Australian Aboriginal Community Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Keywords:COVID-19, Aboriginal, Indigenous, Australia, pandemic, remote, empowerment
Australian Aboriginal communities planned our initial response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as we saw the devastating impacts of outbreaks in parts of Europe and the U.S. Community education and coalition-building led to a response focused on empowerment and guidance for government investment that was proportionate to the potential of the crisis. Travel bans and enforced isolation of visitors were the key mechanisms to keep COVID-19 out of communities. By preventing entry of people infected with COVID-19 into Aboriginal communities, hygiene and physical distancing were less important to stop spread of infection.
In June 2020, Australia appears to have controlled community transmission of COVID-19. However, in the longer term the risk of entry of COVID-19 to Aboriginal communities remains because of ongoing colonization, racism, and social disadvantage.
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