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information for COVID-19 cases

Here is a guide for staying safe and protecting your loved ones if you test positive for COVID-19

As of 13 October 2022, people who test positive for COVID-19 are no longer required to isolate. 

1. Look after your health and check if you’re eligible for treatment 

Most people who test positive for COVID-19 can safely recover at home. The most common symptoms are runny nose, sore throat, cough fever, chills, sweats, and/or shortness of breath. If your symptoms worsen, contact your GP or local GP Respiratory Clinic. In an emergency, call 000.  

Certain people are eligible for COVID medicines through a GP or GP Respiratory Clinic. To check if you’re eligible, click here.  

If you are eligible for COVID medicines, we encourage you to speak to your doctor before you feel unwell and plan how you will access testing and medicine if you develop symptoms. Download our COVID-19 Readiness Plan here to take to your doctor.  

There are 5 things to remember when managing COVID-19 at home:  

  1. Rest: sleep and take it easy  
  1. Pain relief: take paracetamol and ibuprofen as needed (pregnant people should not take ibuprofen) 
  1. Water: drink regularly throughout the day and have electrolyte drinks or icy poles for extra hydration 
  1. Fresh air: when possible open windows or spend time in your backyard or balcony if you have them 
  1. Speak to your GP: if your symptoms worsen, you may be eligible for medicines or antivirals. 

2. Isolate and tell your contacts  

You are most infectious 2 days before your symptoms start, and while you have symptoms. It is recommended that you should isolate for at least 5 days and until you don’t have symptoms anymore. 

You should call your workplace or school and let them know you have COVID-19.  

If you share a house or have had close contact with people, you should tell them that you have tested positive so they can take steps to protect themselves.  

Don’t work or visit a high-risk setting like hospitals, aged care, and disability services where there are people who are at a higher risk of becoming very sick or needing hospitalisation. Targeted financial support is available for eligible healthcare workers who cannot attend work due to COVID-19. 

Where possible, you should try to isolate away from other people in your household to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.  

3. Ending isolation and recovering  

Many people are still infectious after 5 days. If you have symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, cough, or fever you should stay home to prevent other people from getting sick.  

A negative RAT result is a helpful tool to determine whether you are still infectious.  

Wear a face mask when you leave home for at least 7 days after testing positive – even if you don’t have symptoms – as you may still be infectious. 

Many people feel the impacts of COVID-19 beyond their infectious period. As with any illness, it’s important to return to your regular routine and activities slowly to allow your body the care and time to properly recover. 

Long COVID is when symptoms continue for more than 3 months from when you were infected. Symptoms can vary and you should see your GP who can tell you how to best manage your condition. For more information, click here. 

You should wait 6 months before getting your next dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure you get the maximum protection against the virus. 

You may be able to contract COVID-19 again as early as 4 weeks after your recovery. You should get tested again after 4 weeks if you have new symptoms. 

More information can be found on the Department of Health website.