Staying home and resting may be a good option for minor or mild illnesses and injuries, like the common cold, mild muscle pain and minor headaches.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, get a COVID-19 PCR test as soon as possible and isolate until you receive a result. Most people who test positive to COVID-19 can also safely manage their symptoms at home.

While looking after yourself, it’s important to monitor your symptoms and seek additional care if you need it. Check your symptoms and find guidance about what health care option is best for you using the healthdirect symptom checker.

You might need to access additional care from a pharmacy, GP, allied health or virtual care service. Find more information about your best health care option.

In an emergency, such as difficulty breathing or chest pain, call Triple Zero (000).

Self care tips

  • Keep a first aid kit handy, stocked with bandaids, bandages, safety pins, tweezers, antiseptic cream, insect bite/sting cream, cleansing wipes and a digital thermometer. These items are all available from local pharmacies or supermarkets.
  • If you haven’t got the things you need, ask a friend, relative, carer or neighbour to get them for you while you rest.
  • Remember to store any medicines safely and keep them out of reach of children. Always check the correct dosage and use them within their use-by dates.
  • If you are vomiting or have an upset stomach, it is best to avoid unnecessary contact with other people so that you don’t pass it on.

Babies children and the elderly

Some conditions that are not life-threatening for an adult can be more serious for babies, children and the elderly. If you’re not sure what to do call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 (24 hours, 7 days).

In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000).

Find out more about care for children and preventing illness.

This information is a guide only and is not intended to be individual medical advice and should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace consultation with a qualified doctor or other health care professional.

If your symptoms don’t improve, or get worse, phone or visit a GP, out-of-hours medical centre or pharmacy. In an emergency, you should always call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance.