Tips to help keep our community COVID safe this winter

State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin MP has shared NSW Health tips for helping to keep our local communities COVID safe during this year's winter flu season.

NOW is the time to ensure we’re all doing what we can to protect our community from COVID-19, flu and other respiratory illnesses.

During winter our risk of catching viral illnesses is higher but there are things each of us can do to help protect ourselves and each other.

  • Stay up to date with your vaccinations for both COVID-19 and flu. Most people can get both vaccinations together and the flu vaccine is free for everyone aged 6 months and over until 30 June.
  • Free flu vaccines will be available at GPs for everyone aged 6 months and over and pharmacies for everyone aged 5 and over.  
  • Wearing a mask is recommended in crowded places and a must on public transport, in airports and in health and residential care settings. Many people in our community are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and flu, so it’s a simple way we can look out for those who need it most.
  • Where you can, meet others outdoors or in well-ventilated places and keep doors and windows open to get better natural airflow. 
  • If you feel unwell, staying home will reduce the risk of spreading illness to others. Remember to continue to test straight away if you have any COVID-19 symptoms. If you test positive, self-isolate for 7 days and follow the NSW Health advice. If you test positive with a rapid antigen test, register your result through Service NSW to get the right health advice for you. If you are at higher risk, get a PCR (nose and throat) swab test instead of a rapid antigen test. They are more accurate and earlier detection can help you access treatment earlier. This may include access to antiviral treatments which can only be prescribed in the early stages of disease. It is a good idea to speak to your doctor now about antiviral medication or other early treatment so you can ask questions and understand your options in advance. More details on what type of test you should take and what to do once you receive results is available at 

When we have high rates of COVID-19 and flu in the community, it’s especially important we work together to keep emergency departments for emergencies.

If you’re unwell and not sure what to do, visit or call Healthdirect for free on 1800 022 222 for fast, expert advice on what to do next.

If you are seeking non-urgent health advice you can, speak to your doctor or pharmacist or contact free services such as the NSW Health Flu and COVID-19 Care at Home Support Line on 1800 960 933.

If you are seriously injured, unwell or have a life-threatening medical emergency, you should always call Triple Zero (000) or attend a hospital emergency department without delay. 

By continuing these things, we can make a big difference for our community. And together, we can stay COVID safe. To learn more, visit