First steps if you have COVID-19

If you get COVID-19, or have symptoms, follow the steps below. These important steps protect yourself and others.

If you learn you have COVID-19 using a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) at home, report your positive RAT result to Queensland Health.

Isolate and take precautions whilst infectious

Isolation is an effective way of reducing the spread of all respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. You should stay at home whilst infectious to help prevent infecting others.

If you:

Queensland Health strongly recommends that you stay at home and isolate, until:

  • your symptoms have substantially reduced and
  • you've gone for at least 24 hours without a fever, without using fever-reducing painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.

In addition:

you should:

  • wear a face mask covering your mouth whenever you are in an indoor setting outside the home
  • avoid contact with people who are a higher risk of severe disease
  • wash your hands regularly
  • practice good respiratory hygiene (such as covering your cough)

Tell your social, work and education contacts to get tested if they have symptoms

It’s likely you will have been in contact with other people while you were infectious. It's possible you have spread the virus to others (without knowing) in the 2 days before you had symptoms or found out you have COVID-19.

If you have been in contact with anyone during that period, you need to tell them you have COVID-19 so they can monitor their own health and get tested if they feel unwell.

This might include your workplace or the place you study, or if you have children, the school or childcare they go to.

Restrictions on entering high-risk settings

Except in an exceptional circumstance or where medical treatment is required, if you have:

you should not enter any high-risk settings such as:

  • a hospital
  • a residential aged care facility
  • a disability services accommodation centre

until

  • at least 7 days have passed since you received a positive COVID-19 test result, and
  • you no longer have any symptoms.

The operators of high-risk settings may choose to impose restrictions or conditions on people who have recently tested positive to COVID-19 or had any symptoms of acute respiratory infection, such as:

  • isolation processes for patients and residents
  • conditions or restrictions for staff returning to work
  • visitors attending the high-risk setting.

If you who have tested positive to COVID-19 within the previous 7 days or have any symptoms of acute respiratory infection and there are extenuating compassionate reasons for visiting a high-risk setting (e.g., end-of-life), you should contact the facility to discuss if this can be safely arranged.

There are no restrictions or limitations if you are seeking to enter a high-risk facility if you require medical care, aged care or disability services. However, where possible you should advise the facility that you are a diagnosed person or have acute respiratory symptoms and comply with any conditions to manage the risk to staff, patients, residents, clients and visitors to the facility.

Manage your symptoms and health

Most people who are fully vaccinated will be able to care for themselves at home, like you would for other viruses.

You may have symptoms like a fever, cough, headache or a sore throat. You may feel unwell for a day or 2, and then start to feel better. Some fully vaccinated people will have no symptoms at all.

If you're unsure whether you need medical care for your symptoms or if you feel you might require medical assessment or treatment, you can:

You may benefit from antiviral medicines if you are at high risk of developing severe illness. Find out who may be eligible and what to do to prepare.

You should seek medical advice if you:

  • are not improving after 2 or 3 days, or are getting sicker
  • have a chronic health condition
  • are pregnant.

Keep a COVID-19 symptom diary (PDF, 2.4 MB) , so you can track if your symptoms get worse.

Only call Triple Zero (000) or go to an emergency department if you have severe symptoms.

While you are staying home, use our tips on looking after your mental wellbeing.

If you are worried about your mental health, read about when to seek help and the mental health services available to support you.

For more information

Guidelines for a person diagnosed with COVID-19 or symptoms of an acute respiratory infection in Queensland