Testing positive for COVID-19

Find out how to manage symptoms and protect those around you if you test positive.

How do you know you have COVID-19

A positive result on a COVID-19 test, indicated that you are infected with COVID-19.

Learn more about testing.

What to do if you test positive

Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 can pass the virus onto others.

While isolation is no longer a legal requirement, if you test positive for COVID-19, staying at home protects the people in your community.

If you test positive, you should not visit high-risk settings like hospitals and aged and disability care settings:

  • for at least 7 days or until symptoms have gone
  • unless seeking immediate medical care.

To help protect those around you, we recommend:

If you have any appointments you cannot miss (visit to a doctor, family violence service or police), let them know in advance that you have COVID-19.

Call the COVID-19 helpline on 1800 020 080 if you need support or information. The hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Manage your symptoms

Most people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all (asymptomatic).

You can manage these symptoms 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.

If you are eligible, your GP can prescribe COVID-19 oral treatments to reduce your chance of severe illness or hospitalisation.

Seek urgent medical attention (call 000) if you 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
  • difficultly waking up
  • little or no urine output
  • coughing up blood.

If your child has COVID-19

Severe COVID-19 in children is rare. Most children will have no, or only mild symptoms.

If you are worried about your child’s symptoms, contact your GP as soon as possible.

A GP or nurse will treat your child based on their age, symptoms and past medical history.

If they are showing severe symptoms, call 000 immediately.

Learn more about caring for a child, family member or housemate with COVID-19.

Caring for yourself after COVID-19

Most people who test positive for COVID-19 recover completely, but some people may develop long COVID.

COVID-19 vaccinations, including boosters, reduce your risk of re-infection and gives the best protection against severe illness from COVID-19.

After testing positive, you should wait 6 months before making a booster dose appointment.

Book an appointment using the health Service Finder.

Date last updated:

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