If you have COVID-19

What to do if you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are a probable case.

Step 1: Confirming you are positive

The Ministry of Health will send you a text message from the official 2328 or 2648 numbers confirming your positive test result. The text will provide 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 you had a rapid antigen test (RAT), you will get a text message after you have reported your results through My Covid Record or by phone. This can take up to 24 hours.

How to report your RAT results

Step 2: Self-isolate for 7 days

Self-isolation reduces the risks of spreading the virus to others. You will need to 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. 

You do not need a test to leave isolation. If you do, the result would likely show as positive but that does not mean you are infectious. If you are still sick, stay home until you are well and for 24 hours after you no longer have symptoms. 

What you need to know when you are self-isolating

Help when you are self-isolating

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

Advice for your Household Contacts

When does my 7-day isolation start/end?

Step 3: Start contact tracing

Tell people you have COVID-19

COVID-19, especially the Omicron variant, is highly infectious. You are protecting your health and theirs by telling them as soon as possible. You need to tell the people you live with, your workplace or school and other close contacts

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

Fill in the online form

Complete the Ministry of Health’s contact tracing form using the 6-digit access code you received in the text message from the official 2328 or 2648 numbers. For most people, it will take 5 to 10 minutes to fill in. If you are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and have not completed the form within 12 hours, you will get a phone call.

Complete the contact tracing form | health.govt.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 self-manage.

If you need any 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 and you need urgent medical help call 111 immediately. Tell them you have COVID-19 when you call. This can include if you or someone you care for has:

  • severe shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • severe chest pain or discomfort
  • difficulty waking up or is very drowsy.

You will not have to pay for any COVID-19 related medical costs. 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. 

Step 6: Ending self-isolation

You can end your self-isolation after 7 days

If you are still sick, stay home until you are well and for 24 hours after you no longer have symptoms. 

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

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 their tests are positive, they need to begin 7 days of isolation as someone with COVID-19.

You do not need a negative test result

You do not need a negative RAT result to return to work or school. If you did take a RAT, the result would likely show as positive but that does not mean you are infectious.

You do not need to isolate again for 3 months

Once you have recovered from COVID-19, you do not need to isolate again for 3 months. This is because the risk of reinfection during this period is low.

If you develop new cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms within 90 days of your original infection, take a RAT instead of a PCR.

If someone you live with tests positive, they will need to isolate again along with any Household Contacts who have not had COVID-19 in the last 3 months.

There are a few other things you should do:

After you have had COVID-19

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