Get tested immediately if you have any of the following COVID-19 symptoms, including when symptoms are mild and even if you are vaccinated. You do not need more than one symptom to get tested. Do not wait for symptoms to get worse or change.

Common symptoms include:

  • fever (37.5 C or higher) or history of fever (night sweats, chills)
  • headache
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
  • runny nose
  • fatigue

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

Last updated: 04 December 2021

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Do I need to get tested and self-isolate?

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, get tested at your nearest convenient testing clinic as soon as possible and self-isolate until you get a negative result.

  • Do not visit people, shops or anywhere else on the way to or from the testing centre.
  • Travel by private vehicle, ride or walk. Do not use public transport.
  • Wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth.
  • Tell the testing clinic staff if you are a close contact of a person with COVID-19.
  • If you cannot get to a testing clinic, call your GP for advice on testing. If your GP is unable to arrange COVID-19 home testing, call the NSW Health Isolation Support Line on 1800 943 553.

Further information for accessing testing and self-isolation is available in the Self-Isolation Guideline.

If your symptoms get worse, contact your doctor or call Healthdirect (1800 022 222). In an emergency call Triple Zero (000) – for example, if you are having trouble breathing or have pain in your chest. Ambulance services are for emergencies and are provided free of charge for people who are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19. Hospital care for COVID-19 is free, even if you do not have Medicare.

If your test is positive, you will be contacted by text message. In the text, there is a link to a survey. Please help us by answering the survey questions.

For more advice if your test is positive, see information for people diagnosed with COVID-19.

What if 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 one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccination significantly reduces your chance of getting infected with COVID-19. It takes around two weeks for your body to build up protection after the vaccine and two doses are needed for the best protection. No vaccine is completely effective, and some fully vaccinated people may still get COVID-19. Vaccinated people are less likely to get very sick or need to go to hospital.

What if I have had COVID-19?

If you develop new COVID-19 symptoms after you have recovered from COVID-19, you should get tested and self-isolate until you receive a negative result, even if you have had one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine Unfortunately, people can get COVID-19 more than once. Call your GP about your symptoms as they may organise further tests to check for other illnesses.

Translated resources

Current as at: Saturday 4 December 2021
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW