Work Australia website.
You can find coronavirus information for specific conditions from a list of organisations like Diabetes Australia and the Lung Foundation on the Health Direct website.