View resources, information and guides for the care of patients and at-risk groups during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Department of Health and Human Services acknowledges the diversity of issues that may present in vulnerable groups of our population. This is a challenge that is not being overlooked, be assured we are planning as best we can and will respond as quickly as we can as issues arise.

Aged care

Please refer to advice on the Aged care sector coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

Culturally and linguistically diverse groups

This guidance note advises Victorian Government funded agencies and services on how to safely and effectively engage interpreters during coronavirus (COVID-19).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) translated information for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, health professionals and industry is available in over 50 languages on the department’s website.

Maternity and newborn

Are pregnant women considered an 'at-risk' group for coronavirus (COVID-19)?

At this time, pregnant women do not appear to be more likely to develop severe coronavirus (COVID-19) than the general population. It is expected that most pregnant women who develop coronavirus (COVID-19) will experience mild or moderate illness from which they will make a full recovery. However, there is currently limited information available regarding the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on pregnant women and their babies. Therefore, it would be prudent for pregnant women to practice social distancing and ensure good hygiene practices to reduce the risk of infection.

People who are most at-risk of severe illness

People in the community who are most at-risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19), including:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 50 years and older with one or more chronic medical conditions
  • People 65 years and older with chronic medical conditions
  • People 70 years and older
  • People with compromised immune systems

The following chronic conditions are of concern in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 50 years and vulnerable workers over 65 years:

  • Chronic renal failure
  • Coronary heart disease or congestive cardiac failure
  • Chronic lung disease (severe asthma for which frequent medical consultations or the use of multiple medications is required, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, suppurative lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic emphysema)
  • Poorly controlled diabetes
  • Poorly controlled hypertension

People with compromised immune systems, including those who:

  • Have haematological neoplasms: leukemias, lymphomas, myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Are post-transplant: solid organ (on immunosuppressive therapy), haematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 24 months or on treatment for GVHD)
  • Are immunocompromised due to primary or acquired immunodeficiency (including HIV infection)
  • Are currently undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • Receive high-dose corticosteroids (≥20 mg of prednisone per day, or equivalent) for ≥14 days
  • Receive all biologics and most disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) as defined as follows:
    • Azathioprine >3.0 mg/kg/day
    • 6-Mercaptopurine >1.5 mg/kg/day
    • Methotrexate >0.4 mg/kg/week
    • Prednisone >20 mg/day. If <14 days treatment, can resume work when treatment ceased
    • Tacrolimus (any dose)
    • Cyclosporine (any dose)
    • Cyclophosphamide (any dose)
    • Mycophenolate (any dose)
    • Combination (multiple) DMARDs irrespective of dose

Further resources