COVID-19 Support in Crisis 2_750 px

Last updated 7 September 2020
We know these unprecedented times have been very stressful for many people living with MS and their families, so we created this page to keep you informed, supported and connected during the COVID-19 crisis.

At MSL we’re doing the best we can to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone we work with and for. Together, we can get through this. 

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What's COVID-19?

Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a new respiratory illness that can affect the lungs and airways. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. People with coronavirus may experience flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue, fever and shortness of breath. Some people recover easily, others may get very sick very quickly. There is evidence that it spreads from person to person, so good hygiene can prevent infection.

For more information about Coronavirus, visit the Australian Government website or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. This line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What’s the difference between self-isolation or social distancing?

Self-isolation and social distancing (as well as good hygiene practices), are the most effective ways to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading coronavirus.

  • Social distancing means that where possible, a distance of 1.5 metres is kept between yourself and other people, minimising physical contact, avoiding large public gatherings and staying at home if you are unwell.
  • Self-isolation means not going to public places such as school, work or shopping centres, avoiding contact with visitors, and only staying in physical contact with people who live with you.

What are good hygiene practices?

Good hygiene practices include washing your hands frequently with soap and water, covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and using alcohol-based hand sanitisers. Everyone is encouraged to do these practices where possible.

How can coronavirus affect my MS treatment?

We encourage you to check MS Australia’s website for the latest information and advice on COVID-19 and multiple sclerosis.

You can learn more about ‘COVID-19 and MS’ by watching our recent Q&A with Neurologist, Associate Professor Anneke van der Walt as she discusses the latest information on COVID-19, its impact on people living with multiple sclerosis and strategies to deal with them.

If you have any concerns about your health or your treatment for MS, talk to your GP or neurologist.

Are the MSL offices still open?

MSL offices are gradually reopening in most of our states, excepting Victoria. All our services are available online, on the phone, via Telehealth or face-to-face (by appoitment).

Following the advice from state and federal health authorities, we have reopened our MS Gym in Lidcombe and  resumed our NDIS client home visits from June. Our MS Residential Homes have been opened the whole time. Please contact our team to find out more.  

Is the MSL team still providing services to clients?

In the last few months, our organisation has fully adapted to new ways of working to ensure we can keep supporting the MS community.

Following the advice from state and federal government health professionals, we closed our offices in March but we are gradually reopening our sites. 

Our team are gradually returning to the offices and people based in Victoria are working from home to ensure we can keep providing services online, on the phone or through Telehealth. The services we offer include:

  • Employment Support Services
  • NDIS Services (Support Coordination, Continence Service, Assessment and treatment for OT, Exercise Physiology and Physiotherapy)
  • Information and advice through MS Connect and MS Advisor
  • Wellbeing and Education programs
  • Peer to Peer support

Our three MS residential homes remain open but are operating under strict infection control guidelines to minimise risk of coronavirus spread and protect the health of residents, their families and our team members.

Here’s a recent message from our CEO, John Blewonski to the MS community.

If you require support or would like more information about available services, contact us.

Can I still participate in fundraising events and activities?

To minimise risk of COVID-19 spread, our much-loved face to face events were cancelled until further notice. However, our fundraising team is working hard to deliver virtual events and keep raising funds to support the MS community. We will post information about upcoming opportunities on our events and fundraising page. Now more than ever, donations are very welcome.

Are the MS Community shops open?

Due to Stage 3 and 4 restrictions in Victoria, we had to close most of our MS Community Shops. Our shop in Tuggeranong, ACT remains open and operating under limited hours. For more information check our MS Community Shops page or follow our y shops on Facebook and Instagram.

How can the organisation help me stay connected and supported during the COVID-19 crisis?

Our team is producing a series of resources to support you through these challenging times. Check our COVID-19 resources page.

Check our new COVID-19 resources

What are MSL’s plans to restarting face-to-face activities and reopening offices?

We have developed a Roadmap to indicate our planned timelines to restarting our face-to-face activities and reopening our offices. You can view our Roadmap here.

Please note our plans will be subject to advice from the health authorities. Our main priority is to minimise risk and protect the health of everyone we work with and for.

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