If you have COVID-19

Find out what steps to take if you test positive for COVID-19, including how to self-isolate.

COVID-19 Health Hub

The Ministry of Health has more detailed advice about managing your symptoms and what to do while you are self-isolating.

COVID-19 Health Hub | covid19.health.nz (external link)

Step 1: When you get your test result

If you have taken a rapid antigen test (RAT), report your positive result online or by calling the helpline.

How to report your RAT result

The Ministry of Health will then send you a text message from the official 2328 or 2648 numbers to confirm your positive result. This has information about self-isolation, support options, and a 6-digit access code for the online contact tracing form.

If you had a PCR test, you will get a text message with your result.

If your employer asks to see proof that you must to isolate, you can use this text message. You do not need a medical certificate from a doctor.

Proof of isolation for employees and employers | health.govt.nz (external link)

Step 2: Start your 7 days of self-isolation

You must self-isolate for at least 7 days while you recover. Day 0 is the day your symptoms started or when you tested positive, whichever came first.

Your Household Contacts will also need to isolate for 7 days, unless they have had COVID-19 in the last 3 months.

Create your household isolation timeline | covid19.health.nz (external link)

Advice for your Household Contacts

Help when you are self-isolating

Step 3: Fill in the contact tracing form

Complete the Ministry of Health’s contact tracing form using your 6-digit access code. (You can find this code in the text message from the official 2328 or 2648 numbers.) For most people, the form will take 5 to 10 minutes to fill in.

If you are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and do not complete the form within 12 hours, you will get a phone call.

Contact tracing form user guides | health.govt.nz (external link)

You also need to tell your close contacts you have COVID-19. This includes the people you live with, and your workplace or school.

Advice on how to tell people you have COVID-19 | covid19.health.nz (external link)

Step 4: Monitor and manage your symptoms

Most people with COVID-19 — especially if they are fully vaccinated and boosted — are likely to have a mild to moderate illness and will be fine to recover at home.

Symptoms for COVID-19 tend to show 2 to 5 days after a person has been infected but can take up to 14 days. Omicron causes similar symptoms to other variants.

Advice on managing your COVID-19 symptoms | covid19.health.nz (external link)

If you need advice

If you need advice on how to treat your symptoms or have worsening symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

If it is an emergency

If your symptoms get worse or you need urgent medical care, call your local healthcare provider or Healthline on 0800 358 5453

If you or the person you are caring for develops difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, fainting or becomes unconscious, call 111 immediately.

COVID-19 healthcare is free

You will not have to pay for any COVID-19 related medical costs. COVID-19 healthcare is free for up to 6 weeks from the first day of your symptoms or the day you test positive, whichever came first.

Step 5: When your 7 days of self-isolation ends

You can end your self-isolation 7 days after your symptoms started or you tested positive, whichever came first. 

You do not need to wait for an official message to leave self-isolation. You may receive a text message confirming your self-isolation period has ended.

You do not need a negative RAT result to return to work or school.

If you are still sick

Some people can still be infectious after 7 days. If you are still sick at the end of your self-isolation period, stay home until you are well and for 24 hours after you no longer have symptoms.

Household Contacts

Your Household Contacts can complete their isolation at the same time as you, as long as their Day 7 test was negative and they have no new or worsening symptoms.

If they test positive, they need to begin 7 days of isolation as someone with COVID-19.

If someone you live with gets COVID-19

You do not need to isolate as a Household Contact for 90 days from when you first tested positive if someone else in your household gets COVID-19 during this time.

The chance of you being reinfected with COVID-19 in the 90 days after testing positive is low.

After you have had COVID-19

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