How to self-manage COVID-19

Aotearoa New Zealand is in Phase 3 of the response to Omicron. How we manage COVID-19 in the community has changed. Traffic light settings remain in place.

How self-management works

As we prepare for COVID-19 to be widespread in our community, we expect Omicron will put pressure on our health system. Our priority is to slow the spread and avoid a large surge in cases. This will help  protect our most vulnerable, ensure critical services can continue to operate and ease pressure on our health system.

Most people with mild to moderate symptoms will be required to self-manage their illness at home, or in suitable alternative accommodation, with support from local healthcare providers.

Health providers will make sure the right support is available to you and your whole whānau is prepared. Digital support tools will also be made available through the Health Hub.

For the vast majority of us, there is no need to fear Omicron, but we need to take the virus seriously. It is important to keep following the rules for a while longer to ensure there are enough hospital beds for the more vulnerable.

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Be prepared for COVID-19

Everyone, whether you are fully vaccinated or not, should prepare for what you need to do if you get COVID-19.

Being ready for getting COVID-19 is about making sure you and your household have a plan and know what to do. It will mean your whānau and community can help each other if needed.

Prepare to self-isolate

Download — Our COVID-19 isolation plan [PDF, 176 KB]

What to do when you have COVID-19 symptoms [PDF, 167 KB]

Get a test

You should get a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms or live with someone who has COVID-19. If you test positive, it is nothing to be embarrassed about. COVID-19 does not care who it infects. 
 
PCR tests will still be available for priority groups with rapid antigen tests more widely available. You can get a RAT at testing sites, doctors, or pharmacies. Many workplaces are registered to get RATs as part of the Close Contact Exemption Scheme.

How to get a COVID-19 test

Household Contacts

Close Contacts

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Complete the contact tracing form

If you are positive for COVID-19 you will get a text message with a link to an online form you need to fill out. This form will provide information to your health team about any health needs you may have. 
 
Contact tracing will focus on high-risk exposures. People with COVID-19 will be able to notify their contacts. 
 
How contact tracing works

Household Contacts

Close Contacts

If you have COVID-19

Self-isolate at home

Self-isolation means staying at home and taking common-sense precautions to avoid close contact with those you live with.

Only people who have COVID-19 and their household contacts will need to self-isolate.

How to self-isolate

If you have COVID-19

Download — we are self-isolating poster [PDF, 1.5 MB]

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Seek additional health support

Help is available for people who are isolating with worsening Covid symptoms — please seek help for yourself or loved one in this situation. Community providers are well resourced to provide care in the community especially to vulnerable populations. 

Wraparound health and clinical care will focus on those with high needs. 

Please remember to save ambulances for emergencies. 

Request welfare support

If you have COVID-19 or are self-isolating, it is important you and your household gets the right care and support to recover and get back to living a normal life.

Many people will be able to look after themselves or have support from friends and whānau. However, some people may need things like food and groceries. The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is coordinating support, and connecting people with the right service to help them.

Help when you are self-isolating

Financial support

COVID-19 support

Looking after your mental wellbeing

Wellbeing helplines and support

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