There are things you can do to help protect yourself and the community from COVID-19. Remember to stay home if you are unwell, wear a mask as needed, and stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations.
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Preparing for COVID-19 makes it easier if you become infected or exposed to COVID-19. Here are some helpful tips:
- Make sure you have enough face masks and hand sanitiser ready.
- Prepare a kit with basic medical supplies such as a thermometer, pain relief medication, electrolytes, your regular medications, and rapid antigen tests (RATs).
- Choose someone to deliver supplies such as groceries and medication. This can be a family member or a friend.
- Have someone ready to help look after your children, pets, or anyone else in your care, in case you need to go to hospital.
- Have an emergency contact list with important phone numbers, such as your nominated support person, emergency services, and a GP.
What to do if you have COVID-19
To protect our community, please stay home if you have COVID-19 until your symptoms have resolved.
You can recover from COVID-19 at home if your symptoms are mild.
Contact a GP or GP Respiratory Clinic if you start to feel worse. You can also call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. If your symptoms become severe, call 000 immediately.
- Manage your symptoms with rest and pain relief. Remember to check if you are eligible for antiviral treatment.
- Stay at home while you have symptoms. A minimum of 5 days is a good guide, but it may be 10 days or more.
- Don’t forget to tell your close contacts. You’re most infectious 2 days before symptoms start.
- If you tested positive with a RAT, register your result with the Department of Health.
To protect those most at risk from COVID-19, for 7 days after testing positive for COVID-19 you should not visit or work in high-risk settings including hospitals, disability, mental health and aged care residential facilities and other healthcare settings (e.g., ambulance services, GP clinics, physiotherapy).
You can still attend public hospitals and high-risk settings for urgent medical care or treatment, but you should contact the facility to let them know you have tested positive for COVID-19.
A close contact is a household or household-like contact, or intimate partner of a person with COVID-19 who has had contact with them during their infectious period.
The COVID-19 infectious period is taken from 48 hours before onset of symptoms, or 48 hours before the positive test result if there are no symptoms.
To protect those most at risk from COVID-19, for 7 days after becoming a close contact you should not visit or work in high-risk settings including hospitals, disability, mental health and aged care residential facilities and other healthcare settings (e.g., ambulance services, GP clinics, physiotherapy).
You can still attend public hospitals and high-risk settings for urgent medical care or treatment, but you should contact the facility to let them know you’re a close contact.
If you work in a high-risk setting such as a hospital, residential care facility or other healthcare setting (e.g., GP clinic, dental services, physiotherapy, Aboriginal Medical Services), tell your employer when you become a close contact, and check the rules for your workplace.
After you have COVID-19
Most people with COVID-19 will recover completely within a few weeks and can care for themselves at home.
You may find you feel more tired or can’t concentrate as well as usual for some time after having COVID-19.
Information is available about what to expect after COVID-19 and how to take care of yourself while recovering.
Most cases of long COVID resolve but in rare cases, it can lead to long term health problems.
A person is usually considered to have long COVID if their symptoms have persisted for longer than two months after their initial infection. Most symptoms progressively resolve, and it is uncommon for symptoms to persist for more than a year.
These symptoms can include:
- extreme fatigue (tiredness)
- shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pain or tightness
- problems with memory and concentration
- changes to taste and smell
- joint and muscle pain.
If you continue to experience symptoms, make an appointment with your GP.
If you have previously had COVID-19 and develop new symptoms more than 35 days after your recovery, you should get tested again, as reinfection is possible. Please stay at home until your symptoms resolve.