Managing COVID at home
Managing COVID at Home
For most people with COVID-19, recovering at home will the best option for care.
When you are at home with COVID-19, you may be contacted by healthcare workers from your local public hospital, community health services or a GP through the program. They will want to understand the level of care you might need based on your personal preference and circumstances, and by how well or unwell you feel.
Managing COVID-19 at home when you have mild symptoms ensures hospital beds are kept free for people who are seriously unwell and need urgent medical treatment.
This page contains important guidance for Victorians who have COVID-19 or are caring for someone who has COVID-19. It explains mild, worsening and severe symptoms and tells you how to effectively isolate at home away from others.
Looking after yourself or someone else with COVID-19
As with any illness, even if you’re feeling well or only slightly unwell, it’s important to watch your symptoms and understand when you might need to get help.
‘Wait and see’ can be a dangerous choice – some symptoms are serious and should not be ignored. We know that when severe symptoms occur in COVID-19 patients, their health can deteriorate rapidly.
You risk severe illness requiring hospital admission, intensive care, the use of a machine to assist breathing, or even death if you don’t seek urgent medical help for serious COVID-19 symptoms. See ‘Severe symptoms: get immediate help’ below for more information.
Symptoms to watch out for and when to get help
It is very important to monitor the symptoms when you or someone you care for gets COVID-19, particularly if you feel they are getting worse.
Stay in your room
- If you have COVID-19 (or you are required to isolate and you have symptoms) you need to isolate separately from the members of your household.
- Stay in your room as much as possible, away from others. Use a separate bathroom if you have one.
- Try not to enter shared areas, such as the kitchen or living room, if other people in the house are using it regularly.
- Try not to have any close contact with others, including touching, kissing and hugging.
- You can have close contact with others if it’s an emergency and you need help.
- People who are household contacts who are also isolating in the house can have contact with each other (but not with you) so long as they don’t have symptoms.
Limit numbers in the house
- Limit the number of people who are staying in the household. Consider alternative places for them to stay if that is safe and possible.
- Vulnerable people (such as elderly people, immunocompromised people or people with chronic illnesses) are at greater risk and are recommended to stay elsewhere if they are able to.
- Visitors should not be coming to the house while you and your household contacts are isolating.
Masks, ventilation and hygiene matter
- Keep the doors and windows open as much as possible to let the fresh air blow through – and if you have ceiling fans, keep them running at low speed.
- If you need to be in the same room as someone else at home, always wear a face mask and keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres away from other household members.
- Wash or sanitise your hands for at least 20 seconds after you cough, sneeze, blow your nose or take off gloves and masks.
- Wipe down surfaces that you use regularly, like doorknobs to your room and bathroom.
- If people are leaving you meals, tell them to leave it at the door and only collect the meal once they have moved away from the area.
- You should not share cups, glasses, plates, utensils, towels or bedding with others in your home.
Information last updated: July 2022