What to do if you are a COVID-19 Contact

What type of contact are you?

There are different types of contacts and different rules apply. Make sure you follow the right advice for your situation.

Household contacts

 
  • You are a household contact if you have spent more than four hours with someone who has COVID-19 inside a house, accommodation or care facility.
  • Your household contact period is 7 days.
  • You don’t have to quarantine at all during this 7-day period, and you can leave home each day provided you:
    • Continually test negative using a rapid antigen test, on at least 5 days out of the 7 day period (ensure tests are spaced at least 24 hours apart)
    • wear a mask indoors when outside your home
    • do not visit hospitals or care facilities
    • notify your employer or education facility.
  • If you do not follow these steps, you must quarantine for the 7-day period – and you are required to get tested on Day 1 and Day 6.
  • If you test positive on a rapid antigen test, you must report your result and isolate for 7 days. Visit Reporting your result page for more information.
  • Household contacts are also referred to as close contacts.
 

Social and workplace contacts

 
  • You are a social or workplace contact if you spent more than 15 minutes face-to-face with someone who has COVID-19, or if you spent more than two hours with them in the same indoor space (such as a workplace or a restaurant)
  • If you have symptoms, you must use a rapid antigen test, or get a PCR test if you can’t access a rapid antigen test.
  • If you don’t have symptoms, you are recommended to use a daily rapid antigen test for 5 days.
  • If you test positive on a rapid antigen test, you must report your result and isolate for 7 days.
 

Education and childcare

 
  • An education facility (such as a school, childcare centre or early childhood education centre) will notify you that you or someone in your care was exposed there
  • If experiencing symptoms, a person exposed at an education facility must use a rapid antigen test, or get a PCR test if they can’t access a rapid antigen test
  • Staff and students at schools are recommended to undertake regular rapid antigen testing, whether they have been exposed or not.

 

Checklist for household contacts

 
    1. Your household contact period is 7 days:

      • If you are staying in the same home as the person who has COVID-19, your household contact period starts from the date they got tested (and subsequently returned a positive result).
      • If you are not staying in the same home as the person who has COVID-19, your household contact period starts from the day you last saw them.
      • If another person in your household tests positive during your 7 day quarantine period as a household contact (in addition to the initial case) your 7 day period doesn’t start again.

    As an example of the 7-day household contact period:

    • If the person you lived with got tested and returned a positive result on Monday the 1st, your household contact period ends at 12.01am of Monday the 8th

     

    • You must follow the household contact testing procedure to avoid self-quarantining for your household contact period:

      • Use a rapid antigen test on at least 5 days of your household contact period, spaced 24 hours apart
        • If you can’t access a rapid antigen test, and have symptoms, get a PCR test. You have to self-quarantine while awaiting results of a PCR test.
        • You can collect a free pack of five rapid antigen tests at testing centres.

      During your household contact period, keep monitoring for symptoms.

      • Get tested as soon as possible if symptoms develop. If you have symptoms, you should be staying home and not exposing others.
      • See what to do if symptoms worsen. Go to hospital if it’s an emergency, but let them know you’re a household contact.

      If you test positive at any time:

      If all your tests are negative by Day 7:

      • You are released of your household contact requirements at the end of the 7 day period, no earlier

      If you have had COVID-19 already in the last 4 weeks:

      • After recovering from COVID-19, you are not required to get tested or quarantine if you are re-exposed to a case within 4 weeks of ending your isolation period.
  • In addition to testing on 5 of your 7-day household contact period, you must follow a number of COVIDSafe steps to avoid self-quarantining:

    • Wear a mask indoors when outside your home
      • This only applies to people aged 8 and above
      • There are limited exceptions for not wearing a mask
    • Do not visit a hospital
      • You can still attend hospital as a patient
      • You can still visit if you are formally permitted to enter by the hospital. This may be for reasons including if you are a parent, carer or guardian of the patient, a partner or support person of a pregnant patient, an immediate family member of someone whose condition is life threatening, if you are providing end of life support.
    • Do not visit a care facility
      • You can still attend a care facility as a resident/patient
      • You can still visit if you are providing end of life support to a resident, and you are formally permitted to enter by the facility
      • See a list of care facilities

    You are also required to notify your employer – or the educational facility that you or someone in your care attends – that you are a household contact if you are attending the premises during the household contact period.

  • If you cannot follow the testing and COVIDSafe requirements outlined above at any time:

    • You must quarantine immediately for the remainder of your 7-day household contact period
    • You must get tested on Day 1 (or as soon as possible) and Day 6 of your household contact period

    While you are in quarantine:

    • You can’t leave your house, unless to:
      • get tested
      • get medical supplies or treatment
      • in an emergency (including fire or flood)
      • escape the risk of harm (including family violence).
    • If you live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, isolate from them as much as possible.
    • Visit Isolation and quarantine – support and emergency relief page for information on how to get money, food and other support while in isolation or quarantine.
    • This is a legal requirement. Fines apply if you don’t quarantine.

    You must get tested:

    • on Day 1 of your quarantine period (or as soon as possible)
    • on Day 6 of your quarantine period

    You must get tested on these days even if you are staying in quarantine. Use a rapid antigen test, or a PCR test if you can’t access a rapid antigen test.

    You are also strongly recommended to use rapid antigen tests on other days of your quarantine period. You can collect a free pack of five rapid antigen tests at testing centres.

    If you test positive at any time:

    While you are in quarantine – after you’ve had your first test but before you have your final test – keep monitoring for symptoms.

    • Test again if symptoms develop.
    • See what to do if symptoms worsen. Go to hospital if it’s an emergency, but let them know you’re a household contact.

    In order to be released from quarantine:

    • You need a negative result from a test taken no earlier than Day 6 of your quarantine period.
    • Use a rapid antigen test, or a PCR test if you can’t access a rapid antigen test.

    If you test negative on your Day 6 test:

    • You can release yourself from quarantine on Day 7 after receiving your negative result, but no earlier. You don’t need to wait for the Department to tell you that you are released.

    If you have had COVID-19 already in the last 4 weeks:

    • After recovering from COVID-19, you are not required to get tested or quarantine if you are re-exposed to a case within 4 weeks of ending your isolation period.
 
 
SOURCE AND FURTHER UPDATES: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/
Last Updated: 14 JULY 2022

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