Recovery from COVID-19

Last Updated: 15 Nov 2022 4:49pm

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Fever or respiratory symptoms (cough, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath) that haven’t improved significantly could mean you are still infectious. That’s why it’s important to stay home if you have symptoms, and if you must leave the house, wear a mask indoors and when on public transport.

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.

Returning to work and other activities

If you have cold or flu symptoms or test positive to COVID 19 it is important to let your workplace know. All workplaces are required under Work Health and Safety legislation to complete a COVID-19 risk assessment and depending on the risk  workplaces may have policies in place and request you to work from home or take additional precautions in the workplace.

There is not a Public Health requirement to provide a negative test before returning to the workplace once your symptoms have resolved.

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

Re-exposure to COVID-19

Within five weeks of testing positive to COVID-19

If you become a close contact of a confirmed case within 5 weeks of a previous infection, you will not be considered a close contact.

After five weeks

If you become a close contact of a confirmed case five weeks or more after testing positive, follow the advice for contacts.

Testing after having COVID-19

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 less than five weeks after a previously confirmed case of COVID-19, you do not need to get tested. You should remain at home until your symptoms are gone.

If you are immunocompromised or at risk of severe disease and you develop symptoms of COVID-19 at any time, you should get tested for COVID-19 with a PCR test and discuss your symptoms with your medical practitioner.

Vaccination and boosters

People who have had COVID-19 can be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended to wait for three months after a positive test result for COVID-19 before receiving your next COVID-19 vaccine dose. The next scheduled dose should be given as soon as possible after this period. 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

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