If You Do Not Have Symptoms But You Test Positive
You may be advised to take a PCR or lateral flow test if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, or as part of workplace arrangements.
When advised to take a test by a contact tracer, if you have recently tested positive for COVID-19 you should firstly take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR. This is because there is a risk that a PCR test may detect residual traces of the virus leftover in your body.
If your test result is positive, you should self-isolate from the day of your test and for the next 10 days.
If your positive result was from a lateral flow test, you should also take a PCR test within 24 hours. This is important as it will allow genetic sequencing in a laboratory to identify any potential variants of concern.
Close Contacts Who Are Fully Vaccinated
If you’re a close contact who is fully vaccinated, you can take daily LFD tests instead of self-isolating. Fully vaccinated means you’ve received 3 doses of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you last saw the person who tested positive. If you live with the person who tested positive, the 14 days is counted from the day their symptoms started, or 14 days before they tested positive if they don’t have symptoms. The daily LFD tests should be taken for 7 days in a row or until the end of your 10 day self-isolation period, whichever is soonest.
As a close contact, if you develop the main symptoms of coronavirus you should immediately self-isolate and book a PCR test. If this is negative continue to take daily LFD tests for 7 days or the duration of your self-isolation period which ever is soonest. If this is positive then you need to self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started. You may be able to end self-isolation early.
If any of your LFD tests are positive, you should self-isolate for 10 days from the date of your positive test result. You do not need to book a follow-up PCR test to confirm your positive LFD result.
If You Are Experiencing Symptoms Of Covid
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms may include chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, and are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact your doctor to see if you need to be tested. Learn more about COVID-19 illness and other symptoms here: .
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What To Do If A Household Member Has Covid
If a family member or someone you live with gets sick with COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, you can take steps to help them heal and keep the rest of the household safe.
To get started, follow these recommended steps from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for taking care of a household member who has the coronavirus disease.
Children Under The Age Of Five Who Are Close Contacts
It is no longer necessary for children under five years of age to take a PCR test even if they have symptoms like a cough or temperature – unless advised to do so by their doctor.
If they develop symptoms and are identified as a close contact of a positive case, parents are encouraged to carry out a lateral flow test.
If this is positive they should then take a PCR test to confirm the positive result. Daily lateral flow tests are not required.
If a child has been identified as a close contact and has symptoms there is an increased risk that the child may have COVID-19.
If it is not possible to carry out any test because the child will not tolerate the swab, parents and carers should take a cautious approach and avoid contact with vulnerable and older adults.
They should also stay at home until they do not have a temperature and are well enough to return to school or childcare. .
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Testing Positive For Covid
If you test positive for COVID-19 you must immediately isolate.
You can find translated information about testing positive for COVID-19 in over 60 languages.
State and territory health authorities have information, resources and links for more support for people with COVID-19, including when you can leave isolation:
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 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.
This fact sheet provides information about COVID-19 Test & Isolate National Protocols from 1 January 2022
Ok So Can You Isolate With Someone Else
This is a little tricky, Dr. Schaffner says. “The word is ‘isolation,'” he says. “It doesn’t mean ‘cohabitation.'”
Still, he says, “there will be circumstances in which people in the same household are positive simultaneously or closely to the same time, and they’re going to be maskless if they live togetherfor sure that’s going to happen.”
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If A Healthy Caregiver Is Not Available You Can Care For Your Newborn If You Are Well Enough
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before touching for your newborn. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Wear a mask when within 6 feet of your newborn and other people during your entire isolation period. The mask helps prevent you from spreading the virus to others.
- Others in your household, and caregivers who have COVID-19, should isolateand avoid caring for the newborn as much as possible. If they have to care for the newborn, they should follow hand washing and mask recommendations above.
Once yourisolation period has ended, you should still wash your hands before caring for your newborn, but you dont need to take the other precautions. You most likely wont pass the virus to your newborn or any other close contacts after your isolation period has ended.
- If you had symptoms, your isolation period ends after:
- 10 days since symptoms first appeared, and
- 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medicine, and
- Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving
These timeframes do not apply if you have a severely weakened immune system or were severely ill with COVID-19. Please refer to When you can be around others after you had or likely had COVID-19 and consult with your health care professional about when its safe for you to end your isolation period.
I Tested Positive For Covid
If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after 10 days have passed since you had a positive viral test for COVID-19 .
If you develop symptoms after testing positive, your 10-day isolation period must start over. Day 1 is your first day of symptoms. Follow the guidance above for I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms.
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What Should I Do If Multiple People I Live With Test Positive For Covid
Recommendations for this situation depend on vaccination status:
- When multiple members of the household become infected at different times and the people with COVID-19 cant isolate from other members of the household, close contacts who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated should
- Quarantine throughout the isolation period of any infected person in the household.
- Continue to quarantine until 14 days after the end of isolation date for the most recently infected member of the household. For example, if the last day of isolation of the person most recently infected with COVID-19 was June 30, the new 14-day quarantine period starts on July 1.
- Get tested 5-7 days after the end of isolation for the most recently infected member of the household.
- Wear a mask when in contact with any person with COVID-19 while that person is in isolation.
- Wear a mask when in contact with other people in the home until quarantine ends.
- Isolate immediately if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive.
Looking After Your Mental Wellbeing
You may find that social distancing and staying at home can be boring, frustrating or lonely and that your mood and feelings are affected.
You may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping and you might miss being with other people.
There is advice and guidance about how to look after your mental wellbeing:
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When You Can Leave Self
If someone else in your household tests positive, you do not need to restart your isolation period. You can complete your isolation at the same time as the first person in your household who had COVID-19 if:
- your Day 7 test was negative
- you have no new or worsening symptoms.
For further guidance and advice, visit the COVID-19 Health Hub:
Recommended Precautions For Healthy Caregivers Helping Care For Newborns:
- Caregivers should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds before touching your newborn. If soap and water are not available, they should use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- If the caregiver is living in the same home or has been in close contact with you and is not yet fully vaccinated for COVID-19, they might have been exposed.
- People who have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should be tested to check for infection:
- Fully vaccinated people should be tested 57 days after their last exposure.
- People who are not fully vaccinated should get tested immediately when they find out they are a close contact. If their test result is negative, they should get tested again 57 days after their last exposure or immediately if symptoms develop.
- Self-tests are one of several options for testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 and may be more convenient than laboratory-based tests and point-of-care tests. Ask your healthcare provider or your local health department if you need help interpreting your test results.
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I Was Severely Ill With Covid
People who are severely ill with COVID-19 might need to stay home longer than 10 days and up to 20 days after symptoms first appeared. People with weakened immune systems may require testing to determine when they can be around others. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information. Your healthcare provider will let you know if you can resume being around other people based on the results of your testing.
People who are immunocompromised should be counseled about the potential for reduced immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines and the need to continue to followcurrent prevention measures to protect themselves against COVID-19 until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider. Close contacts of immunocompromised people should also be encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to help protect these people.
How To Disinfect The Sick Room And Bathroom
Any disposable gloves, face masks or other contaminated items should be placed in a lined container before disposing of them with the regular household trash. After handling any of these items, clean your hands immediately.
Clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces, like countertops, doorknobs, tabletops, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, tablets, keyboards and bedside tables. If any surfaces have blood, stool or bodily fluids on them, clean those as well.
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If You Have Symptoms At Day 7
If you have a sore throat, runny nose, cough or shortness of breath in the last 24 hours of your isolation, please remain in isolation until 24 hours after your symptoms have resolved. If you are concerned, call your GP.
Wear a mask when near to or talking to other people and avoid visiting high risk settings for a further 3 days after you leave isolation. If you work in one of these settings speak to your employer before returning. If you have a severely weakened immune system you should take these additional precautions for a further 4 days .
If you have other symptoms after 7 days which are not getting better you can leave isolation but you should contact your GP.
If you are under the care of a clinical team, your team will tell you when you will be released from isolation.
If You Live With Someone At Higher Risk
Family members at higher risk should spend as little time as possible in shared spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas. You should keep these spaces well ventilated.
The person at higher risk should, where possible:
- keep 2 metres away from you and others in your household
- sleep in a different bed
- use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household
- use separate towels from the other people in your house
- take their meals back to their room to eat
The rest of the household should:
- clean any shared toilets and bathrooms every time you use them, for example wiping surfaces you have come into contact with
- consider drawing up a rota for bathing, with the higher risk person using the facilities first
- avoid using the kitchen while they are present.
- use a dishwasher to clean and dry the familys used crockery and cutlery
- wash them using your usual washing up liquid and warm water if you dont have a dishwasher
- dry all crockery and cutlery thoroughly, and use a separate tea towel if the higher risk person is using their own utensils
If you live with a higher risk person and its not possible to physically distance from them, phone the National Assistance Helpline to discuss your needs.
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What Should They Do To Keep The Rest Of The Household Healthy
When it comes to adults, current guidance is that anyone who tests positive will need to isolate for at least five days, or until they test negative on an at-home test and no longer have symptoms, whichever is later. That means staying in a sick space of their own with as little contact as possible with anyone else in the household. They should always wear a mask in common spaces and share no towels, utensils or other household items with anyone else.
After their isolation ends, they should keep wearing a well-fitting mask around others for an additional five days.
Of course, children cant isolate from their parents, and may not be comfortable wearing a mask when theyre sick. Parents should still care for their kids in a space away from any vulnerable members of the household. And kids should follow the same guideline, isolating for at least five days or until symptoms are gone and they test negative on an at-home test.
Tips For Keeping Your Whnau Safe
To help reduce the spread of germs, if possible, you should:
- Stay away from others in your home stay out of rooms where others are and do not share a bed if possible. Do not prepare food for others.
- Wear a face mask or face covering. It is recommended each household member has a minimum of two face coverings, and that each is washed at the end of the day.
- As much as possible, open windows and doors to allow air to flow through your house.
- Wipe down surfaces shared with others like bathroom taps and kitchen benches with soap, water and a cloth after each use. Do not share dishes and cutlery, towels and pillows.
- Please do your own laundry.
- Wash your hands often and cough or sneeze into an elbow or a tissue. Bag your tissues and put them a rubbish bin away from people in your household.
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Stay Away From Others
Stay in a well-ventilated room with a window that can be opened. Try to keep the window open as much as possible to help with ventilation and air flow. This will help to keep clean air moving through your room.
Each person should:
- sleep in a different bed where possible
- use their own toothbrushes, towels, linen, cups, plates, bowls and cutlery
- take meals to their own room to eat
What Not To Do When Isolating
- Dont leave the house for any reason while you are awaiting a test result, are a COVID-19 case or are a household member of a case, until you receive a negative test result or until youre cleared by public health staff.
- Dont go out to get food/kai or medicine, dont go to work, school or public places and dont go on public transport or use taxis.
- Dont have visitors, except people providing essential care to you or someone in the household.
- Dont go to work. If you are unable to work from home during this time, your employer may be able to apply for leave support to help support you. For more information, visit the Work and Income website.
- Dont get vaccinated until you have recovered. If you have a vaccination appointment scheduled, either ring the booking line or go online to change your appointment.
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