After you have had COVID-19

After you have recovered from COVID-19 and left isolation, there are a few things you should do and be mindful of in your recovery.

Isolation and testing after you have had COVID-19

If someone you live with gets COVID-19

While you can get COVID-19 again at any time, the chance of reinfection in the 3 months after recovery is low. After you have recovered, you do not need to isolate as a Household Contact for 3 months if someone else in your household tests positive during this time.

Taking a COVID-19 test

If you take a test after recently recovering from COVID-19, it will likely show as positive — but this does not mean you are infectious. Because of this, you should avoid taking further tests for 28 days. Count your 28 days from when your symptoms started or when you tested positive, whichever came first.

If you get new symptoms

After 28 days, if you get new symptoms, take a RAT. If it is positive, you will be considered a new case and will need to isolate again.

If you take a PCR test in the 3 months following recovery, you are likely to get a positive result even if you do not have a new infection. PCR tests are very sensitive and you will still have the virus in your system. If you need a PCR test for any reason in this period, talk to your doctor about getting a medical exemption.

Household contacts

If you get COVID-19 again, your household contacts will need to isolate again, unless they had been a case within the previous 90 days, or they have isolated as a household contact within the previous 10 days.

Long COVID

Long COVID describes the symptoms that continue or develop after the initial COVID-19 symptoms. This is usually longer than 12 weeks after a person is first infected.

Most people who get COVID-19 recover completely after 2 to 6 weeks, and make a full recovery within 12 weeks. However, some people report a range of symptoms beyond the standard time of recovery.

Symptoms of long COVID can persist for weeks or sometimes months. They can include:

  • fatigue
  • breathlessness
  • cough
  • low mood
  • headaches
  • difficulty concentrating, cognitive impairment or 'brain fog'
  • chest tightness
  • chest pain
  • joint pain
  • muscle aches and pains
  • muscle weakness
  • ongoing changes to smell or taste
  • fast-beating or a 'pounding' heart
  • sleep disturbances.

For support with management and treatment of long COVID, seek help from your doctor or healthcare team. COVID-19 healthcare is fully funded for up to 6 weeks from the first day of your symptoms or the day you test positive, whichever is earlier. 

You can find more information about long COVID:

Long COVID | health.govt.nz (external link)

Post COVID-19 condition | who.int (external link)

Long COVID | healthnavigator.org.nz (external link)

Get vaccinated if you are not already

Once you have recovered and if you have not been vaccinated or had your booster, it is recommended you still get vaccinated.

You should wait 3 months after recovery before getting a COVID-19 vaccination.

How to get a COVID-19 vaccination

Keep up healthy habits

Even if you have had COVID-19 or are vaccinated, you still need to keep up healthy habits. It is possible to get COVID-19 again.

Keep up healthy habits

Last updated: at