Home isolation if you have COVID-19


The information on this page is about isolation if you have COVID-19. If you have been issued a quarantine direction notice or asked to quarantine at home or in government-arranged accommodation, find out more about quarantine.

If you get COVID-19, you will need to isolate yourself. This is to help reduce the spread of this virus to other people.

In most cases, you will be able to isolate in your own home.

If your home is not suitable, we can help you isolate somewhere else, like a hotel.

How to isolate

Stay at home

You should not leave your home or accommodation except to seek or receive medical care. If you need to travel to get to your local hospital, travel alone and use private transport like driving your own car, having a close contact drive you, or walk, ride or scooter if close by.

Call ahead to let them know you are coming so they can prepare and prevent others from getting COVID-19. If you are unable to drive yourself, see if a member of your household/family or a friend can take you. Remember to let them know they are deemed a close contact and must quarantine if they do take you.

You must:

  • wear a face mask

  • maintain physical distancing as much as possible

  • handle your own belongings

  • use hand sanitiser.

When you arrive at your local hospital , tell the healthcare workers again that you have COVID-19.

If you are unable to organise travel in a private vehicle, you can use a taxi or ride share service and follow the same steps. When you arrive at your doctor, hospital or other testing location, tell the healthcare professionals again that you have or may have COVID-19.

If you are unable to isolate at home

You may not be able to isolate at home if you:

  • are travelling and don’t have a home in Queensland

  • live in share-house

  • live with vulnerable or elderly people that you need to can’t live with while you have COVID-19.

If you need help finding suitable accommodation, please call 134 COVID (134 268).

Monitor your symptoms

It is possible to have mild symptoms at the start of your illness, but become sicker over time.

If your symptoms get worse:

  • and you’ve already been contacted by a health worker following your positive PCR test, use the details you were given to call a health worker or doctor

  • and you haven’t been contacted, or you tested positive on a RAT kit, call your GP. If you don’t have a GP, you can call 13 HEALTH (134 325)

You should call if you:

  • feel gradually more unwell or more breathless

  • have difficulty breathing when you stand up or move around

  • feel very weak, achy or tired

  • are shaking or shivering

  • have lost your appetite

  • are unable to care for yourself (e.g. dressing yourself or making food is too difficult)

  • feel unwell after 4 weeks (this may be long COVID).

If you become very unwell at home, you need to call Triple Zero (000) and ask for an ambulance. If you can, explain to the operator that you have COVID-19.

Call Triple Zero (000) if you:

  • are so breathless you are unable to say short sentences when resting

  • suddenly find it hard to breathe or your breathing has gotten worse

  • cough up blood

  • feel cold and sweaty, with pale or blotchy skin

  • have a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin and doesn't fade when you roll a glass over it

  • collapse or faint

  • feel agitated, confused or very drowsy

  • stop urinating or are urinating much less than usual.

If you have a speech and/or hearing impairment and use telecommunication devices for the deaf, contact the Text Emergency Relay Service on 106.

Reduce the chance of spread to others in your household

Stay away from others

Restrict visits from other people who do not need to be in your home. Elderly people and those with compromised immune systems or chronic illnesses, such as asthma or diabetes, are at greater risk of being very sick with COVID-19 and should stay elsewhere if they are able to.

As much as possible, you should stay in a room away from others, sleep in a separate room and use a separate bathroom if possible. Avoid shared areas. Avoid close contact with others, including touching, kissing, hugging and other intimate contact.

If it is not possible for you to live separately to others in the household, your household members may need to continue to quarantine after you are well.

Pay attention to hygiene

Always cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, preferably with a tissue or your sleeve when you don’t have a tissue. Throw out any used tissues straight away in a rubbish bin.

Wash your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds after you cough, sneeze, blow your nose or take off gloves and masks. You can use alcohol-based hand sanitiser if your hands are not visibly dirty.

Do not share household items

You should not share cups, glasses, plates, utensils, towels or bedding with others in your home. These items should not be used by others until they are cleaned thoroughly with detergent and water or in a dishwasher or washing machine.

Wear a mask

If you have COVID-19, you should avoid being in the same room with others. If you do need to be in the same room, always wear a face mask. It’s also important to keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres away from other household members. Always wash your hands with soap and running water and dry your hands thoroughly or use alcohol-based hand sanitiser before and after fitting your face mask.

Care givers and household members

Care givers and household members should follow good hygiene practices such as:

  • Frequent hand cleaning with soap and running water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser when hands are not visibly soiled. This is the most important measure carers of a sick person can do to avoid getting infected.

  • Maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres from the sick person as much as possible.

  • When able, open doors and windows to ensure there is good airflow in shared areas.

  • Clean frequently touched surfaces such as tabletops, doorknobs, taps, sinks, phones, keyboards, remote controls and bedside tables every day with a normal household cleaning product. Pay particular attention to the kitchen, laundry and bathroom.

  • Thoroughly clean any surfaces that have any fluids from the sick person’s body on them (including blood or cough or sneeze splatter).

  • Wear disposable gloves when dealing with any body fluids (especially cough or sneeze splatter) of a person in isolation. Straight away after each use dispose of the gloves into a separate plastic bag and place it in the bin. Wash your hands straight away after removing and disposing of the gloves.

  • Always follow the safety advice and instructions for preparing cleaning products and disinfectants.

  • When washing the isolated person’s laundry, use the warmest recommended cycle for the item of clothing, bedding or towels. Wear disposable gloves when handling these dirty items. Dispose of the gloves straight away after use and then wash your hands.

Quarantine for household members and care givers

The people you live with and other close contacts such as your care givers (if they have spent more than 4 hours with you since you were diagnosed) are required to get tested and quarantine if you have had contact with them.

Ending isolation

You are required to isolate for a minimum of 7 days and have had no symptoms for 48 hours (except if the only symptom is a mild dry cough that is not getting worse).

Support while in isolation

You can get food and medication while in isolation by doing the following:

  • Ask friends or family members you don’t live with to get food and medication to leave at your door.

  • If you need a prescription filled arrange this with your usual pharmacist or GP. They can then deliver it to your house or you can let your friend or family member know where to collect the medication. Read more about getting medicines and accessing health services.

  • Arrange a food delivery service. Have all food left outside your house. Do not let any delivery person into your home or accommodation.

  • Home care workers and other providers of essential services like nurses are exempt from restrictions to enter your home. However, if you receive these services it is important that you let the service providers know that you are in isolation.

  • Contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 for help.

Further information

If you require further information, please contact your healthcare provider or 134 COVID (134 268).

If you or anybody in the household is experiencing a medical emergency, call 000 and notify the officers that you are currently isolated because you have or may have COVID-19.

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