Groups struggling with health and economic worries from coronavirus have reached out to the Senate's inquiry to plead for a solution to serious issues.
The Human Rights Law Centre represents people in detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru who say are "terrified" of the virus.
"Everyone deserves to be safe in the face of the unprecedented threat posed by COVID-19, but currently immigration detention facilities in Australia are creating unacceptable health risks for the people held there, the staff at these facilities and the broader community," the inquiry submission stated.
"People in immigration detention centres typically share physical spaces with large numbers of people and have no choice but to share bedrooms, bathrooms and other facilities."
The risk in the detention centres was likened to that on a cruise ship.
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"Infectious diseases experts and peak medical bodies have warned that without urgent action to reduce the number of people in immigration detention facilities, it is only a matter of time before they become a site of transmission," the submission stated.
"For many people, the threat is even greater because they have underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of serious illness or death in the case of infection."
The Human Rights Law Centre has called on the federal government to release people on Manus Island and Nauru into safe housing where they can comply with health advice, then transfer them to Australia before there is a breakout.
Western Australia-based group Art on the Move has requested the Senate committee have one day dedicated to arts and culture as part of the inquiry.
Executive director Kim Jameson said cultural and creative activity contributed more than $110 billion to Australia's economy each year and employed thousands of people.
"Artists have seen their self-generated income for the year vanish. Work that has taken years to develop has been lost. Livelihoods are jeopardised, and businesses closed," she said.
"We implore the Senate inquiry into the government's response to COVID-19 pandemic to devote one full day to arts and culture hearings.
"Give us this voice and we will use it wisely through an industry wide co-ordinated response."
Many art galleries are run by local councils, meaning they are ineligible for the federal JobKeeper program.
Ms Jameson said that if there is no solution to the plight of arts and culture groups, "regional identity will be lost, sense of civic pride reduced and connection to people and place severely impacted".
The closing date for submissions to the inquiry is May 28.