If you test positive to COVID-19
There is no shame if you test positive for COVID-19. The most important thing is to ensure that you get the care and support you need to get well.
Updated 25 July 2022
How to find out if you are positive
If you have any symptoms (fever, sweats or chills, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath and/or loss of sense of smell or taste) or a close contact of someone who tested positive to COVID-19, getting tested is the only way to confirm if you have COVID-19.
Get tested using a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) or Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
If you test positive on a RAT, you must report your result to the Department of Health. You can report your result via the link below or by calling the Aboriginal COVID-19 Info line on 1800 312 911 or the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.
Notifying people you’ve recently spent time with
If you test positive to COVID-19 you need to let the people you recently gathered and had social contact with know so that they can get tested also.
You will also need to notify your employer or school if you test positive so that they know you will be isolating and so they can follow their COVID-19 protocols like notifying staff or students you may have come into contact with. Note: you will not be identified during this process. It is just to ensure that staff and students get tested following a reported positive case.
If your child has tested positive, you must notify their school/childcare/early childhood education centre as soon as possible.
Quarantining and isolating
If you test positive to COVID-19 you need to isolate at home for 7 days. If you have no symptoms after isolating for 7 days, you can come out of isolation. If you still have symptoms, you must stay home until your symptoms are gone.
While isolating at home with family and/or other people, you need to isolate separately to reduce the risk of other members of your household getting sick too. If possible –
- Stay in your room as much as possible and away from others. Use a separate bathroom if you have one.
- Limit the amount of contact you have with other members of your household by not entering shared spaces like the kitchen and living room.
- Avoid having close contact with others including touching, kissing and hugging.
Close contacts or household contact – You are considered a household / household-like contact (also referred to as close contacts) if you have spent more than four hours with someone who has COVID-19 inside a house, accommodation or care facility.
From 11:59pm Friday 22 April, household contacts are exempt from self-quarantine, provided they wear a mask indoors if aged 8 and above, notify their employer or school, avoid hospitals and care facilities and receive a negative rapid test on five of the seven days after their exposure.
Visit the Checklist for COVID contacts page on the Coronavirus website for the latest advice and information on what to do if you are a close contact.
More advice and information on managing COVID-19 at home can be found on the Coronavirus website.
Contact your GP or Aboriginal Health Service
It is important to contact your GP, especially if you have any risk factors for severe illness. This is important so that they can provide you with the best advice for your care and recovery and can review if you are eligible to start medications to help you fight COVID-19 (if eligible, these medications must be started soon after diagnosis).
If you have medical conditions, are immunosuppressed, are over 65 years of age, are pregnant or not vaccinated, it is essential that you have medical support as soon as you are diagnosed.
Monitor your symptoms and seeking help
Many people who test positive for COVID-19 only experience mild symptoms, especially if their vaccinations are up to date.
Be sure you get enough rest, stay active within your house (e.g. walking in garden), eating well, maintain good fluid intake, review any medications that you are taking with your GP.
If you have any of these symptoms, it could indicate more severe illness, and it is important to immediately contact your GP or call emergency services 000:
|– New or worsening shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
– Pain or pressure in your chest
– Feeling very lightheaded or fainting
– Cold and clammy skin
|– Little or no urine output
– Being more confused
– Coughing up blood
– You feel things are getting worse
Children who are becoming more unwell may present with poor feeding and drinking, drowsiness, or some breathing difficulties
For more information on what you need to do if you test positive to COVID-19 see the Your Covid Checklist on the Coronavirus website.
If you test positive to COVID there may be treatment options available to you. These treatment options should be discussed with your GP or Aboriginal Health Service as soon as possible after you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.
Antiviral treatments are taken as capsules or tablets and can help stop the symptoms of COVID-19 from becoming severe. Antiviral treatments need to start as soon as possible after COVID-19 symptoms begin.
Antiviral medication is available to:
• All people aged 70 years or older
• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 30 years or older who have 2 additional risk factors (for example: diabetes, lung disease, heart disease) as defined by ATAGI
• People aged 18 or older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised
Antiviral medication requires a prescription from a GP. For more information about antiviral/COVID-19 treatment, get in contact with your local Aboriginal Health Service, your GP or call the Aboriginal COVID Infoline 1800 312 911
As of 8th July 2022, The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) changed the official COVID-19 reinfection period from 12 weeks to 28 days. This means that immunity from COVID-19 lasts only 28 days after a COVID-19 infection.
To reduce the chance of getting COVID-19 it is recommended that you:
• stay up-to-date with your vaccinations (learn more about vaccines here),
• wear a mask in indoor settings other than your home,
• wash your hands frequently and use sanitiser and,
• stay home if you have any COVID-19 symptoms and get tested (find out more about getting tested here).
Q: When can I get vaccinated after having COVID-19?
A: If your COVID-19 vaccinations are not up to date, you can receive your next dose after you have fully recovered from your infection and your symptoms has resolved.
Help and support
It is important that you feel safe and supported during your period of isolation and while you are getting better.
Financial help and support is available if you need it. For more information including how to apply check the Coronavirus website.
It is also important to look after your mental health during this period while you’re recovering from COVID-19. There are many deadly resources out there to help Mob out –
- Yarning SafeNStrong – Call 1800 95 95 63 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). A free and confidential phone crisis line for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and families who just want to have a yarn with someone about their wellbeing.
- Dardi Munwurro Aboriginal Men’s Support Line – Call 1800 435 799 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). A free and confidential phone support line for Aboriginal men to reach out to yarn with someone when times are tough.
- Lifeline Australia – Call 13 11 14 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). A crisis support service offering short term support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe.
- Beyond Blue – Call 1800 650 890 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). A COVID-19 mental wellbeing support service.
- Rainbow Door – A free service for all LGBTIQA+ people in Victoria. 10am-5pm, every day. Phone: 1800 729 367 / Text: 0480 017 246
- Connect with Qlife – A free service for LGBTIQA+ people in Australia. 3pm-midnight, every day. Phone: 1800 184 527
- Mental Health resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities
If you are very sick or your symptoms persist or get worse, please ensure you seek medical attention immediately by contacting your doctor, going to your nearest hospital emergency department or call 000.
Call 1800 312 911
Do you have questions about COVID-19?
Talk directly to Aboriginal staff who understand our local community and can answer your questions and direct you to support needed. Ring up and have a yarn.
Open from 9am – 5pm, 7 days a week.