Managing and Preparing for COVID at home

Caring for COVID at home

FStep 1: Focus on your health and get help if you need it

Vaccinations provide good protection against COVID-19 and mean that most people will be able to recover at home.

Managing COVID-19 at home when you have milder symptoms is safe and appropriate, and ensures hospital beds are kept free for people who are seriously unwell and need urgent medical treatment.

  • For mild symptoms: rest and recover at home.
  • For worsening symptoms: contact a GP, GP Respiratory Clinic or the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.
  • For severe symptoms: get immediate help and call Triple Zero (000) if it’s urgent.

When you are at home with COVID-19 you may be contacted by a healthcare worker from the COVID Positive Pathways program to check you have the support you need.

Early treatment medicines are now available for eligible Victorians who have COVID-19 to prevent them from getting sick and needing hospital care. To see if you may be eligible and for more information, visit COVID-19 medicines.

See more advice for how to manage COVID-19 at home on the recovery page.



Step 2: Report your result and immediately isolate for 7 days

If you tested positive using a rapid antigen test, you must report your result to the Department of Health online, or call 1800 675 398. You don’t need to report your result if you tested positive from a PCR test. However, it is recommended to fill out the survey you receive via SMS from the Department. Read Reporting your result for more information.

You must isolate for 7 days from the date you took your positive rapid antigen test or PCR test. For example, if you had the test on a Monday, you would leave isolation any time the following Monday.

While you are in isolation:

  • You can’t leave your house for any reason except to:
    • get tested
    • medical care or medical supplies
    • in an emergency (including fire or flood)
    • escape the risk of harm (including family violence)
    • transport a household member to attend work, education or a health appointment, and/or to obtain essential food supplies. You must travel directly to and from the location, wear a face mask and not leave the vehicle unless you are required to take that person to the location, it is an emergency or it is required by law.
  • Isolate away from the other people in your household as much as possible, to reduce the risk of them getting COVID-19. See more information on how to isolate effectively at home.
  • Financial support and food are available. You and your family may be eligible. See more information about the support you can get.

You do not need to get tested again to be released from isolation after 7 days. You are automatically released at this point.

If you have recovered from COVID-19, you aren’t required to get tested or isolate if you are re-exposed to a case within 4 weeks of ending your isolation period. After 4 weeks, you must follow the relevant advice depending on the type of contact you are.


·       If you want to confirm your positive rapid test result

If you have symptoms or if you are a contact of someone with COVID-19, you are not recommended to get a PCR test to confirm a positive rapid antigen test result. It is already very likely you have COVID-19.


But there are some circumstances where it is recommended you confirm your positive rapid antigen test result with a PCR test.


Tested positive on a rapid antigen test

Getting a PCR to confirm your result

You have COVID-19 symptoms.

Not recommended.

You have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Not recommended.

You don’t have symptoms and don’t believe you have been in contact with anyone who has COVID-19.

Recommended. You still may have COVID-19. Stay isolated pending your PCR result. If your PCR result comes back negative, you are not a case and can leave isolation.

If you are getting a PCR to confirm your rapid antigen test result, do it within the first 48 hours of testing positive on a rapid antigen test, and stay isolated at all times until you receive your result.

If your confirmatory PCR test is negative, you are no longer required to self-isolate.

See more information on the reporting your result page.

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