A person with COVID-19 symptoms is someone who has any of the reported symptoms of COVID-19:

  • fever (37.5°C or higher) or history of fever (night sweats, chills)
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath (difficulty breathing).
  • runny nose
  • loss of taste
  • loss of smell

Other reported symptoms include fatigue, acute blocked nose (congestion), muscle pain, joint pain, headache, diarrhoea, nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite, unexplained chest pain and conjunctivitis.

If you have any of the symptoms listed, you must arrange to be tested immediately, do not wait for symptoms to progress or change.

Last updated: 23 February 2021

Do I need to get tested and self-isolate?

All people with COVID-19 like symptoms must get tested as soon as possible.

To get tested:

You should travel directly to the doctor or COVID-19 clinic by private car or motorcycle, or, if you are well enough, on foot (where practical) or bicycle. You should wear a mask. NSW Health advises you not to use public transport.

You need to remain isolated until you receive a negative test result.

You should continue to monitor for symptoms while you are waiting for your result. If your symptoms become worse, but are not serious, contact your doctor. If you become severely unwell and it's a medical emergency, you should phone Triple Zero (000). Tell the ambulance staff that you have COVID-19 like symptoms.

If you receive a positive result, you will be contacted by an authorised contact tracer. Refer to the advice for people diagnosed with COVID-19 infection.

What if I live with other people?

If you live with other people, they do not need to get tested and isolate unless they have COVID-19 like symptoms too.

If you live with other people you should separate yourself from them as much as possible and wear a mask.

If you live with people who work in high risk settings, please refer to the advice for households of people working in high risk settings.

Do I need to get tested if I have symptoms and I am vaccinated?

If you have COVID-19 symptoms you should get tested and self-isolate until you receive a negative result, even if you have had a COVID-19 vaccination.

The COVID-19 vaccination will substantially reduce the chance that you develop COVID-19. No vaccine is completely effective. It takes a few weeks for your body to build up protection from the vaccine. Some people may still get COVID-19 despite having been vaccinated, but they should develop a less severe illness.

Even if you have mild COVID-19 symptoms after being vaccinated, you should get tested immediately.

What if I develop COVID-19 like symptoms and I’m away from home?

If you’re away from home and develop COVID-19 like symptoms, you should get tested immediately. You can begin travelling home before receiving your result, or you can isolate in your accommodation until you receive your result. If you need assistance finding alternative accommodation while away, contact your Public Health Unit.

If you travel home, consider the following advice:

  • Take the most direct route.
  • Travel by private car and wear a mask if there are other occupants in the car. Do not travel by plane, train, bus or ride-share.
  • Only stop if necessary. Avoid busy locations and use roadside rest areas instead of other busy areas. If you do need to stop, clean your hands carefully with alcohol-based hand gel before leaving your vehicle, wear a mask, and keep at least 1.5 meters away from other people.
  • Use contactless payment options.
  • When refuelling your car, wipe down the petrol pump with antibacterial wipes after use.
  • Pre-package your food so you can minimise contact with others.
  • Avoid overnight travel. If you are required to stay overnight, you must advise the accommodation provider of your situation so they can arrange for thorough cleaning after your visit. If overnight travel is required to reach your home, consider isolating at your away from home destination instead.
Current as at: Tuesday 23 February 2021
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW