Recovery from COVID-19

Last Updated: 19 Sep 2022 12:00pm

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When you test positive to COVID-19, it is important to complete a minimum of 5 days isolation and take additional precautions when you are released from isolation, to prevent you infecting others.

View Leaving isolation after having COVID-19 factsheet and Recovering from COVID-19 and leaving isolation.

Criteria to leave isolation

Cases can be released from isolation five days after their first positive test if:

  • all acute COVID-related symptoms have gone or have significantly resolved (e.g., cough, runny nose, sore throat, or shortness of breath)

AND

  • they have NOT had a fever (or signs of fever such as chills or night sweats) for at least 24 hours.

If a person continues to have fever or acute respiratory symptoms on or after 5 days they must remain in isolation until they meet the above criteria.

Fever or respiratory symptoms that haven’t improved significantly could mean you are still infectious. That’s why it’s important to stay in isolation until you meet the criteria above.

In addition, all individuals who leave isolation MUST:

  • wear a face mask in all settings away from the home until 7 days after they test positive (everyone aged 12 years and older).

not attend any listed high-risk settings (even for the purposes of work) until 7 days after they test positive.

After you leave isolation you must continue to take additional precautions. There is a small chance you may still be infectious and able to spread the virus.

If you have other symptoms after 5 days (for example tiredness ) you can leave isolation but you should seek advice from your GP or other healthcare provider if you are concerned.

There is a small risk that some individuals may still be infectious even after leaving isolation. To minimise the small risk of transmission to those at risk of severe illness it is recommended that after leaving isolation recent cases continue to take additional precautions until 10 days after they tested positive, including:

  • wearing a face mask when outside the home.
  • avoiding non-essential attendance at all high-risk premises (hospitals, residential aged care and disability settings, health care facilities including General Practice and Allied Health, correctional facilities) or contact with people who are at higher risk of severe disease.

If you are not getting better, or you are concerned, contact your GP or healthcare provider in the first instance, or phone the COVID@homeplus team on 1800 973 363.

Your GP or healthcare provider can provide further support, help you manage your symptoms, and assess whether you need further clinical care.

Public Health will send you an email during your isolation period. This email will contain an official letter of release from isolation and can be used as proof of release or as a medical certificate.

Returning to work and other activities

Once you have completed your isolation requirements, you are able to return to work but you will be required to wear a facemask in all settings away from the home until 7 days after they test positive (everyone aged over 12 years old).

If you work in a high risk setting you should discuss with your workplace any additional precautions that may be in place.

There is not a Public Health requirement to provide a negative test before returning to the workplace once you have completed your day 5 isolation requirement.

You should not attend any listed high-risk settings (even) for the purpose of work) until 7 days after you tested positive.

There is a small risk that you can spread the virus after 5 days isolation and it is important, we continue to protect people at risk of more severe infection.

Although you are able to return to normal activities after you have completed your isolation requirement, be aware of some minor lingering symptoms you may experience.

Your body has been exposed to a virus and everyone recovers differently. Speak to your GP or healthcare provider if you are concerned about any ongoing symptoms.

Re-exposure to COVID-19

Within 4 weeks of your release from isolation

If you become a close contact of a confirmed case within 4 weeks of your release from isolation, you will not need to follow the close contact rules.

After 4 weeks from your release from isolation

If you become a close contact of a confirmed case after 4 weeks from your release from isolation, you will need to follow the close contact rules.

Testing after having COVID-19

Within 4 weeks of your release from isolation

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 less than 4 weeks after your release from isolation, you do not need to get tested for COVID-19, unless you are immunocompromised or at risk of severe disease.

After 4 weeks from your release from isolation

If you have COVID19 symptoms and it has been more than 4 weeks since your release from isolation, you should get tested for COVID19 because your immunity may have decreased. Unfortunately, people can become unwell with COVID-19 more than once.

Vaccination and boosters

People who have had COVID-19 can be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine. Current advice is to wait 3 months after your confirmed COVID-19 infection before receiving your next COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended that you still receive all of your COVID-19 vaccines.

If you are concerned about any symptoms you are still experiencing after having COVID-19 speak to your health care provider or GP prior to your vaccination.

See Vaccination for more information.

Post COVID-19 Navigation Service

The Department of Health has launched a service to support Tasmanians who have Post COVID-19 Condition to manage their ongoing symptoms. The service also provides referrals into appropriate Allied Health Services, such as physiotherapy or social services, if required.

If it has been more than 12 weeks since your COVID-19 symptoms started and they are still ongoing, visit your GP to confirm your diagnosis and discuss the Post COVID-19 Navigation Service.

It is important you visit your GP in the first instance to make sure your symptoms are not caused by another condition.

You may be eligible for the service if you are 16 years or older and have a diagnosis of Post COVID-19 Condition that prevents you (mentally and physically) from returning to pre-COVID function. You must have a referral from your GP or health professional to enrol.

What is Post COVID-19 Condition?

Most people who have COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms and will recover within a few weeks.

However, some people may experience persistent symptoms for weeks or months after their infection. If you have symptoms that continue for 12 weeks after your COVID-19 symptoms first started, this may be diagnosed as “Post COVID-19 Condition”, also known as “Post COVID-19 Syndrome” or “long COVID”.

The World Health Organisation defines Post COVID-19 Condition as a condition that “occurs in individuals with a history of probable or confirmed SARS CoV-2 infection, usually 3 months from the onset of COVID-19 with symptoms and that last for at least 2 months and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis. Common symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, cognitive dysfunction but also others and generally have an impact on everyday functioning. Symptoms may be new onset following initial recovery from an acute COVID-19 episode or persist from the initial illness. Symptoms may also fluctuate or relapse over time”.

Common symptoms of Post COVID-19 Condition vary between individuals, common symptoms can include:

  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath
  • changes in taste or smell
  • chest pain
  • difficulty sleeping
  • anxiety or depression
  • headache
  • cognitive dysfunction

Resources

Fact sheet: Post COVID-19 Navigation Service

Royal Australian College of General Practice patient resource: managing post-COVID-19 symptoms

World Health Organisation: self-management after COVID-19-related illness, second edition