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I have COVID-19—now what?

A mature woman drinking coffee at home

COVID-19 is now circulating widely in Queensland, and many of us may already know someone who has it.

It is highly likely that most of us will get COVID-19 or be directly exposed to someone who has it.

Being vaccinated will help protect you from severe disease. (There are good reasons why relying on your immune system to beat COVID-19 isn’t a safe bet).

We’ve put together some handy, comprehensive tips on what to do if you do get COVID-19.

What to do if you test positive

If you ‘ve tested positive on a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), you should report your positive RAT result to Queensland Health. You do not need to take a PCR test to confirm your positive RAT result.

If you’ve tested positive on a PCR test you do not need to report your positive PCR result to Queensland Health as the testing clinic where you got tested will do that for you.

If you’ve tested positive, follow these important steps to protect yourself and others:

  1. Immediately isolate for 7 days
  2. Tell your household contacts to isolate and get tested if they get symptoms
  3. Tell your social, work and education contacts to get tested if they have symptoms
  4. Get the things you need—such as food and medication—delivered
  5. Look after yourself. Focus on your health and get help if you need it

1. Immediately isolate for 7 days

If you get COVID-19, you need to immediately isolate yourself at your home, or other accommodation for 7 days from the date you had your test. Isolate means you need to stay away from other people as much as possible, so you don’t give the virus to someone else.

Find out how to isolate, including what support is available to you. For help because you don’t have somewhere suitable to isolate, call 134 COVID (134 268).

2. Tell your household contacts to isolate and get tested if they have symptoms

Tell the people that live with you. They need to quarantine at home with you. They need to get tested on Day 6 of their quarantine period, or earlier if they develop COVID-19 symptoms. Read more about testing and quarantine for close contacts.

Household close contacts

The following are considered to be household close contacts or household-like close contacts and must quarantine and get tested if they have symptoms.

A diagnosed person is someone who has tested positive to COVID-19, either through a PCR or a rapid antigen test (RAT).

You are a close contact if you are a household member or a household-like contact of a diagnosed person:

  • household member is a person who ordinarily resides at the same premises or place of accommodation as the diagnosed person, and who are residing at the premises or place of accommodation at the time the diagnosed person receives their positive COVID-19 test result. You do not have to be related to the diagnosed person to be considered a household member.
  • household-like contact is a person who has spent more than four hours with the diagnosed person in a house or other place of accommodation, care facility or similar.
    Note: a person is not a household-like contact if they are in a separate part of the house, accommodation or care facility that has a separate point of entry and no shared common areas, and if they do not have contact or interaction for more than four hours.

See quarantine and testing requirements for close contacts.

3. Tell your social, work and education contacts to get tested if they have symptoms

It’s likely you will have been in contact with other people while you were infectious. You are deemed infectious two days before your symptoms started. If you didn’t have any noticeable symptoms, you are deemed infectious two days before you had your COVID-19 test that was positive.

If you have been in contact with anyone during that period, you need to tell them you have COVID-19 so they can monitor their symptoms and get tested if they feel unwell.

This might include your workplace or the place you study, or if you have children, the school or childcare they go to.

4. Get the things you need—such as food and medication—delivered

You will be in isolation for a minimum of 7 days. It’s important you have everything you need for staying home.

Any deliveries must be no contact.

Ask friends or family members you don’t live with to get food and medication for you and leave it at your door.

Arrange a food delivery service. Have all food left outside your house. Do not let any delivery person into your home or accommodation.

If you need a prescription filled, arrange this with your usual pharmacist or GP. They can deliver it to your home or accommodation, or you can let your friend or family member know where to collect the medication.

Home care workers and other providers of essential services like nurses are exempt from restrictions to enter your home. However, if you receive these services it is important that you let the service providers know that you have COVID-19 and are in isolation.

If you can’t get family or friends to help you, contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

5. Look after yourself. Focus on your health, and get help if you need it

Most people with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms. Keep a COVID-19 symptom diary (PDF, 2 MB), so you can track if your symptoms get worse and take action.

If you are well or only have mild symptoms, you will be cared for at home. For health advice, please call your GP. If you don’t have a GP, you can call 13 HEALTH (134 325).

Only call Triple Zero (000) or go to an emergency department if you have severe symptoms. Read more about symptoms and medical care for COVID-19 in Queensland.

While you are staying home, use our tips on looking after your mental wellbeing and keeping healthy and active at home.

If you are worried about your mental health, read about when to seek help and the mental health services available to support you.

If you need any other support while you’re in isolation, read our guide on where to get help.

More information

Find out more about COVID care at home and COVID care in hospital.

I’ve had COVID-19—now what?

Even if you’ve had COVID-19, you should still be vaccinated against it.

You are far less likely to get severe disease should you get COVID-19 again if you have been vaccinated (you’ll benefit from extra protection if you get a third dose or booster).

You can get vaccinated or receive your booster or third dose after you have recovered. You must not attend a vaccination appointment if you have any COVID-19 symptoms.

Even if you’ve had COVID-19 you should continue to practice COVID-safe behaviours such as mask wearing, hand hygiene, checking in, and social distancing.

We will soon be publishing another blog covering what to do after you have had COVID-19.

Last updated: 14 January 2022