First steps if you have COVID-19

You may learn you have COVID-19:

  • by taking a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) and returning a positive result
  • taking a PCR test, and getting a text message from Queensland Health or a pathology lab telling you that you have COVID-19.

If you’ve got COVID-19, follow these five steps.

If you are well or only have mild symptoms, you will be cared for at home. 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.

1. Isolate and tell your household to get tested

If you get COVID-19, you need to immediately isolate yourself at your home, or other accommodation. 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.

Tell the people that live with you. They need to quarantine at home with you. Read more about testing  and quarantine for close contacts.

People living in your house can quarantine at home in a separate area to you. It is still important that you isolate as much as possible from these people so that you don’t give them COVID-19 if they haven’t already caught it.

2. Help us assess your situation

You’ve tested positive on a PCR test

You’ll receive a call from a health worker, on behalf of Queensland Health. They’ll ask you around 5 questions about your symptoms and your situation. Your responses will help us decide if you need home care or hospital care (PDF).

You’ve tested positive on a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)

For health advice, please call your GP. If you don’t have a GP, you can call 13 HEALTH (134 325).

For help because you don’t have somewhere suitable to isolate, call 134 COVID (134 268).

3. Tell the people you have been in contact with

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.

The following are considered to be close contacts and must quarantine and get tested: household members and household-like contacts.

  • 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.

A contact tracing officer may contact you to identify public venues you have been to. They will be responsible for alerting the public to places you have been while infectious.

4. Get the things you need

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

Most people with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms. Keep a COVID-19 symptom diary (PDF, 2 MB), so you can track if your symptoms get worse and take action .

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.

More information

Find out more about COVID care at home and COVID care in hospital.