Right now there is a lot of uncertainty, disruption and anxiety across Australia and the world. We know that many people are concerned about how coronavirus (COVID-19) will affect them and the people they care about.
Amaze works every day of the year to support the autism community, and in difficult times we will do everything we can to deliver extra help and information. The wellbeing of autistic people and their supporters is our number one priority.
Amaze will continue to provide relevant updates and share information so that you stay informed. Just like all Amaze information, the information we share on coronavirus is carefully chosen to ensure it is accurate, reliable and evidence-based.
We will share this information on our website, social media channels and through our e-Spectrum newsletter. We will update this page with new information as it comes. This page is the key source of coronavirus information from Amaze.
Below are links to the most important information for the autism community. It includes links to government health authorities – where you can read about coronavirus symptoms, and how to take care of yourself and lower your chance of getting sick. While most people who get COVID-19 will only get mild symptoms, it is important to monitor your own health and ensure you stay away from vulnerable individuals if you are sick.
There are also links to the NDIS information about coronavirus, and tips on how to take care of yourself during this time.
If you need support please contact the Amaze Autism Advisors. They are available to support the autism community, especially through stressful times. You can contact them from 8am-7pm weekdays:
Phone: 1300 308 699
Under Stage 4 ‘Stay at Home’ Restrictions the default is that workplaces in metropolitan Melbourne are closed unless the workplace is part of a permitted industry as set out in this document. All Victorians are required to work from home, except where this is not practicable. Sole operators can continue to operate, if they do not have contact with the public, or with people other than those persons living in their primary household. The attached table outlines examples of workplaces that are closed for on-site work, open for on-site work with a COVID Safe Plan, and where there are restricted operations or industry specific obligations. This information is subject to the Directions of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer.
Permitted workers and employers can apply for a permit here.
For more information on permits please contact Business Victoria.
Melbourne entered Stage 4 restrictions at 6pm Sunday 2 August, with stronger rules to limit the movement of people – and limit the spread of this virus across our city.
That includes a curfew – from 8pm to 5am – beginning tonight. The only reasons to leave home during these hours will be work, medical care and caregiving. Where you slept last night is where you’ll need to stay for the next six weeks. There’ll be exemptions for partners who live apart and for work, if required.
The Night Network will be suspended, and public transport services will be reduced during curfew hours. This will also allow us to redeploy more of our PSOs into our enforcement efforts.
New time, distance and gathering limits will also apply for exercise and shopping.
Exercise will be limited to a maximum of one hour per day and no more than five kilometres from your home. Group size will be limited to a maximum of two – you and one other person – whether you live with them or not.
Shopping will be limited to one person per household per day. Again, the five-kilometre rule will apply. Read the full media release from the Premier
Regional Victoria Stage 3 restrictions | August 2 2020 | Office of the Premier
From 11:59pm on Wednesday, regional Victoria will return to Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions. That means there’ll again only be four reasons to be out: shopping for food and essential items. Care and caregiving. Daily exercise. Work and study – if you can’t do it from home. Read more
IDEAS has an accessible version of all the changes taking effect in both Melbourne, and regional Victoria.
From 11:59pm on 22 July 2020 if you live in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire you must wear a face covering if you need to leave home for one of the four reasons.
If you live in other parts of Victoria it is recommended you wear a face covering when you leave home and are in situations where it is difficult to maintain physical distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and others.
If you cannot purchase or make a face mask an alternative form of covering including a scarf or bandana may be used.
Infants and children under the age of 12 are not required to wear a face covering. Due to risk of choking it is not safe to use a mask on child under two years of age.
A fine of $200 may be issued to people who do not wear a face covering and do not have a valid reason for exception.
Amaze has an article with tips on making and wearing masks for autistic people and their families.
Up to date restriction information,
People working in permitted industries will maintain access to kinder and childcare for their kids under Stage 4 restrictions beginning at 11:59pm tonight, regardless of whether they are working onsite or from home, Premier Dan Andrews announced today.
From tomorrow, only the children of permitted workers and vulnerable kids will be able to access childcare and kinder. But in recognition of the realities of trying to undertake critical work functions while supervising small children, for the purposes of accessing childcare or kinder, a permitted worker will also include someone working from home. Vulnerable kids includes children eligible for the Victorian Kindergarten Inclusion Support Program or the Commonwealth Inclusion Support Program and children with complex medical needs who are not at elevated risk from coronavirus.
Childcare permits can be found here.
On-site learning options at school remain available for:
DET have advised Amaze that Principals will contact parents/carers to discuss appropriate arrangements where a family is experiencing severe stress due to the functional impact of their child’s disability on providing care and supervision for remote and flexible learning (including via referral from external agency, mental health or other health service). In these instances, schools will take a collaborative family-centred approach to determine appropriate on-site attendance arrangements for children with disability. This will seek to address the severe stress families are experiencing and be consistent with the intent that on-site supervision is to be provided in limited circumstances only to limit the movement of people across metropolitan Melbourne as far as possible as part of efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Disability* refers to all students receiving adjustments, including (but not limited to) those supported through the Program for Students with Disabilities.
Parents can request on-site learning through their school by filling out this downloadable form. On-site schooling is situational – if you have concerns regarding supports from your school please contact your local DET regional office.
Return to remote and flexible learning | 2 August 2020 Update | Victorian Department of Education and Training
As part of the changes to restrictions announced on 2 August, most students will spend at least the next six weeks learning from home.
For more information contact the Department of Education.
Up to date information on getting tested for coronavirus in Victoria including eligibility criteria, where to get tested and what happens during and after you get tested.
This Chief Health Officer daily update is intended to provide clinicians and the Victorian public with information about the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Victoria, as well as relevant public health response activities in Victoria.
Premier Dan Andrews is providing regular statements on the situation in Victoria, including key information on shutdowns, Victorian Government support, and other important information. There isn’t one link for these statements, so please look for the most up to date “Statement from the Premier” links on the Premier’s website.
If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days. 1800 675 398. The hotline is now also open for general information on coronavirus, including rules on staying at home.
Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.
The World Health Organisation has announced that COVID-19 is a pandemic. Find out how the Australian Government is monitoring and responding to the outbreak, how you can help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia, and what to do if you have symptoms. There is also reports on the latest official medical advice and case numbers.
The Victorian Government has announced a one-off payment of $1,500 is available to workers who are unable to work during their isolation, have no income during this period, and are not entitled to any paid sick leave, special pandemic leave or other income support.
The Government will now extend the scheme to ensure that as soon as a person is tested, they will be eligible for a $300 support payment as long as they meet the eligibility of the existing scheme.
More information here
Access information on eligibility for the Economic Support Payment, other Centrelink services, and the changes to Newstart and Sickness Allowances here
As the coronavirus outbreak progresses and countries do their best to slow the spread of COVID-19, it’s a topic we can’t avoid. With constant updates about coronavirus (COVID-19) from the news, social media and daily conversations, your child or someone you support may be feeling anxious about the situation and have a lot of questions. Here are some tips on how to tackle the topic and ease their worries about the coronavirus.
The NDIS is providing regular updates for Victorian participants. These include:
The situation in Victoria, and the way the NDIS supports Victorian participants is changing regularly. Keep up to date on the NDIS website
Information for NDIS participants: advice on keeping safe, participant information, advice for providers, and Coronavirus (COVID-19 frequently asked questions). Click here
The NDIS is making it easier for people to apply for the NDIS. You can now download the NDIS Access Request Form (ARF) and Supporting Evidence Form (SEF) online to apply for the NDIS. Click here
The Victorian government are working with the Red Cross and Food Bank to deliver emergency food and necessities packages to those who are isolating. You can apply for the packages by calling the Victorian Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
Click here to learn more.
Gymnastics Victoria has an online introductory Aerobics program called Aerobase which parents and kids can do together at home.
Cosmic Kids Yoga – yoga, mindfulness and relaxation videos
Rainbow Therapies has a One Minute Meditation video.
Kiddipedia has 5 Tips for a Calmer Sleep for any age
Our Autism Advisors provide trusted and accurate information about autism and supports to Victorians.
Open from 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday
Parentline is a phone service for parents and carers of children from birth to 18 years old. We offer confidential and anonymous counselling and support on parenting issues.
Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.
Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support.
Beyond Blue recognises and understands the feelings of anxiety, distress and concern many people may be experiencing in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and offers wellbeing advice here.