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Isolation for people who are diagnosed with COVID-19

Self-isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 Direction (No. 4)

What’s changed from 26 October 2020:

  • You need to wear a face mask when told to do so by an emergency officer, and when leaving isolation
  • There are updates to the travel arrangements to and from isolation
  • There are updates to who can enter a premises where someone with a diagnosed case of COVID-19 is staying.

Overview

To slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Queensland Government requires people diagnosed with COVID-19 to isolate.

Isolation means you need to stay in a room away from others while you get better, so you don’t give the virus to anyone else. Read more about how to isolate. You should wherever possible have your own bedroom and bathroom.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 outside of your home, you must go directly to the address stated in the direction given to you by an emergency officer. You must travel in an ambulance, your personal vehicle, government-arranged transport or taxi with a protective shield between the driver and passenger. Only if these options are unavailable, you may travel in the back seat on the passenger side of a taxi or rideshare with a mask.

If you are in hospital for medical treatment, once discharged you must directly travel home or to your hotel or other place of residence.

While you are isolating, you should arrange for online delivery of essential supplies or rely on family, friends or neighbours to organise the delivery of food and essentials to your home.

If you are in isolation and need help getting food or other essentials, you should call the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349. This service can help with having food, essential medical supplies and doctors visits arranged and / or delivered to your home.

You cannot leave isolation until:

  • 14 days have passed since your diagnosis, provided you have not been given a further direction to isolate during that time; or
  • 14 days have passed since you were given a further direction to isolate; or
  • a doctor or nurse certifies you no longer need to isolate.

There are some specific reasons you can leave isolation:

  • in an emergency situation
  • for safety reasons (to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm)
  • for essential medical care or medical supplies
  • if allowed by an emergency officer.

If you are allowed to leave isolation, you must travel in an ambulance, your personal vehicle, government-arranged transport or taxi with a protective shield between the driver and passenger. Only if these options are unavailable, you may travel in the back seat on the passenger side of a taxi or rideshare with a mask.

If you still have symptoms or have not received a negative test after 14 days, you must continue to isolate.

You are not allowed to invite another person into your place of isolation unless that person usually lives there, the person is also there for COVID-19 isolation, the person has been permitted to enter your home by an emergency health officer, or the person is providing emergency, medical or other essential care to you or someone else residing in your home.

You should always call 000 in case of emergency or 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) if you need medical advice.

Questions and Answers about this Direction

How should I get groceries delivered if I am isolating?

People who are isolating with no other means of support can call the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 to arrange the non-contact delivery of essential food and medication.

Do my family/other people I live with need to isolate if I’m in isolation?

If you are a confirmed case of COVID-19, your close contacts, including other members of your household, will be required to quarantine. Find out more about quarantine.

How should I isolate if I’m living with other people?

Isolating when living with other people can be difficult, however, there are some steps you can take to make sure you’re keeping yourself and others in your home safe.

These include:

  • Isolating to personal sleeping areas that aren’t shared with others, where possible
  • Do not share a bathroom wherever possible
  • Maintain good hygiene practices like washing hands regularly, avoiding touching your face (or others’ faces) and covering coughs and sneezes
  • Wash shared sheets often, using soap or detergent
  • If possible, use separate bathrooms and other shared areas (or items) like living areas and items used for cooking or eating
  • Use disinfectant to remove any traces of germs surfaces you or others may have touched, then wash your hands with soap and water immediately afterwards.
  • Encourage others in your home to get tested if they show any symptoms of COVID-19.

Who can visit me if I am in isolation?

You should not have visitors if you are isolating.

The only time that people can enter your premises is for the following reasons:

  • Someone who is allowed to enter your home by an emergency officer (public health)
  • People who normally reside in the same premises
  • People providing emergency, medical or other essential care to you or someone else residing in your home.

Isolation can become boring, and even lonely at times. It’s important to maintain to your wellbeing and continue being social with others. Read more about how you can do this on the Queensland Health blog.

Under what circumstances can I leave isolation?

You can only leave your premises during this period for the following reasons:

  • to obtain essential medical care or essential medical supplies where you cannot practically get your medication delivered
  • to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm
  • in the event of an emergency situation
  • you have been granted permission by an emergency health officer.

If you are allowed to leave isolation, you must travel in an ambulance, your personal vehicle, government-arranged transport or taxi with a protective shield between the driver and passenger. Only if these options are unavailable, you may travel in the back seat on the passenger side of a taxi or rideshare with a mask.

When can I leave isolation?

You may finish isolation in the following circumstances:

  • 14 days have passed since your diagnosis, provided you have not been given a further direction to isolate during that time
  • 14 days have passed since you were given a further direction to isolate
  • a doctor or nurse certifies you no longer need to isolate.

If you still have symptoms after 14 days or have not received a negative test you must continue to isolate.

Leaving isolation before any of the above is a criminal offence, and can result in receiving a fine of up to $4003, a court-imposed penalty of up to $13,345 or six months’ imprisonment

I’m feeling sicker, but I’ve been told not to leave my home. What should I do?

If you start to feel sicker, contact your doctor or call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) to speak to a registered nurse – you can use this service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation?

While both will limit your movements, quarantine is what people are required to do in case they have come in contact with a confirmed case.

Isolation is the term used when asking people who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 to stay in their home or in hospital until they are no longer infectious.

If you are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, you will be asked to self-isolate (PDF) unless you are so sick that you need treatment in a hospital.

I’m feeling better now. Do I need to stay in isolation for the full 14 days?

Everyone experiences COVID-19 differently. Some people experience severe symptoms for weeks, while others can recover quickly, and feel better within a few days. To effectively manage the spread of COVID-19, it is very important that everyone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 continues to stay at the designated premises for the full 14 days of isolation, or until they are given clearance from a doctor or nurse, before they can go outside again.

How do I report someone who should be isolating but isn’t?

If you need to report COVID-19 compliance breaches, please contact Police Link on 131 444 or via their online form.

Where can I isolate?

If you have been directed to isolate by a public health official, you must stay at the address stated on your isolation notice for 14 days or the date specified on the direction.

If the mandatory isolation requirements are not strictly followed and people mix more easily in the community, there is unacceptable risk of COVID-19 transmission in the community.

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Questions and Requests for exemptions

If you are seeking clarification on a Direction or have any questions, please call 134 COVID (13 42 68).

To apply for an exemption to a Direction please complete the online form.

Submit your request online