What should I do if I get COVID-19?

How to look after yourself if you get COVID-19

If you get tested and find out you have COVID-19, it is normal to feel worried or scared. Most likely you will have minor cold and flu-like symptoms and will recover safely at home.

To guide you through what happens if you have COVID-19, follow the steps below or download the fact sheet and look after yourself, your family and your community.

  • You must stay home and isolate for 7 days.
  • Your 7-day isolation period starts from the day you receive the test result confirming you have COVID-19.
  • You must stay away from other people, so you don’t give the virus to someone else.

For more information, download the ‘How to isolate at home when you have COVID-19’ fact sheet.

If you, or the person you are caring for, have:

Mild or moderate COVID-19 symptoms, you can safely stay at home.

You should:

  • monitor your symptoms
  • drink plenty of water (2 to 2.5 litres a day)
  • supplement with oral rehydration fluids such as Gastrolyte and Hydralyte, especially if you have
  • vomiting or diarrhoea
  • eat healthy food
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen if needed
  • continue to take your regular medicines

Common to moderate symptoms, include:

  • runny or blocked nose
  • sore throat
  • aches and pains
  • cough
    • dry cough or coughing up mucous
    • if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual
  • feeling more tired than usual
    • but able to get out of bed, walk around the house and do normal daily activities
  • headache
  • loss of or change in taste and smell
  • loss of appetite or nausea
  • vomiting or diarrhoea, less than 4 times per day
  • fever or temperature above 38 degrees Celsius
  • shakes or shivers
  • dizziness or light-headedness
    • but not feeling like you might faint or fainting
  • mild shortness of breath when walking briskly, upstairs or coughing
    • but still able to speak in full sentences without becoming out of breath

Worsening symptoms

If you, or the person you are caring for, have worsening symptoms or you are concerned about your health, contact the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080, or your usual GP.

Worsening symptoms include:

  • shortness of breath when walking around the house
    • but still able to speak in full sentences without becoming out of breath
  • difficulty breathing when remaining still, getting dressed or eating and drinking
  • little or no urination
  • unable to eat and drink anything for a prolonged period
    • more than 24 hours without eating anything
    • unable to drink fluids, such as water, for more than 12 hours

If you, or the person you are caring for, have any severe COVID-19 symptoms, you should call Triple Zero (000) straightaway and advise that you have COVID-19. Do not wait to see if your symptoms change, call an ambulance straightaway.