Isolation

Health support

Housing

Transport

Living with someone who has COVID-19

Recovered from COVID-19

Testing

Close contact

Technology support

Isolation

How long do I need to isolate for?

If you test positive to COVID-19, you must isolate for 7 days after you had your positive COVID-19 test taken. When calculating your isolation period, the date the positive test is taken is day 0.

If you have symptoms including a sore throat, runny nose, cough, or shortness of breath in the last 24 hours of your isolation, you should stay in isolation until 24 hours after your symptoms have resolved. If you are not getting better or have concerns, contact your GP or the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.

SA Health advice is that on days 8 to 10 after finishing isolation, you should:

  • wear a mask when around other people
  • not visit hospitals, correctional services, disability care or aged care facilities (advise your employer before returning to work if you work in one of these settings)
  • continue to follow this advice on days 8 to 14 if you have a weakened immune system (transplant recipient or receiving chemotherapy).

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I’ve tested positive to COVID-19 and someone in my household has later tested positive, how long do I need to isolate for?

If you test positive to COVID-19, you will need to isolate for 7 days after your positive COVID-19 PCR test taken or you tested positive using a rapid antigen test. If someone in your household subsequently tests positive to COVID, this will not affect your isolation time.

If you have no acute COVID-19 symptoms in the last 24 hours of your isolation, you can leave isolation at the end of your 7 days, even if someone is still positive or in quarantine in your house.

If you have symptoms including a sore throat, runny nose, cough, or shortness of breath in the last 24 hours of your isolation, please stay in isolation until 24 hours after your symptoms have resolved.

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Will SA Health notify me when my isolation period ends?

Yes. You will be sent a clearance SMS from SA Health that will enable you to download your clearance certificate.

You can leave isolation after 7 days if you do not have acute symptoms, including a sore throat, runny nose, cough, or shortness of breath.

If you have symptoms including a sore throat, runny nose, cough, or shortness of breath in the last 24 hours of your isolation, please stay in isolation until 24 hours after your symptoms have resolved.

If you are not getting better or have concerns, contact your GP or the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.

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Do I need to get tested to leave isolation?

No. You do not need to have a PCR test or rapid antigen test to leave isolation. This is because the virus can sometimes be detected on swabs for up to 3 months after the infection, due to shedding of the virus.

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Do I need a PCR test to return to work?

No. You can resume work after finishing isolation without a PCR clearance test. You do not need to undertake surveillance RAT or PCR testing for 28 days after your release from isolation. This is because COVID-19 tests can detect old virus or shedding and reinfection is very unlikely within a month after your infection.

If you do test positive on a rapid antigen test within 28 days of your clearance, no further action is required, provided you have no symptoms.

If you work in a high risk setting, advise your employer before returning to work.

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Health support

How do I know if my symptoms are worsening?

It is important to monitor your symptoms while isolating at home so you know if you need to access medical support.

You can also use the healthdirect COVID-19 Symptom Check to help monitor your systems.

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Who do I contact if I need medical support?

You can access health support via the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 (available 24 hours, 7 days) or your usual GP.

If you have severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing or chest pain or have any other medical emergency arise, call 000 (Triple Zero) and ask for an ambulance – tell them you are in isolation because you are COVID-19 positive.

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Are there any COVID-19 treatments available?

COVID-19 treatments are available for people who are at higher risk of severe disease and health outcomes. This includes people who are not fully vaccinated, have a low immune system or who have multiple risk factors, such as a chronic condition, for example, diabetes.

These treatments will not be suitable for everyone and are prescription only. If required, your health care provider will work with you to determine which treatment option is suitable for your circumstances.

If you think you may be eligible to receive one of these treatments, discuss this with your usual GP or health care provider, who can refer you either to a COVID Care Centre or provide a script for anti-viral tablets.

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What happens if I am pregnant and testing positive to COVID-19?

If you are pregnant and have tested positive to COVID-19 you should contact as soon as practical your maternity care providers, such as your GP, obstetrician or midwife. They will be able to assess your health needs and advise the best way to access your regular maternity care while you are isolating with COVID-19.

Find more information about pregnancy and COVID-19.

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Housing

Can I move to suitable accommodation during my isolation period?

Yes. You can leave isolation to travel to more suitable accommodation to undergo your isolation period. Travel directly there and do not stop anywhere on the way.

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I am an international student living in shared accommodation. I have tested positive to COVID-19 and need to move out but I have no family or friends here. Where do I go?

Please discuss with your accommodation provider whether alternative accommodation with your own bathroom is available or protocols for using the bathroom.

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How do I get food delivered if I have tested positive to COVID-19 and live in an apartment block with no access for external deliveries?

If you need to leave your room to go into a common area, ask other members in the house to move to a room where you won’t be accessing or passing through and wear a mask. Avoid touching surfaces or items unnecessarily and clean all surfaces that you touched.

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My children are subject to custody court orders, can I send them to the other parent if they or one of the parent/caregivers have tested positive to COVID-19?

Yes. If your child is subject to custody court orders, they can move between caregiver households during the isolation period. The caregiver and other people in the household will need to follow the advice of a close contact.

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Living with someone who has COVID-19

If I live with someone who has tested positive to COVID-19 and then someone else in the house tests positive, how long do I need to quarantine for?

If someone in your house tests positive to COVID-19, you must:

  • wear a mask when you leave the house for 7 days after your exposure date (12 years and older)
  • undertake 5 rapid antigen tests over the 7 days after your exposure date (with at least 24 hours between tests and one test on day 7)
  • report your rapid antigen test results if you test positive
  • not attend Tier 1 sensitive settings for 14 days after your exposure date, except for the purposes of obtaining medical care or medical supplies
  • not attend Tier 2 sensitive settings for 7 days after exposure date, except for the purposes of obtaining medical care or medical supplies
  • notify your employer or school or early childcare settings that you are a close contact

In addition to the above mandatory requitements, it is strongly recommended you:

  • avoid non-essential gatherings for 7 days after your exposure date
  • avoid contact with people at risk of severe illness for 7 days after your exposure date
  • work from home where possible
  • report your rapid antigen test results even if you test negative
  • notify healthcare and high risk setting prior to arrival for, medical care or medical supplies

You do not need to restart the close contact guidelines if another person in your household tests positive during your 7 day period or in the 14 days after your quarantine period ends.

If you develop and COVID-19 symptoms, get a PCR test as soon as possible. If you test positive to COVID-19, you will need to isolate for 7 days from the date your positive test was taken.
If someone in your house tests positive more than 14 days after your close contact period ends, you will need to follow the requirements for close contacts.

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Transport

Can I leave my house to drop my child at school if I have tested positive to COVID-19?

No. If you have test positive to COVID-19 you must isolate for 7 days and must not leave your home. If possible, someone else may take your children to school. If your child is a close contact, they will be required to follow the close contact guidelines.

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If I have tested positive to COVID-19 and I am unable to drive, can I use a taxi or rideshare to seek urgent medical care or attend an essential medical appointment?

Yes. If you have tested positive to COVID-19 and are unable to drive, you can use a taxi or rideshare to seek urgent medical care or attend an essential medical appointment. You and the driver must wear a mask, you must sit in the back seat, and the vehicle’s windows must be down. In an emergency, please call 000.

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Recovered from COVID-19

I have recovered from COVID-19 and been in close contact with a positive case, do I need to follow the close contact guidelines?

If you have been in close contact with a positive case within 28 days of your release from isolation, you do not need to follow the close contact guidelines.

If you have been in close contact with a positive case after 28 days of your release from isolation, you must follow the close contact guidelines.

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I have recovered from COVID-19 and someone else in my house has tested positive, can I stay with them and not isolate?

You are able to live with someone who has tested positive to COVID-19 and during the 28 days since your release from isolation you are not considered a close contact.

After 28 days after your release from isolation, if someone in your house tests positive to COVID-19 you will be considered a close contact and must follow the close contact guidelines.

It is important to continue to practice good hand hygiene like covering coughs and sneezes and wipe down frequently touched surfaces.

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I have recovered from COVID-19 and have COVID-19 symptoms, do I need to get a PCR test?

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms after 28 days of finishing isolation, you should get a PCR test and isolate until you receive a result. If you test positive to COVID-19, you must follow the requirements for positive cases.

If you develop new COVID-19 symptoms within 28 days of your release from isolation, you should isolate until you feel well. If you are in a group at higher risk of severe COVID-19 or influenza, you should make an appointment with your GP or a GP Respiratory Clinic to discuss testing for COVID-19 and other respiratory illness.

These higher risk groups include persons aged 60 years and older, persons with immunosuppression or chronic medical conditions, persons with a disability or frailty, persons who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, pregnant women, children aged 5 years or younger, residents of aged care facilities, and homeless persons.

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I have already had COVID-19, can I test positive again?

If you have already had COVID-19, it is still possible for you to catch it again. While you will likely have some protection from reinfection, your immunity can will decrease over time making it possible for you to get reinfected.

Reinfection is also more likely now we are seeing new Omicron subvariants in our community (BA.4 and BA.5).

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms 28 days after finishing isolation, you should get a PCR test and isolate until you receive a result. If you test positive to COVID-19, you must follow the requirements for positive cases.

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Can I still have my second dose or booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine if I’ve had COVID-19?

People who have had COVID-19 can be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine. You should still have all the recommended doses.

Check our COVID-19 vaccine frequently asked questions (FAQs) for information on when you should receive your next scheduled dose.

If you have had COVID-19, you do not need to defer other vaccinations – for example, your flu vaccine. But you should not get any vaccine if you are acutely unwell (e.g., you have a fever).

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Testing

I’ve incorrectly reported a positive result for my rapid antigen test. How do I fix this?

You can call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787 and they will be able to assist.

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I am a single parent who has tested positive for COVID-19. My child is now showing symptoms. Can I leave isolation to take them for testing?

Yes. You can leave the house to take your child to get tested. Use a drive-through testing site, wear a mask and travel directly there and do not stop anywhere on the way there or back.

If you do not have access to a car, you can travel by public transport wearing a mask to a walk-in site for testing.

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Can I drive my household to a collection point to pick up some rapid antigen tests if I have tested positive and I’m the only one in my household who can drive?

Yes. You can leave the house to pick up some rapid antigen tests at a drive-through collection point. Wear a mask and travel directly there and do not stop anywhere on the way there or back.

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Can I find out which COVID-19 variant I have?

SA Pathology currently undertakes analysis on some positive PCR samples to confirm which variant of COVID-19 a person has. This sample needs to go through a process called genomic sequencing, which is used to determine the entire genetic makeup of a viral specimen.

In South Australia, genomic sequencing is performed on positive samples when people are very unwell in hospital or who have recently travelled from overseas.

Genomic sequencing is used to learn more about how the virus is changing over time, monitor new variants and link cases to an outbreak.

Not every COVID-19 positive sample is genome sequenced and results are not sent to patients. You cannot request to have genomic sequencing performed on your positive sample.

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What do I do if I develop COVID-19 symptoms while on holiday in South Australia?

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms while in South Australia, you should get a PCR test as soon as possible. You should isolate until you receive a negative result.

Find your nearest testing site on the PCR testing page.

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What do I do if I test positive while on holiday in South Australia?

If you test positive while travelling in South Australia you must complete your isolation in the place you are staying. This could be a hotel, motel, home or other form of accommodation. You must be able to safely stay there and separate from other people.

If you cannot safely isolate in your accommodation, you can move to alternative accommodation. You must travel by private vehicle by the most direct route and not stop along the way.

If you are in a hotel or motel you should stay in your room and avoid contact with other guests and staff. You should notify your accommodation provider that you have tested positive to COVID-19 and request that no housekeeping staff enter the room. Food and linen should be left at the door. You can go onto a private balcony if you have one.

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What do I do if I test positive while travelling through South Australia?

If you test positive to COVID-19 while travelling through South Australia and you can safely continue to drive home, you must travel by the most direct route and not stop along the way.

If you need to stop for fuel, you must use a contactless petrol station and wear a mask when you leave your vehicle. If you are stopping to use amenities, wipe over frequently touched surfaces.

You must not travel on a commercial airline, bus, ferry or train if you have tested positive to COVID-19.

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I am an accommodation provider and a guest has tested positive to COVID-19, what do I need to do?

If you are notified a guest in your accommodation has tested positive to COVID-19, they can safely complete their isolation.

Staff should not enter the room. Food and fresh linen should be left at the door for the guest to collect. Used linens and food trays can be collected by staff using usual processes and hand hygiene.

A standard clean can occur 30 minutes after the guest has vacated the room after checking out, ideally open windows or run the HVAC to air the room. Cleaning staff should wear their usual personal protective equipment and perform hand hygiene after completion of tasks. As per usual practices, cleaning equipment should be kept in clean condition.

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Close contacts

Do I have to tell my workplace, school or early childhood care service that I have COVID or that I am a close contact?

Yes, you are required to notify your employer, school or early childhood service if you test positive to COVID-19 or you are a close contact.

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As a close contact, what time of day do I have to undertake a rapid antigen test?

You must undertake 5 rapid antigen tests over 7 days after your exposure. Where possible, you should undertake this rapid antigen test prior to leaving your home.

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I am a close contact, can I leave isolation to collect a prescription from a pharmacy?

Yes, you can attend a pharmacy to access medical supplies.

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I am a close contact, can I access rapid antigen tests?

If you are a close contact with no COVID-19 symptoms, you can access free rapid antigen tests from RAT Collection Points across the state. You must register before collecting your kits from the RAT Collection Point.

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If you can’t access a RAT Collection Point, you can use rapid antigen tests that you have purchased from a retail outlet.

If you cannot access rapid antigen tests, you can get a PCR test on day 1 and day 6 after your exposure. You can leave quarantine after the initial test is collected, provided you do not have COVID symptoms.

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I am a close contact, can I get my blood taken or drop off a sample at a pathology collection centre?

Yes, you can visit a pathology collection centre to access medical care.

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I am a close contact can I attend by chiropractor appointment?

Yes, you can attend the chiropractor to access medical care, however, it is strongly recommended you reschedule your appointment where possible.

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I am a close contact, can I go to the dentist for a regular check-up?

You should reschedule your dental appointment, unless it is an emergency.

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I am a close contact, can I go to the dentist for emergency dental work?

Yes, you can attend the dentist to access emergency medical care.

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My child is a close contact. I am not comfortable conducting a RAT on my child. What do I do?

Your child can have a PCR on day 1 and day 6 after exposure. Your child can leave quarantine after the initial test is collected, provided he/she does not have COVID symptoms.

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My one year old child is a close contact and the manufacturer’s instructions do not recommend use on children under 2, what do I do?

Your child can have a PCR on day 1 and day 6 after exposure. Your child can leave quarantine after the initial test is collected, provided he/she does not have COVID symptoms.

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I am a close contact, can I take my child to a regular doctor appointment?

Close contacts can attend GP appointments for medical care. If the appointment is not urgent, we strongly recommend you reschedule. If it is urgent and another carer cannot take your child to the appointment, you can attend the GP. Please follow the advice recommended by your general practice.

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I am a close contact, can I attend my gym class?

No, as a close contact, you must wear a mask when you leave the house for 7 days after your exposure. During exercise inside a gym class, this is not possible.

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Technology support

I have been sent a SMS for a survey and it doesn’t work. What do I do?

You can call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787 and they will be able to assist.

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My household has all tested positive to COVID-19 but not everyone has received a SMS. What do I do?

Not everyone will receive a text message, which may be due to the mobile number entered at the timing of undertaking a PCR test or entering a positive RAT result.

Please contact he National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 (available 24 hours, 7 days) or your usual GP if you have any health concerns.

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