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First steps if you have COVID-19

If you test positive to COVID-19, follow our checklist below. These important steps protect yourself and others.

Most people will have minor symptoms just as you would for many other mild viruses, particularly if you are vaccinated and otherwise healthy. The majority of people will be able to manage their symptoms at home while isolating.

Read more about symptoms and medical care for COVID-19 in Queensland.

You may learn you have COVID-19 by taking a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) or PCR test.

If you've tested positive on a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)

If you haven't done so, report your positive RAT result to Queensland Health.

You do not need to take a PCR test to confirm a positive RAT result.

If you've tested positive on a PCR test

You do not need to report a positive PCR result to Queensland Health. The testing clinic where you got tested will do that for you.

1. Immediately isolate for 7 days

If you get COVID-19, you need to immediately isolate yourself at your home, or other accommodation for 7 days from the date you had your test. Isolate means you need to stay away from other people as much as possible so you don’t give the virus to someone else.

Find out how to isolate, including what support is available to you. For help because you don’t have somewhere suitable to isolate, call 134 COVID (134 268).

2. Tell your household contacts to isolate and get tested if they have symptoms

Tell the people that live with you. They need to quarantine at home with you. They need to get tested on Day 6 of their quarantine period, or earlier if they develop COVID-19 symptoms. Read more about testing and quarantine for close contacts.

Household close contacts

A diagnosed person is someone who has tested positive to COVID-19, either through a PCR or a rapid antigen test (RAT).

You are a close contact if you are a household member or a household-like contact of a diagnosed person:

  • household member is a person who ordinarily resides at the same premises or place of accommodation as the diagnosed person, and who are residing at the premises or place of accommodation at the time the diagnosed person receives their positive COVID-19 test result. You do not have to be related to the diagnosed person to be considered a household member.
  • household-like contact is a person who has spent more than four hours with the diagnosed person in a house or other place of accommodation, care facility or similar.
    Note: a person is not a household-like contact if they are in a separate part of the house, accommodation or care facility that has a separate point of entry and no shared common areas, and if they do not have contact or interaction for more than four hours.

See quarantine and testing requirements for close contacts.

3. 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. You are deemed infectious two days before your symptoms started. If you didn’t have any noticeable symptoms, you are deemed infectious two days before you had your COVID-19 test that was positive.

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 symptoms 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.

4. Get the things you need delivered like food and medication

You will be in isolation for a minimum of 7 days. It’s important you have everything you need for staying home.

Any deliveries must be no contact.

Ask friends or family members you don’t live with to get food and medication for you and leave it at your door.

Arrange a food delivery service. Have all food left outside your house. Do not let any delivery person into your home or accommodation.

If you need a prescription filled, arrange this with your usual pharmacist or GP. They can deliver it to your home or accommodation, or you can let your friend or family member know where to collect the medication.

Home care workers and other providers of essential services like nurses are exempt from restrictions to enter your home. However, if you receive these services it is important that you let the service providers know that you have COVID-19 and are in isolation.

If you can’t get family or friends to help you, contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

5. Look after yourself. Focus on your health, and get help if you need it

Most people with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms. 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.

Read more about symptoms and medical care for COVID-19 in Queensland.

While you are staying home, use our tips on looking after your mental wellbeing and keeping healthy and active at home.

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

If you need any other support while you’re in isolation, read our guide on where to get help.