​The Communicable Diseases Network Australia​​ has identified health care facilities, residential aged care facilities, boarding schools, prisons, homeless shelters and other residential settings as being at high risk from COVID-19 infections.​
Last updated: 28 August 2020

Download as PDF: NSW Health guidance for households of people
working in high risk settings 


Do I need to isolate?

You do not need to isolate unless you have been i​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​dentified as a close contact or have been to a location identified as an area of concern. However, given that the risks of possible development of disease, and where the close contact cannot isolate effectively at home, alternative accommodation should be considered until the risk period has passed.

Staff working in high risk settings should be careful with their precautions to avoid introducing infections into their workplaces. In considering their infection risks, staff should include an assessment of the risks posed by members of their own household.  This may include persons diagnosed with COVID-19, or people have been identified as a close contact of someone diagnosed with COVID-19.  There are others who work in situations that are considered high risk exposure.  These include

  • crew of passenger aircraft,
  • long distance transport workers who travel into Victoria,
  • health care workers, and 
  • other critical service workers

How will I know if I have COVID-19?

Check for symptoms

Monitor themselves for symptoms and ask their housemates to do the same. Watch particularly for:

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

Have a test

If you or your housemates develop symptoms, you should seek help and be tested as soon as possible.  Remain isolated until a clear result is received.

You have four main testing options:

  • Visit your nearest COVID-19 clinic or drive through clinic or drive through clinic.
  • Call your local doctor to make an appointment.
  • Call the healthdirect hotline on 1800 022 222.
  • If you are unable to travel to get tested, you can also get a test kit for self-collection at home via Histopath​.

Where possible, travel by private vehicle.  Use a surgical mask when in the presence of other people, or when attending medical care.

Other people sharing a house with you

If you are sharing your home with others you should, as much as possible

  • encourage and model good hand hygiene, and cough and sneeze etiquette,
  • avoid sharing household items, 
  • ask any household member at higher risk of exposure to wear a mask when in the same room. 
  • avoid sharing the same rooms, where possible
  • practice physical distancing as much as possible
Further guidance is available in the NSW Health self-isolation guidelines​.

Speak to your employer

A person working in a high risk setting who considers that there might be a risk of them introducing COVID-19 into their workplace because of a household contact should discuss this risk with their supervisor. Alternative duties could be identified for the infection risk period.

Page Updated: Friday 28 August 2020
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW