Testing positive for COVID-19 can seem scary, especially if it’s your first time getting the virus.
It can also be a confusing time as the reporting and isolation rules have changed considerably over the last few years.
Here are three tips you should follow if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19.
1. Know the rules in your state
There are different rules for every state and territory in Australia around what happens next if you test positive for COVID-19.
While it’s no longer a legal requirement for people diagnosed with COVID-19 to be isolated, you still need to avoid visiting high-risk settings, such as hospitals or aged and disability care facilities for at least seven days.
This is because there are severely immunocompromised people in these locations whose immune systems may not be strong enough to fight off COVID-19.
Many states, such as QLD, ACT and NSW, have said that it’s no longer mandatory for you to be isolated if you test positive, but it is strongly recommended that you stay at home and take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.
For more information about what you need to do in your state, please visit your state or territory health department websites.
2. Treat your symptoms
Your symptoms, depending on the severity of the COVID-19 virus, can vary.
Anecdotally, people can have very different experiences with the virus. Some people lose their taste or sense of smell, but are feeling physically okay. Others can experience fever dreams and intense fatigue for a period of time.
There is a range of differences between mild, moderate and severe COVID-19 symptoms1. We’ve highlighted some below.
Some mild symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Headaches and fatigue
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- No symptoms at all
- Congested or runny nose
Some moderate symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Persistent fever above 38 degrees that’s not responding to treatment
- Shortness of breath while walking around
- Struggling to get out of bed, feeling dizzy or weak
Some severe symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Coughing up blood
- Pain or pressure in the chest lasting more than 10 minutes
- Skin turning blue or pale
- Being unconscious
- Breathlessness while resting or being unable to speak in sentences
Please note: If you are experiencing ANY severe symptoms, call triple zero (000) for an ambulance and inform the ambulance staff you tested positive for COVID-19.
You can manage your COVID-19 symptoms from home if they are mild and you are constantly monitoring them to see if there are any changes2.
Rapid Antigen Tests can be used for quick and accurate testing to see if you are recovering and a digital thermometer is ideal if you want to see if your fever is rising.
Making sure you stay safe in a well ventilated area, such as your bedroom with the fan on and windows open4, can reduce the transmission of the virus as well.
With COVID-19, your recovery time may vary. Some people will recover within a week or two, with a small number of people feeling like their recovery takes several weeks or months. This is what’s known as ‘Long COVID’, which you can find more about here.
3. Alert your loved ones
It’s important to let your loved ones know that you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 as you may need additional care during this time.
If you live with someone and you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, you need to tell them so they are able to test as well.
While you are staying at home and recovering from the virus, it’s ideal to avoid shared spaces in the house, wipe down any surfaces you touch and avoid having visitors unless they are providing necessary medical or personal care.
Once you’ve fully recovered from COVID-19 by feeling better and testing negative, you are able to return to work.
Not vaccinated? At Blooms The Chemist, we offer Pfizer, Novavax and Moderna. If you’d like to get vaccinated, please make a booking at your local pharmacy below.
1Healthdirect, Symptoms of COVID-19 and when to seek medical advice, accessed 3 January 2023.
2Healthdirect, Treating COVID-19 symptoms at home, accessed 3 January 2023.
3Western Sydney Local Health District, Tips to manage COVID-19 symptoms at home, accessed 13 January 2023.
4Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Improving ventilation in your home, accessed 3 January 2023.