COVID-19 Coronavirus: What to do if you have COVID-19 or are a close contact

Find out what to do if you test positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact, as part of the testing and isolation process in Western Australia.
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It’s important to understand what testing and isolation rules you have to follow if you have COVID-19 or are a close contact. Following these guidelines will help you know what to do to keep yourself and others in the community safe.

If you have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 12 weeks and become a close contact you do not need to isolate again if you have no symptoms and are not immunocompromised.

I have tested positive for COVID-19

I have tested positive for COVID-19

This guide will help you know when and how long you need to isolate for if you are COVID-19 positive.

What to do if you are a confirmed positive case:

  • Isolate at home for 7 days,
  • If you have no symptoms after 7 days, then no further test is required, and you can stop isolating
  • If you have symptoms on day 7, stay in isolation until those symptoms clear or get clearance from a medical professional before leaving isolation

Important: If you return a positive RAT, you must register your result (external link) with the Department of Health.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you will receive an SMS from WA Health. There is a link in the SMS that will take you to a web page with more information and a number of questions.

The questions will ask if you have visited any high-risk locations or need extra support through the WA COVID-19 Care at Home program. These questions will help WA Health to continue to protect people at high risk of getting sick from COVID-19.

Tell your close contacts and your workplace that you have COVID-19.

You do not need a negative test result to leave isolation and go back to work if you have isolated for 7 days since testing positive, and no longer have symptoms.

If you have respiratory symptoms (such as a frequent cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose or blocked nose) at the end of 7 complete days, you must continue to isolate until your symptoms resolve.

The 7-day isolation period means 7 complete days from the time you took your test. This means 7 x 24 hours. For example, if you tested positive at 3pm on a Monday, your isolation period ends at 3pm the following Monday.

Testing, isolation and close contact frequently asked questions are available.

More information:

What is a close contact?

A close contact is defined as:

  • a household member or intimate partner of a person with COVID-19 who has had contact with them during their infectious period,
  • someone who has had close personal interaction with a person with COVID-19 during their infectious period, where they spent 4 hours of cumulative contact with them in a residential setting (including a home, residential care facility, boarding school, maritime vessel, or other accommodation facility) in any 24-hour period where masks have been removed by both people during the period of contact
  • someone who is informed by WA Health that they are a close contact.

I am a close contact with symptoms

I am a close contact with symptoms

This guide will help you if you are a symptomatic close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Close contacts with no symptoms can collect free RATs from collection sites in metropolitan and regional WA to help them complete their testing requirements.

What to do if you are a close contact:

  • Take a PCR test or RAT within 24 hours of becoming a close contact
  • Take a PCR test on day 6 or RAT on day 7:
    • If positive – follow the guidelines for confirmed COVID-19 cases
    • If negative, you can leave isolation after day 7. Once you leave isolation, for the next 7 days avoid visiting healthcare, aged, residential care facilities (including disability care facilities and mental health residential facilities) or correctional facilities, unless authorised by the Chief Health Officer or in an emergency. In this case, you must tell a relevant officer before attending or as soon as possible upon your arrival. Workers at those facilities can enter under strict conditions.
  • Once symptoms have resolved, close contacts who are not positive cases should follow the guidelines for close contacts with no symptoms (see below) for the balance of the 7-day isolation period.
  • If a close contact tests positive, they must isolate for 7 days after their positive test result and follow the guidelines for positive COVID-19 cases.

Testing, isolation and close contact frequently asked questions are available.

I am a close contact and have no symptoms

I am a close contact with no symptoms

This guide will help you know what to do if you are a close contact but have no symptoms. You should follow this protocol for 7 days from the date your household contact tests positive to COVID-19.

Close contacts with no symptoms can collect free RATs from collection sites in metropolitan and regional WA to help them complete their testing requirements.

Close contacts who do not have symptoms can leave their place of isolation if they:

  • Take a RAT and have a negative result on each day they would like to leave isolation (note: you must be able to provide evidence of the negative RAT result taken that day if requested by a relevant officer)
  • If symptoms develop, follow the guidelines for close contacts with symptoms
  • Wear a mask at all times outside of the home (the usual exemptions apply, including for children under 12)
  • Avoid high-risk settings, including hospitals, healthcare settings, aged care facilities, residential care facilities (including disability care facilities and mental health residential facilities) and correctional facilities, unless you work at these locations and have received written or oral confirmation from your employer to continue attending work as a close contact without symptoms.
  • In case you visit high-risk settings due to an emergency, you must tell a relevant officer before attending or as soon as possible upon your arrival. Workers at those facilities can enter under strict conditions.

Close contacts who do not have symptoms are strongly encouraged to:

  • avoid non-essential gatherings and contact with people at risk of severe illness
  • work from home, where possible
  • tell their employer, educational facility or early learning centre of their close contact status.

Note: Relevant workers entering high risk settings are subject to additional obligations.

Close contacts with no symptoms who work in a high-risk setting must also:

  • advise their employer they are a close contact
  • seek oral or written confirmation from their employer to attend work
  • monitor for symptoms
  • immediately leave the workplace and return home if they develop symptoms or become COVID positive
  • only enter or remain at the high-risk setting for the purposes of their work duties
  • wear a surgical mask while at work along with any PPE requirements from their employer
  • not share break areas at work with any other person
  • maintain physical distancing.

Testing, isolation and close contact frequently asked questions are available.

Page reviewed 4 July 2022