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How to be prepared for COVID-19 in your household
COVID-19 is in our community and this means there is a higher chance that you, or someone in your household, may be exposed to it or test positive.
Most people who test positive for COVID-19 will have mild symptoms and will be able to manage their symptoms at home. You will need to isolate at home or in private accommodation for at least seven days. To be prepared, each household should have a COVID preparation/care kit with items to treat your COVID-19 symptoms and plans to ensure all family members are cared for during your isolation.
By getting vaccinated, you can help keep yourself, your family, and your community safe.
All people in Tasmania, aged five and over can get vaccinated for free. Everyone 16 and over can get a booster vaccine three months after their second dose.
If you have questions about vaccination, speak with your doctor or GP. You can book your vaccine online or by calling the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738. You can also book an appointment at participating GPs and pharmacies.
Find out more about vaccination and how to book online.
Make sure you stock your medicine cabinet with supplies such as:
- hydration solutions
- a thermometer
- pain relief (paracetamol and/or ibuprofen)
- a two-week supply of your regular medications
- Rapid antigen tests (RATs).
If you can’t keep supplies on hand, find out if your local pharmacy has a delivery option.
Cleaning and basic hygiene practices are important to reduce the risk of infection to other household members. You should keep items such as:
- cleaning products
- tie up rubbish bags
- face masks
- hand sanitiser
Food and essentials
If a member of your household tests positive for COVID-19, they will need to isolate for at least seven days, and other household members will need to follow the close contact rules for seven days. It is a good idea to plan how you will get food and essential supplies to your household for up to two weeks.
You can assist family members by teaching them how to order groceries and other supplies online if they haven’t used these services before. You could also make plans with family members/friends who can assist by leaving essential supplies on your doorstep if needed.
As well as being prepared for COVID cases in your household there are a few simple items you should keep with you at all times (particularly when outside the home). These include: a small personal hand sanitiser, face masks and tissues to cover coughs and sneezes.
Care for children, people in your care, and pets
If you have children, people in your care or pets, you should have a plan for how they can be cared for if you test positive to COVID-19.
COVID-19 is an airborne virus, meaning you don’t have to be very close to a positive case to contract it. This means that if a member of your household has tested positive to COVID-19, you should keep your windows and doors open as much as possible to improve ventilation. You could also use an air purifier if you have one.
Emergency contact information and when to seek help
As with any illness, even if you’re feeling well or only slightly unwell, it’s important to monitor your symptoms and understand when you might need to get help.
Find out more information about what to do if you do test positive for COVID-19.
It is very important to monitor symptoms when you or someone you care for gets COVID-19, particularly if you feel they are getting worse and need additional medical support.
Find out more about managing COVID symptoms at home and when to seek help.
Symptoms? Get tested
If you or anyone in your household have any cold or flu-like symptoms while you are in isolation, no matter how mild, you should get tested. It’s important to still get tested even if you are fully vaccinated.
Read more about testing for COVID-19 including access to tests. Or you can phone the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.
Being in isolation can result in complex feelings and emotions. It is important to look after yourself and to have a support group around you. Some tips to help are:
Talk to friends and family members on the phone and keep in touch through mail and social media.
Find ways to keep your body active while you are in isolation. Even if you feel unwell, it’s important to take regular deep breaths and move around.
Try to keep some of your usual daily routines going, such as eating and sleeping routines.
Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and avoid increasing your use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.
If you are having difficulties coping, there are a range of support services available, including talking to your GP, a counsellor or other health professionals. There are many services waiting to listen and support anyone who needs advice or is worried, stressed or needs a friendly and understanding voice to talk things through.
Find out more information about accessing mental health services.