What to do if you test positive to COVID-19 – Checklist

Last Updated: 15 Jan 2022 3:50pm

Your 7-step checklist if you have tested positive

Step 1: Look after your health

If you test positive for COVID-19 it is important to look after your health and if needed get help. Call a doctor if your COVID-19 symptoms worsen or the COVID@home care team on 1800 973 363. See Understand your symptoms for more information.

If your symptoms get seriously worse (especially if it happens very suddenly), or you feel like it’s an emergency, then call triple zero (000) or go straight to hospital. Make sure you tell them you have COVID-19.

If you can, you should also tell a support person who can check up on you while you are isolating, by phone or online.

You can contact the COVID@home team to access support for any other health or social needs. GPs and other community partners like your local pharmacy are also available to provide extra support.

Step 2: Immediately isolate for 7 days

You must isolate at home or in private accommodation for at least 7 days. If you’re living with others, isolate away from them. See Isolation and COVID-19 support for more information.

For advice on looking after your mental health while in isolation, read about coping with isolation and looking after your mental health.

Step 3: Register your positive Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) result

If you have tested positive using a RAT you are required to notify the Department of Health of your test result via the online declaration form.

This is a requirement under the Public Health Act 1997 and ensures you can access the care and support you need and financial assistance if eligible.

If you have a positive PCR test result, you do not need to report a positive RAT result.

Step 4: Inform your Close Contacts

Tell your close contacts who are household and household-like contacts - they must quarantine for 7 days and get a test on day 1 and day 6 or immediately if they are symptomatic.

Close contacts are people you had contact with while you were infectious:

  • anyone who lives in your house is a close contact
  • anyone who has visited your home for more than 4 hours over a day is a close contact
  • if you have visited another household for more than 4 hours, all members of that household are closes contacts
  • a close contact can also be someone that has spent 4 hours at the same site, workplace or venue as a case during a significant transmission event.

Your infectious period is two day prior to developing symptoms, or two days prior to when you tested positive if you did not have symptoms.

See Close Contacts for more information on requirements.

Step 5: Tell your social contacts

You must tell your social contacts that you have tested positive for COVID-19. Social contacts do not need to quarantine however they must get tested if they develop any symptoms.

Your social contacts are people who you have had 15 minutes of face-to-face contact with, or spent 2 hours within the same indoor space.

They are not people you live with or from your workplace or school.

If they develop symptoms, they must get tested and stay in quarantine until they receive a negative test result.

People who are your close contacts cannot follow this advice, close contacts must quarantine for the full 7 days.

Step 6: Tell your workplace and/or education facility

If you worked onsite while infectious, you must tell your employer/workplace you have tested positive to COVID-19.

Your employer/workplace will tell other staff who are workplace contacts.

If you or your child attended an education facility (school, childcare or early childhood) while infectious, you must tell the education facility you have tested positive for COVID-19.

The education facility will tell other students and staff who are education contacts.

To reduce any risk of transmission it is important workplaces and education settings to continue following COVID-safe behaviours.

Step 7: Release from isolation

Everyone is required to isolate for at least 7 days following the day you had your positive RAT or PCR test result. The day you had your test is Day 0.

If you have no symptoms on Day 7 you can leave isolation.

Public Health will send you an email on Day 7 of your isolation. This email will contain an official letter of release from isolation and can be used as proof of release or as a medical certificate.

If you have remaining symptoms after 7 days, you should isolate for an additional 3 days for a total of 10 days in isolation.

Cases  released from isolation do not need to quarantine  if they are re-exposed to a case in their household in the month after their diagnosis. After one month cases should get retested if they develop symptoms and quarantine if a household member tests positive for COVID-19.


What to do if you are a COVID positive case

Financial services and support

Emergency food relief

Emergency accommodation support

Fact sheet: What you need to do if you have COVID-19