This information sheet is for people who have COVID-19. It explains how to look after yourself at home and how to get help if you need it.

What do I need to do?

  • If you have a positive rapid antigen test, you need to upload the result to the Service NSW website and answer the questionnaire.
  • If you have concerns about your risk or concerns about your symptoms, call NSW Health COVID-19 Care at Home Support Line on 1800 960 933 or your GP.
  • You need to isolate until at least 5 days have passed after your test. If you still have symptoms you need to continue to isolate until 7 days from the day you did your test.
  • You cannot enter high risk settings for 7 days from the day you did your test. These include health clinics and facilities, residential aged care and residential disability care facilities.

What symptoms should I expect?

You might have:

  • a runny or blocked nose
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • nausea
  • diarrhoea
  • fever
  • change in taste or smell.

Keeping a daily record of symptoms might help you work out if you are getting better or worse.

If you are feeling worse, call

  • NSW Health COVID-19 Care at Home support line on 1800 960 933
  • National Coronavirus helpline 1800 020 080
  • your GP.

How can I help myself

  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen for pain or fever.
  • Use throat lozenges for a sore throat.
  • Keep your fluids up with lots of sips of water or an oral rehydration drink, such as Hydralyte or Gastrolyte.
  • If you have asthma, use your preventer puffer.

If you have any of these symptoms

  • shortness of breath at rest or trouble breathing
  • severe chest pain
  • feeling very dizzy or faint or unable to walk

Call 000 and tell the operator you have COVID-19.

Find a support person if you live alone

Tell a family member or friend you have COVID-19. Ask them to call you at agreed times each day so that they know you are OK. If you don't answer, they should call 000.

If you cannot get food and essentials, call the NSW Health COVID Support Line on 1800 943 553.

Ask yourself these questions three times everyday day (morning, afternoon and night)

QuestionTryAction if not improving
Can I eat and drink normally?Frequent sips of water, Hydralyte or Gastrolyte Call 1800 960 933 or your GP
Am I passing a lot less urine than normalMore frequent, sips of water, Hydralyte or Gastrolyte Call 1800 960 933 or your GP
Do I feel a little dizzy or light headed when walking around the room?Drink more fluids Call 1800 960 933 or your GP
Am I having trouble breathing when walking around the room?Take action Call 000 and tell them you have COVID-19
Can I stand up without feeling I like I might faint?Take action Call 000 and tell them you have COVID-19

How do I self-isolate?

  • You must stay where you are living and not leave for 5 days after your test.
  • Do not go to work, school, childcare or public areas.
  • Do not use public transport or ride share.
  • Do not have visitors.

The only reasons you can leave your home are for urgent medical care or in an emergency, such as avoiding injury from domestic violence. You must wear a face mask, stay 1.5 metres away from other people, and travel directly to and from the location.

What about the people who live with me

  • Your household contacts do not need to isolate unless they have symptoms. They are at increased risk and should take steps to protect people around them for 7 days.
  • If they develop symptoms they must isolate and get tested.
  • They should not visit high risk settings like health facilities, residential aged care and residential disability care facilities unless they need care.
  • They should wear a mask indoors when not at home.

When can I leave isolation

  • You can leave isolation after 5 days if you do not have symptoms like a sore throat, runny nose, cough or shortness of breath.
  • If you still have symptoms after 7 days, contact your GP for a review and further advice.

Document information

Developed by

Agency for Clinical Innovation

Endorsed by

Dr Nigel Lyons, Deputy Secretary, Health System Strategy and Planning, NSW Ministry of Health.

For use by

Public and primary health care.


Current as at: Monday 26 September 2022
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW