Novel COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a new strain of COVID-19 that had not previously been identified in humans. It can be spread from person to person and continues to be an evolving international health concern. 

COVID-19 Mental Health Support

The impacts of COVID-19 have caused significant disruptions for many Australians. It may have affected your work, family life or other plans. Managing your mental health during this time of change and uncertainty can be an ongoing challenge. We encourage you to reach out to the support available to you. 

The Head to Health website provides helpful resources, contacts, information and tips to support you and your loved ones’ mental health.

Beyond Blue has a dedicated COVID-19 mental health support line. Call 1300 22 4636 to speak to a counsellor for expert advice; they can help you develop strategies to cope.

Online chat service is also available 24/7.

Access these services via the Beyond Blue website.

NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS) runs several mental health programs to support diverse communities through the challenges of COVID-19:

To access these programs or for more information, please call STARTTS on 9646 6666.

COVID-19 Testing

People experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms are encouraged to test for COVID-19.

COVID-19 testing facilities have been established in Western Sydney to provide Polymerase Chain reaction (PCR) tests. If your doctor recommends a COVID-19 PCR test, they will give you a pathology referral form for a free COVID-19 PCR test. 

Rapid Antigen Tests are also made available in Western Sydney. For more information, visit the NSW Health website

To find out more about testing, visit our COVID-19 Testing webpage.

COVID-19 Vaccination

The Australian Government aims to have as many people vaccinated. Identified priority groups will get the first available safe and effective doses of vaccines.

Find out more about the Government’s COVID-19 Vaccination National Rollout Strategy, the latest information and FAQs on our COVID-19 Vaccination webpage

COVID-19 Information for Our Health Professionals

We recommend health care professionals to stay up-to-date with the latest advice and information. As information changes, we will update GPs as it becomes available. 

Western Sydney HealthPathways provides relevant, up-to-date clinical information on managing patient medical conditions, as well as referral information for local services. See our HealthPathways COVID-19 Response Package for all the relevant COVID-19 pathways.

A password is required to access Western Sydney HealthPathways. If you don’t have the login details, you can contact our HealthPathways team at or call 8811 7100.

COVID-19 Telehealth

The Department of Health and Aged Care (DoHAC) has extended the healthdirect Video Call COVID-19 GP Program to 30 June 2024. The secure video consulting platform has been purpose-built for general practitioners working in private practice and/or Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs).

GPs working in private practice can register to access this service. GPs working in ACCHOs can also register for access.

In collaboration with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), healthdirect is offering the following CPD courses that support GPs and practice managers to use Video Calls more confidently and effectively. 

Essential Video Call training 
This module is for GPs and practice managers new to Video Call and covers the basic functionality of the platform. Register for essential training.

Advanced Video Call training
This module covers more advanced use of the platform. The course will also suit practice managers and anyone interested in how Video Call can reshape the provision of services to patients or clients. Register for advanced training.

It is a legislative requirement that GPs and other medical practitioners working in general practice can only perform a telehealth or telephone service where they have an existing relationship with the patient. There are limited exemptions to this requirement.

The GP bulk-billing incentive will double for GPs to look after pensioners, people aged 16 years and under, and concession cardholders.

More information is available below:

healthdirect Video Call is a freeeasy-to-use, trusted and reliable telehealth option for both GPs and patients to conduct video consultations. Visit the healthdirect website to register for a free healthdirect Video Call licence.

Watch healthdirect’s short video to learn more about the healthdirect Video Call service.

We can also help set up your practice details by emailing or calling 8811 7117. If you require further assistance, contact your Practice Development Officer.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has created resources to help GPs navigate changes with the current COVID-19 situation. General practices are rapidly changing the way care is accessed and delivered to ensure the safety of their practice teams, patients and the broader community. One of these changes is increasing the ability for general practice consultations to be conducted via telehealth, these include:

Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) telehealth online training is available to nurses interested in learning more about providing telehealth consults during the COVID-19 pandemic. This interactive module will provide you with the knowledge and skills to facilitate telehealth consults, within a primary health care setting.

As part of the National Health Plan, electronic prescribing has been fast-tracked.

The Department of Health and Aged Care (DoHAC) has created some useful resources that provide information on issues such as PBS claiming arrangements, supply of medicine to patients, signing for receipts of a prescription, repeats, and existing prescriptions:

More information on electronic prescriptions is available on our dedicated webpage.

Information for your Practice

To support Western Sydney general practice staff with the challenges they have faced in their role as primary care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are providing exclusive access to our Benestar Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This program helps people maintain and improve their wellbeing in all aspects of life including mental, social, physical and financial health.

Visit the Benestar EAP webpage for more information.

Adults who test positive for COVID-19 and are not at a high risk of severe COVID-19 are encouraged to self-manage at home..

Western Sydney HealthPathways has been updated in response to the current COVID-19 outbreak and the increased number of patients in the community. Visit our dedicated COVID-19 HealthPathways webpage to access the HealthPathways COVID-19 Response Package.

The Australian Government has confirmed that the distribution of PPE through the Living with COVID measure ceased on 31 December 2022. There will be no further extensions. The Department of Health and Aged Care’s contract with DHL for the distribution of PPE ceased on 31 December 2022 and no deliveries will be made after this date.

For more information, please contact our team at 

Health professionals are encouraged to comply with the following advice:

  • Arrange telehealth assessment of patients with respiratory symptoms if they meet the Suspect Case Definition
  • Arrange further assessment and testing, either at your practice (noting the infection control requirements and you will need to organise specimen collection) a COVID-19 Pathology Collection Centre, GP-led Respiratory Clinic or COVID-19 Clinic
  • If you are notified of a positive COVID-19 test result, need advice, or have concerns about the ability of a patient to self-isolate, e.g. if they live in a residential facility, contact the Public Health Unit. In NSW call 1300 066 055 and you will be directed to your local Public Health Unit.

We have provided an adaptable Triage Guide for COVID-19 to suit your practice when triaging patients.

Testing and Triage Resources

To find out more about testing, visit our COVID-19 Testing webpage.

In a state-wide effort to provide primary care providers with consistent and up-to-date information and clinical guidance on the COVID-19 pandemic, a COVID-19 Response Package consisting of a range of COVID-19 specific pathways are now available on Western Sydney HealthPathways.

You can read more about this Response Package online or access these pathways directly in Western Sydney HealthPathways. If you don’t have the login details, you can contact our HealthPathways team at or call 8811 7100.

To help practices keep up-to-date with Government information and changes relating to COVID-19, we have created a Business Continuity for Practices webpage.

The webpage provides information on telehealth changes, preparing your practice, and information and support for business continuity.

Health professionals involved in the care of people with a disability diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms can call the COVID-19 Health Professionals National Disability Advisory Service during the new operating times of 8am to 9pm (AEST) Monday to Friday on 1800 131 330.

Calls to the service are answered by health professionals with disability service qualifications and experience working with people with a disability.

Specific support may be required to address communication and management issues, such as behaviours of concern and the reduction of risk to the patient and staff involved in the process. healthdirect Australia has created a poster for GPs which you can display in your consultation rooms.

Find out more by visiting the healthdirect Australia website

PenCS launched the COVID-19 National Guidance Topbar App. This app provides guidance, key links, and resources for practitioners surrounding COVID-19. Practitioners have access to key information from the following organisations, straight from Topbar:

  • Australian Government DoHAC
  • World Health Organization
  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
  • State/Territories Departments of Health
  • Primary Health Networks

The App is available to all Topbar users.

Posters and other resources are available on the NSW Health website. Many of these resources are available in multiple languages.

COVID-19 Training and Education

The Department of Health and Aged Care (DoHAC) hosted a series of webinars for primary care practitioners working on the national COVID-19 response. Please visit their website to watch their previous recordings.


Coronacast is a podcast by Dr Norman Swan that helps answer common questions about COVID-19, breaking down the latest news and research. 

You can view previous podcasts for more information. 

Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA)

A news and education podcast for Australian nurses, working together towards a healthier Australia, presented by APNA. Nurses can keep up-to-date with the latest news, listen to interviews, learn with education segments and hear stories from nurses on the frontline of Australian health.

Margaret Jennings, a microbiologist, shows practice staff in Western Sydney how to accurately and safely put on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to prevent COVID-19 transmission and infection.

Watch the training video to learn more about infection prevention control in practices.

Resources available

There are a range of resources about COVID-19 developed for the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community below:

Key Sources

COVID-19 is an evolving international health concern. We are publishing regular updates on this page, but encourage health professionals to also view the latest advice and information from NSW Health, the Department of Health and Aged Care (DoHAC), and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), as well as current clinical guidance from our HealthPathways website.

COVID-19 Information for Our Community

To help you keep up-to-date with the latest advice about COVID-19, we’ve sourced a range of information and resources for you and your family.

What You Need to Know

Vaccines are proven to provide the best protection against COVID-19, however there are some individuals who are at higher risk for severe disease if they become infected with COVID-19.

The oral antiviral treatments, molnupiravir (Lagevrio) and nirmatrelvir and ritonavir (Paxlovid) can be used by adult in high-risk groups who do not require initiation of oxygen due to COVID-19 who are at increased risk of hospitalisation or death. Some people who are at higher risk may need specific antiviral treatments prescribed by their health care provider.

Visit the Department of Health and Aged Care website to find out if you are eligible.

As COVID-19 continually evolves, we will be providing information from NSW Government and other health organisations on restrictions, guidelines and advice, to ensure you and your family are informed with the latest updates.

Western Sydney Hospital Visitor Policy

Visitors may be screened on entry and must follow the advice of health care staff at all times.

If the person you wish to visit is currently COVID-19 positive, your request will need to be clinically assessed and some additional restrictions may apply.

For more information visit the WSLHD website.

Travel and transport

If you have been exposed to COVID-19, it is especially important you take the right steps to keep others safe.

If you are at higher risk of severe illness, speak to your doctor now about what you should do if you become unwell. 

Please visit the NSW Health website to see advice for people who may be exposed to COVID-19.

NSW Health has published advice on how to manage COVID-19 safely at home after receiving a positive result for COVID-19:

  • What should I do if I test positive?
  • How should I manage my symptoms?
  • Who is at higher risk of severe illness?
  • What if I am pregnant and have COVID-19?
  • How do I manage a baby or child with COVID-19?
  • How can I protect other people I live with?
  • How soon should I get vaccinated after having COVID-19?
  • What support is available if I have COVID-19?
  • Translated resources

You’ve had the COVID-19 test. Now what?

There are a number of ways you can access information on what happens now and what you need to do after having a COVID-19 test:

Important video messages from the NSW Government about COVID-19 are also available in the following languages: 

NSW Health has a variety of videos to help you manage COVID-19 at home in multiple languages:

healthdirect has translated brochures about where you can access the right care:

COVID-19 is impacting all Australians, however, restrictions and self-isolation can particularly challenge older Australians. To support older Australians in Western Sydney, information and resources have been provided from the Department of Health and Aged Care (DoHAC) to help you or your family member seek advice on how to cope during this time.

NSW Health has developed a range of resources to help people with a disability, and those caring for them, understand COVID-19. Please visit the NSW Health website to see these resources.

Western Sydney Local Health District has developed a booklet specifically designed to help children understand the process of being tested for COVID-19. 

The booklet is available online in the following languages:

  • English
  • Arabic
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • Chinese (Simplified) 
  • Dari
  • Korean
  • Persian
  • Vietnamese

Access the booklets on the NSW Government website.

Where to Seek Health Advice

If you’re feeling unwell and are unsure whether to see your doctor or manage your symptoms at home, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or:

  • Call the healthdirect helpline on 1800 022 222 to speak to a registered nurse who can provide advice when you’re not sure what to do — whether you should see a local GP, manage the condition at home, or go to an emergency department, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Call the Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line which provides information, support and connection to older Australians, their families, friends and carers. There are multiple languages available.

The healthdirect website includes the following information and tools:

MyAus COVID-19 is a multi-lingual resource app that provides resources and information about COVID-19 in over 20 different languages. This app is the first multi-lingual feature that allows users to switch languages when they like without compromising their experience. 

WhatsApp channel

The Australian Government has started an official WhatsApp channel with the information you need to know about COVID-19.

Telehealth is a secure and easy way to connect with a health professional through phone consultation and/or video conferencing. It offers benefits for patients, health care workers and the health system through improved access, availability, and efficiency of quality health care.

Telehealth consultations are bulk billed to Medicare which contributes to providing efficient and effective quality care that works with but does not replace face-to-face consultation.

As part of the National Health Plan, information and resources about telehealth have been provided to help you and your family receive the right health care.

Key Sources

With COVID-19 evolving, we understand that this time can be overwhelming and difficult for you and your family. Official Government websites have created information that will inform you on how to keep healthy during this time. To keep up-to-date with the latest information, click on the links below:

Information on this page is correct as of 2:00pm AEST Tuesday 27 February 2024.