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COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Updated 14 May 2020.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath. Some people recover easily, others may get very sick very quickly. The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection.

The Australian Government is taking a range of actions to protect the Australian community from the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Fact sheets about coronavirus are available from the Department of Health website.

The Coronavirus Health Information Line (1800 020 080) is available for anyone seeking information on the coronavirus. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you have additional questions or need support, you can contact the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700.

Managing diabetes and staying healthy during COVID-19

  • Having a plan if you get sick 
    Being prepared can help you to know what to do if you get sick with a respiratory or other illness. Read more about sick day plans.
  • Looking after your mental health
    It’s important to take care of your mental health if you are self-isolating. We know things may be a little scary and uncertain at the moment. If you find yourself worrying, read more about managing worry.
  • Staying active
    Find out more about ways to stay active while practising social distancing.
  • Eating healthy
    The foods you eat can affect your diabetes management, how well you feel and how much energy you have. Read more about eating healthy.
  • Having a flu shot
    There is no vaccine for COVID-19 yet, but you can get vaccinated against the seasonal flu. Read more about flu shot.

Access to health services during COVID-19

  • Access to routine care
    Now, more than ever, it’s important to stay connected to your diabetes healthcare team and not skip routine health appointments. Read more about access to routine care.
  • Access to emergency care
    It is very important that you don’t delay accessing urgent medical care if you need it. Read more about access to emergency care.
  • Extra support
    We are extending the hours for the NDSS National Helpline to be able to give greater support for people with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about extra support for people with diabetes.

Access to NDSS products and diabetes medicines

  • Home delivery of medicines and NDSS products by pharmacies
    Medicine home delivery services are now available to help vulnerable people stay at home and reduce their exposure to COVID-19. Read more about home delivery of medicines and NDSS products by pharmacies.
  • Signing of NDSS forms—temporary change
    People with diabetes will no longer need to sign some NDSS forms to access services and diabetes products during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about signing of NDSS forms.
  • Automatic six-month extension for access to Blood Glucose Monitoring Strips (BGTS) through the NDSS
    The Australian Government is suspending the need for a doctor or credentialled diabetes educator (CDE) to sign Blood Glucose Monitoing Strip  Six Month Access forms for people with type 2 diabetes not using insulin. Read more about the BGTS form extension for access during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • NDSS product limits
    There is no need for people with diabetes to stockpile medications or diabetes products. Read more about NDSS product limits during COVID-19.

Important messages from the NDSS

  • Important news from NDSS will be shared with you on our news page, on this COVID19 page and our social media pages Facebook ( or Twitter (  
  • Important messages from the NDSS may be sent directly to you via email or your mobile phone. You can check out our most recent message Keep healthy during COVID-19 here.
  • Face-to-face education and support programs and activities have been postponed.
    We are currently considering alternative ways to deliver these programs including webinars and other online activities. You can call the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700 to find out more about our services or if you need extra support. 

Information for health professionals

More information

There is a large amount of unverified information circulating in the media. It is important that you seek information on coronavirus from trusted sources.

Visit the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Information Page. It is regularly updated with the latest information. More information is also available through the Australian Government’s Coronavirus app and the WhatsApp channel. You may also wish to download or find out more about the  COVIDSafe app.

The information on our NDSS page (this page) is based on the advice provided on the above page (Australian Government’s Coronavirus Information Page).

If you have questions about coronavirus please call the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. The Helpline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are concerned with the availability of diabetes medicines please visit the Therapeutic Goods Administration website for the latest information.

Diabetes Australia’s website contains the latest information for people with diabetes. This is based on advice provided by the Department of Health and in consultation with Australia’s leading diabetes healthcare professional experts.

Diabetes Australia and the NDSS are regularly updating their social media pages with information as it becomes available.