Community Members

Information for North Coast communities

COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Healthy North Coast has worked closely with the NSW Public Health Unit and our primary health care workforce since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to support our local communities. 

If you can’t find the COVID-19 information you are looking for below, please get in touch with us using this contact form

You can also sign up to our community newsletter to receive important updates direct to your inbox.

To speak directly to a professional about COVID-19, call the Australian Government’s National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450. Both lines operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Receive the latest local COVID-19 information via our Healthy North Coast newsletters

COVID-19 vaccines are free and recommended for everyone aged 5 years and older. The Vaccine Clinic Finder is the best way to find and book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

ATAGI have updated the number of vaccines required:

  • 50+ should receive 4 doses
  • 30-49 should receive 3 doses, option of 4th
  • 16-29 should receive 3 doses
  • 5-15 should receive 2 doses

Some people with severe or complex health needs may need additional doses and you should talk to your health professional to see what is best for your age and health needs.

Vaccines can be booked 3 months after your first 2 doses or COVID infection.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccines visit

If you are experiencing financial difficulty due to COVID-19, the NSW Government and the Australian Government can provide financial assistance and support.

Service NSW

Call service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for any COVID-19 related concerns or enquiries. To speak to someone about your individual situation, call 137 788.

National Coronavirus Helpline
Call this Australian Government Department of Health phone line for information on coronavirus. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
phone PHN blue icon 1800 020 080

healthdirect helpline
Phone this number to speak to a registered nurse about your health concerns. The line operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
phone PHN blue icon 1800 022 222 

  • Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service
    Beyond Blue has developed a range of information, strategies and expert advice to help support you.

You can call the phone support line on phone PHN blue icon1800 512 348 or chat online to a trained counsellor (available 24/7) 

There is also an online community forum  where you can connect with others.

  • Connect to Wellbeing North Coast
    Call Connect to Wellbeing to speak to someone about accessing the most appropriate services for your needs.

phone PHN blue icon1300 160 339 

  • Head to Health  can help you find the right digital mental health resources to support you.
  • The National Mental Health Commission has developed resources to help you look out for signs of pandemic fatigue, outlining steps you can take to be kind to yourself and overcome these feelings. To learn more, view the National Health’s Commission’s pandemic fatigue flyer.
  • Crisis support
    If you or someone you care for needs immediate emergency support, please call one of the numbers below:

Nearest emergency department phone PHN blue icon000
Lifeline phone PHN blue icon13 11 14
Mental Health Access Line phone PHN blue icon1800 011 51

More support information and resources can be accessed via Life in Mind.

  • Dementia Australia  has created COVID-19 dementia help sheets and other resources for for people living with dementia, their friends, families and carers.
  • Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line provides information and support to senior Australians, their families and carers. Call Monday to Friday, except public holidays, from 8:30 am to 6 pm.
    phone PHN blue icon 1800 171 866

Everybody is at risk of contracting COVID-19 (coronavirus), so you need to protect yourself and others. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people living in remote communities are at greater risk from COVID-19. Find more information and advice about protecting your community .

You can also subscribe to the latest advice  on COVID-19 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Fact sheets for the Aboriginal community

Facebook videos for the Aboriginal community

COVID-19 vaccination

COVID-19 vaccination questions and answers

Everyone in Australia can access free COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. It is important to talk to your doctor about any existing medical conditions before being vaccinated. Use the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder to find your nearest clinic. If you are eligible, you will be able to view vaccination locations and book your appointment.

Latest updates (July 2022)

From Monday, 11 July an additional 7.4 million Australians became eligible to receive a fourth COVID-19 vaccination. This followed the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) updating its recommendation.

ATAGI recommends people aged 50 to 64 years join those aged 65 and over in having their fourth dose. People aged 30 to 49 years may choose to have a fourth shot, as they are now eligible also.

Read more.

To check your eligibility for a booster, you should visit your vaccination record on myGov or your MyHealthRecord app to see when your second dose was, then add 5 months.

Vaccination interval reduced

The recommended interval between vaccinations has been reduced from 4 months to 3 months.

For people who have had COVID-19, ATAGI recommends a booster shot 3 months after infection.

Antiviral access expanded

In other recent changes, Australians aged over 70 who test positive to COVID will be able to access antivirals on the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme.

Access will also be expanded to:

  • people aged over 50 with two or more risk factors for severe disease
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people aged over 30 with two or more risk factors for severe disease
  • immunocompromised people over 18, who may also be eligible.

COVID reinfection period cut to 4 weeks

NSW Health has reduced the COVID-19 reinfection period from 12 weeks to 28 days due to the latest Omicron sub-variants and the rate at which they are infecting people.

The reduced reinfection period means people who have previously had COVID-19 will be required to test again after 28 days if still experiencing symptoms. Those who test positive after 28 days will be counted as new cases and should isolate.

Influenza vaccination

There’s still time to take advantage of free flu shots offered by the NSW Government up to 17 July and to book a vaccination appointment with your GP or local pharmacy as soon as possible.

The influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and over. It can be given on the same day as the COVID-19 vaccine.

There are more than 200 locations across the North Coast where people can access their COVID or flu vaccines, including GPs and pharmacies.

People should continue to take precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and influenza. These include:

  • Stay at home if you are sick and avoid close contact with other people to protect yourself and the community.
  • Wear a mask in indoor spaces if you are unable to physically distance.
  • Sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often.

Below are shortcut links to some of the frequently asked COVID-19 vaccine questions.

About the COVID-19 vaccines

Getting the vaccination

Booster shots

After you get the vaccination