Important Coronavirus update for our stroke community

March 16, 2020

Statement from the Chief Executive Officer
May 20,2020

I would personally like to thank you for your generosity and understanding as we navigate these challenging times.

Rest assured, Stroke Foundation’s passion and commitment to the community we serve is as strong as ever. As an organisation, we stand firm in our mission to prevent stroke, save lives and enhance recovery. We will continue to be there when and where we are needed most. This means, with your support we continue to deliver:

  • StrokeLine (1800 787 653) – Free advice service, staffed by health professionals providing information and advice on stroke prevention, treatment and recovery.
  • EnableMe ( website – Online resource to help survivors and their families navigate the recovery journey and connect.
  • F.A.S.T. signs of stroke Community Education – Educating Australians to recognise and call triple zero (000) at the first sign of stroke.
  • InformMe ( – Empowering our health professionals to deliver world-class stroke treatment and care.

While Stroke Foundation’s front-line services continue, we have had to change the way we do some things. This means there may be a delay in the processing of your donation and receipt. I apologise and thank you for your continued support.

Be safe and be well, Sharon McGowan Chief Executive Officer Stroke Foundation

What you need to know about coronavirus

People who have had a stroke should be aware that, just like with the flu, they are at a higher risk of severe symptoms and complications from COVID -19.

Australia has been successful in 'flattening the curve'. Governments are now beginning to take careful steps to ease some of the restrictions that have helped suppress the spread of this virus. However, it remains recommended practice good hygiene at all times. This means:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This includes before and after eating and after going to the toilet.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitisers when you can’t use soap and water.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser straight after disposing of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces you use often such as benchtops, desks and doorknobs
  • Clean and disinfect objects you use often such as mobile phones, keys, wallets and work passes.
  • Use tap and go instead of cash where possible.
  • Increase the amount of fresh air by opening windows or changing air conditioning.
  • Practice social distancing - avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people).

Help slow the spread, Australian and State Governments have put restrictions and advisories in place. These vary from state to state. For advice in your state

The Australian Government has recommended consideration of downloading the COVIDSafe app, which works alongside physical distancing, good hygiene and enhanced testing to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Self-isolation, if you have COVID-19, you must stay at home. You might also have to be in quarantine at home for 14 days even if you don’t have COVID-19 — if you have moved from one state or territory to another or have been in contact with a person with COVID-19.

To protect vulnerable Australians, the Government has also advised reducing visitors to all residential aged care facilities and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Who is most at risk of a serious illness? Some people who are infected may not get sick at all, some will get mild symptoms from which they will recover easily, and others may become very ill, very quickly. From previous experience with other coronaviruses, the people at most risk of serious infection are:

  • People with compromised immune systems (e.g. Cancer).
  • Elderly people.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as they have higher rates of chronic illness.
  • People with diagnosed chronic medical conditions (such as diabetes, hypertension, respiratory disease, Kkidney disease, cardiovascular disease (stroke & heart disease).
  • People in group residential settings.
  • People in detention facilities.

At this stage the risk to children and babies, and the role children play in the transmission of COVID-19, is not clear. However, there has so far been a low rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases among children, relative to the broader population.

Availability of medicines

The Department of Health has advised that there are no current shortages or supply issues medicines. People with medical conditions are advised to order and obtain your medicines and supplies as usual. There is no need to stockpile.

What should you do if you feel unwell?

If you experience symptoms of coronavirus you should seek medical attention.

The Department of Health provides the following advice:

“Call ahead of time to book an appointment. Tell your doctor about your symptoms, travel history and any recent close contact with someone who has coronavirus.

If you must leave home to see your doctor, wear a surgical mask (if you have one) to protect others. If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000) for urgent medical help.”



People with coronavirus may experience:

  • Fever.
  • Coughing.
  • Sore throat.
  • Fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath. 

Want more information?

It is important to we all have the correct and up-to-date medical advice and reports.

The World Health Organisation and Australian Government are updating the links below daily. We suggest, monitoring their recommendations and act accordingly.

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.

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

Visit the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Information Page listed above. This page is regularly updated with the latest information.