After you get tested

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Last Updated: 21 Jan 2022 7:06am

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If you have symptoms

If you have been tested due to having symptoms, and are not in quarantine, it is important that you stay at home while you wait for your results and don’t go to work, school, shops or any other social gatherings.

If you need help with supplies or essential tasks outside your home, ask a friend or family member to help. Tell them to leave supplies at your door. If don’t have someone to help you, call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 for support. A grant may be available if you have to miss work due to a direction from Public Health to isolate while waiting for a COVID-19 test result. Read more about Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants.

Do not have visitors while in isolation (even if they are also in isolation or quarantine). Tell family, friends and neighbours not to visit. Consider putting a note on your door to let people know.

If you become very unwell or have difficulty breathing, call Triple Zero (000) and ask for an ambulance. Let the operator know you have had a COVID-19 test and are awaiting your test result.

If you feel stressed or anxious while you wait for your results, talk with someone. Lifeline has a dedicated service to help Tasmanians effected by COVID-19. Call 1800 984 434 from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.

Make sure you follow COVID-safe behaviours:

  • Cover coughs and sneezes. If you don’t have a tissue, use the inside of your elbow. Put used tissues in the rubbish straight away and wash your hands.
  • Keep 1.5 metres (two large steps) away from other people or wear a mask. If you share your home, consider if you or other members of your household can stay elsewhere, especially if they are elderly or have underlying medical conditions, including diagnosed conditions affecting their immunity. If this isn’t possible:
    • Stay at least 1.5 metres (two big steps) away from other household members. Wear a face mask if you need to be closer to household members.
    • Sleep in a separate bed and use a separate bathroom if you can.
    • Keep personal items (like towels, face washers and toothbrushes) separate.
    • Do not share food or drinks.
    • Stay away from shared spaces, like the kitchen (a shared garden is okay).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water (alcohol-based hand rub is OK if your hands do not look dirty). Viruses can survive for a short time on surfaces and spread through hand contact.

If you are in quarantine

You will be provided with instructions about how long you need to be in quarantine, and what needs to happen for you to get out of quarantine.

If you are in quarantine as a close contact of a known case, you will need to complete your quarantine period even if your test results come back negative.

Only leave your home/property or hotel in an emergency or to access essential, urgent medical care where it cannot be provided through telehealth or over the phone. Don’t go to places such as work, school, a place of worship, the shop, pharmacy or service station. Do not have visitors, even if they are in quarantine as well.

Even if you feel well, you might have the virus that causes COVID-19. You could pass the virus to people around you and some people might get very sick.

If the test is your ‘exit’ test from quarantine, you must receive a negative test result and have completed your full time in quarantine before you can leave.

Read about the support available while in quarantine.

If you are not in quarantine and don’t have symptoms

Public Health may ask people to get tested even if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and are not in quarantine.

If this is you, you don’t need to isolate while you wait for the result.

You can go about your normal daily routine and continue to follow the rules in place for the whole community.

Read about testing for travellers.

Getting your test result

It usually takes a day or two to get your test result.

If your result is negative, you will get a text message from Public Health, or your doctor will phone you.

If your result is positive, Public Health will contact you and advise you what to do next. The people you live with will then be considered ‘close contacts’ and will need to stay at home and be in quarantine.

If you test positive to COVID-19

If you test positive to COVID-19, you are required to follow instructions from Public Health and will be provided with health care and support to comply with isolation. Read about the care options available.

Isolation from other people when you have COVID-19 is the best way to protect your family and friends from getting the infection and preventing the virus from spreading in the Tasmanian community.

Due to higher vaccination rates, people who test positive for COVID-19 are likely to only experience mild symptoms and recover. This means people can be safely treated in their home without requiring hospitalisation.

The COVID@home program provides care for COVID-positive people within their homes. The program is available statewide, including in regional and rural areas of Tasmania, to people who are able to safely isolate at home.