As of 16 March, Victoria is under a State of Emergency due to COVID-19 (coronavirus). The situation is changing rapidly, so for the most up to date information please visit dhhs.vic.gov.au.
We understand that this a confusing and unpredictable time, but we ask that you look out for one another. Older people are one of the groups most vulnerable to the virus. It is important that we all practice good hygiene and take sensible precautions to keep ourselves and each other safe.
The current advice is to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. If you leave your home, practice social distancing.
Where to find information
For the most accurate and up-to-date health advice, visit:
You can also call the Coronavirus Hotline (24 hours) on 1800 675 398. Keep 000 for emergencies only.
Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia has worked with the federal government to produce a fact sheet for older Australians. It provides clear and practical information about reducing the risks of COVID-19.
For informative discussion and answers to common questions, ABC has created the Coronacast podcast. The daily episodes are around 10 minutes long and available through the ABC listen app, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.
NDIA have produced some easy English information sheets about COVID-19.
For information in your language, Ethnolink have translated resources into languages other than English.
Information for people with dementia and their carers is available from Dementia Australia.
COTA Victoria services
Our Information Line – 1300 13 50 90 – will continue to be available to older Victorians. Our Little Lonsdale Street office is now closed, but most of our services are still being provided by staff working from home.
We have cancelled all events for the next month. If any future events are cancelled, we will let you know through our website or by email. If you attend an OM:NI group, COTA Cycling or Strength for Life, please contact the organiser of your group directly to find out about cancellations or alternative activities.
If you’re unsure if an event you’ve registered for is going ahead, please contact our Information Line on 1300 13 50 90 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What support is available
Coles, Woolworths and some smaller supermarkets are holding dedicated shopping hours between 7 am and 8 am for older people and people with disability. You will need to show some form of Government issued card to prove your eligibility. This varies between chains, so please check the requirements with your supermarket. Your local supermarket may also be offering priority delivery services for people unable to come into a store. Eligibility and availability may vary between locations, so please check online or contact your supermarket directly for more information.
Two $750 Economic Support Payments will be provided to Australians currently receiving a welfare payment. This will be automatically paid to you in April and in June/July.