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Getting medical care - coronavirus (COVID-19)

Antiviral medicines for COVID-19

Antiviral medicines for COVID-19 are now available for people at high risk of developing severe illness. These medicines can reduce the need for you to go to hospital. Treatment needs to start within five days of developing symptoms or testing positive to COVID‑19. Check to see if you are eligible and find out who to talk to about your options.

Most people will not get very sick and can manage their symptoms at home , just as you would for many other mild viruses.

It is possible to have mild symptoms at the start of your illness but become sicker over time.

Get medical advice

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.

If you need help with your symptoms or looking after yourself at home, call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. They can assist you by connecting you to a health professional or hospital care, if required.

You can also use the healthdirect Australia COVID-19 Symptom and Antiviral Eligibility Checker if you’re unsure whether you need medical care for your symptoms.

You should only go to a hospital or call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance if you have severe symptoms like:

  • difficulty breathing even when walking around the house
  • coughing up blood
  • significant chest pain
  • collapse or fainting.

If you need to call Triple Zero (000) or go to a hospital, tell them you have COVID-19.

If you have a speech and/or hearing impairment and use telecommunication devices for the deaf, contact the Text Emergency Relay Service on 106.

Leaving isolation to get medical care

You can only leave isolation for emergency medical care. If it is not an emergency but you need to speak to a doctor, call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 or arrange a telehealth appointment with a GP or health provider.

If you are well enough to get yourself to a hospital for emergency medical care, use private transport like driving your own car, having a close contact drive you, or walk, ride or scooter if it’s close by.

If you are unable to drive yourself, call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance.

You must:

  • wear a face mask
  • keep your distance from other people as much as you can
  • handle your own belongings
  • use hand sanitiser.

When you arrive at the hospital, tell the healthcare workers that you have COVID-19.