Testing positive for COVID-19
If you test positive for COVID-19 you must immediately isolate.
Call the National Coronavirus Helpline for information about how to look after yourself when you are sick with COVID-19.
Download the facts sheet on “What to do if you have tested positive for COVID-19″
For translated information in your language click here.
You are a close contact if you:
- live in the same house as someone who tests positive
- spent 4 hours or longer with someone in a home, or health or aged care environment
- are determined as one by your state or territory health department
- If you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 you must isolate for 7 days (10 days in South Australia) from the last time you were in contact with that person
- If you have symptoms you should visit your nearest testing clinic as soon as possible
- If you have no symptoms you should take a rapid antigen test at home
Rapid antigen tests will become increasingly available at supermarkets and pharmacies. Do not enter pharmacies, supermarkets or other retail outlets if you have symptoms or suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19. Go to a testing clinic or ask a family member or friend to get a test and deliver it safely to you. Learn more about rapid antigen tests.
Isolating if you have COVID-19
It is an Australian public health requirement that anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 must isolate. If you have the virus, you can pass it on to others. Isolating protects the people around you and the broader community from COVID-19.
Staying at home – do not attend work or school, visit public areas, or travel on public transport, in taxis or ride-share services. If you have an appointment you cannot miss – such as a visit to a doctor, family violence service or police – you must tell them that you have COVID-19.
You should stay separated from other people in your house. Stay in a separate, well-ventilated room away from other people.
If you cannot isolate in a separate room you should:
- avoid shared spaces in the house as much as possible
- wear a mask when moving through shared areas
- wipe down any surfaces you touch COVID positive
- if you can, use a separate bathroom that others do not use. If you share a bathroom, wipe down any surface you touch and flush the toilet with a closed lid
- do not let visitors enter your home, unless they are providing necessary medical or personal care, or emergency services
- have all groceries and other essential items delivered to your home
The people who usually live in your house with you can stay there if they are unable to live somewhere else during this time. If they stay, they are contacts and need to isolate too.
If you have a household contact who has a weak immune system, is elderly or has another risk for severe COVID-19, contact your state/territory health department to see if they can help with finding them places to stay.
Ensure you share this information with the members of your household.
COVID-19 Test & Isolate National Protocols – Download here
Most people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all (asymptomatic). These can be managed with over-the-counter medication. Find out more about managing COVID-19 at home.
Try to get plenty of rest, drink lots of water and eat well. You can still do moderate exercise if you feel well enough, within your home and/or garden if you have one.
Seek urgent medical attention if develop severe symptoms such as:
- difficulty breathing
- an oxygen level of less than 92% when tested with a pulse oximeter
- blue lips or face
- pain or pressure in the chest
- cold and clammy, or pale and mottled, skin
- fainting or collapsing
- being confused
- becoming difficult to wake up
- little or no urine output
- coughing up blood
Call 000 if you are unsure if your symptoms are severe use the HealthDirect COVID-19 symptom checker.
COVID Positive Pathways Program
The program is aimed at supporting those who fall into the low-risk category ie. are younger, vaccinated and without comorbidities, to manage their illness safely at home. Staffed by allied health clinicians, nurses, GPs and admin officers, this phone-based program will provide advice to those with concerns about their symptoms, assisting them to monitor their condition and escalate their care to Northern Health as needed.
COVID Positive Pathways makes sure every person is cared for in the best possible place, whether at home or in a hospital bed, depending on their personal needs and circumstances.
How will I be assessed for support?
If your COVID-19 test result is positive, you will receive a text message from the testing laboratory confirming your diagnosis. You will receive a second text message from the Department of Health. It will include a link to a short survey to assess your care needs.
It is important to complete the assessment surveys and answer these calls so you can be connected to the right care pathway for your needs. If you are unable to complete the surveys you will receive a follow-up phone call from DPVHealth.
Your care will be personalised for your needs and circumstances, and if your condition changes over the course of your illness you may be moved to a different care pathway.
For more information visit: COVID Positive Pathways | Coronavirus Victoria
Most people who test positive for COVID-19 recover completely, but some people may develop long COVID.
Talk to your GP if you are experiencing ongoing mental health issues such as:
- trouble thinking clearly, focusing, or remembering
- depression, anxiety or other mental health problems
For more information and updates, visit: www.health.gov.au/health-alerts/covid-19/testing-positive