Last updated: 23 October at 12.05pm
If your COVID-19 (coronavirus) test result comes back as positive (COVID-19 virus found) this means you have COVID-19. 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.
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 need to restrict their movements. This is because 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 with your close contacts.
Contact tracing phone calls
Contact tracers will phone you twice. The first call is to confirm that your test result is positive.
The second call is to find out who you were in close contact with either:
- from 2 days before you had symptoms (if you had symptoms), or
- 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 advise them on how to restrict their movements. There is a chance they may have COVID-19 too.
As soon as you get your positive test result (COVID-19 virus found), 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 speak with your close contacts.
People who were not in close contact with you
If you test positive for COVID-19, anyone that 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 contact with you.
They will not receive a call from contact tracing. They can continue to go to work, school, preschool or childcare. Just like everyone else, if they develop symptoms of COVID-19, they should ring their GP.
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
How to cope with self-isolation
Keep yourself mobile by getting up and moving around as much as possible. If you have a 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.
When you can stop self-isolation
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.