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If your COVID-19 (coronavirus) test result is positive (COVID-19 found), this means you have COVID-19.

You will get your result by text message. A member of the contact tracing team will also call you and answer any questions you have.

Here's what you need to do next.

Stay in your room (self-isolation)

You need to self-isolate because there is a high risk you could spread the virus to other people.

Stay in a room, on your own, with a window open for ventilation. Completely avoid contact with other people.

Read more about how to self-isolate

There is different advice about self-isolation for children.

Read what to do if your child has to isolate from other people

Watch a video on how to self-isolate

People you live with need to stay at home (restricted movements)

Since you have tested positive, the people in your household should restrict their movements. This is because they are your close contacts and they may have COVID-19 too.

They need to avoid contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. They will also need to get a COVID-19 test. Contact tracers will arrange testing for your close contacts.

Read more about how to restrict your movements

Read about the difference between self-isolation and restricted movements

Contact tracing phone calls

Contact tracers will call you to find out who you were in close contact with either:

  • from 2 days before your symptoms started - if you had symptoms
  • 1 day before the day of your test - if you did not have symptoms

Contact tracers do this so they can arrange a test for your close contacts and tell them to restrict their movements.

As soon as you get your positive test result, it's a good idea to make a list of the mobile numbers of people and places you have recently visited. This will make it easier for you to pass on those details to contact tracers when they call you. Contact tracers will not mention your name when they talk to your close contacts.

The contact tracing team will also ask if you are using the COVID Tracker app so you can alert any close contacts the app has tracked for you.

Read more about contact tracing

People who were not in close contact with you

If you test positive for COVID-19, anyone who was not in close contact with you does not need to restrict their movements. For example, people who live with your close contacts, or friends of your close contacts, don't need to do anything unless they were in close contact with you.

They will not get a call from contact tracing. They can continue to go to work, school or childcare. Just like everyone else, if they develop symptoms of COVID-19, they should self-isolate and call their GP.

Read more about close contacts

If your symptoms get worse

If you start to feel very unwell, phone your GP or GP out-of-hours. Particularly if your breathing changes or becomes difficult, or your cough gets worse.

If you are very short of breath and your GP is not available, call the emergency services on 112 or 999

Find a GP

Find a GP out-of-hours

How to cope with self-isolation

Keep yourself mobile by getting up and moving around as much as possible. If you have a private garden, backyard or balcony, go out and get some fresh air.

Stay in touch with people over the phone. Ask a family member, friend or neighbour to check in with you over the phone a few times every day. Let them know how you are feeling.

Read more about how to keep well during self-isolation

When you can stop self-isolating

Most people can stop self-isolating when both of these apply:

  • you have had no fever for 5 days
  • it has been 10 days since you first developed symptoms

If you tested positive because you are a close contact, you may have no symptoms. In this case, you can stop self-isolating 10 days from the date of your test.

Read more about when you can stop self-isolation

No long-term evidence of immunity

Some studies have shown that antibodies develop soon after infection. These have been detected for at least 2 months after infection. But because it is a new virus, there is no long-term evidence that having COVID-19 means you are immune to getting it again.

Related topics

Treat COVID-19 symptoms at home

Recovering after COVID-19

Eating well while recovering from COVID-19

Exercise while recovering from COVID-19

Last updated: 17 November at 11.05am

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