COVID-19 and First Nations peoples
COVID-19 and what this means for First Nations people
Everybody is at risk of getting coronavirus (COVID-19). For most people, they will only develop mild illness and recovery easily, but others may develop severe sickness that affects the lungs.
People with weaker immune systems are more likely to get seriously ill. This puts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and people with chronic health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease) at risk.
Queensland Health is working closely with key stakeholders across the state to ensure that First Nations Queenslanders have access to current, culturally appropriate and localised information.
Why is COVID-19 dangerous for First Nations people?
First Nations people are particularly vulnerable when it comes to COVID-19 because:
- Living arrangements and social connectedness (particularly where many people are living or gathering in one household), makes transmission more likely.
- First Nations people have higher levels of pre-existing health conditions (particularly diabetes and respiratory conditions). People with these health conditions, especially those aged over 50, are at risk of more severe COVID-19 outcomes.
- Increased remoteness makes access to health care more challenging.
- COVID-19 can spread quickly—it will only take one person coming into the community with the sickness to put the whole community at risk
- COVID-19 HHS preparedness checklist for Queensland’s First Nations people
See also our page on COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout for First Nations people.