Looking after your symptoms at home - coronavirus (COVID-19)

Most people will have minor symptoms just as you would for many other mild viruses, particularly if you are vaccinated and otherwise healthy. Most people will be able to manage their symptoms at home while isolating.

You can use our care self-checker if you’re unsure what kind of care you may need.

How to look after yourself at home

Most people will be able to manage their symptoms at home. It is important to:

  • get lots of rest

  • drink plenty of fluids (water is best) to avoid dehydration – drink enough so your pee is light yellow and clear

  • take an over-the-counter pain medicine, like paracetamol or ibuprofen, if you feel uncomfortable

  • keep in contact (not face to face) with family and friends who can check in on how you are doing

  • keep a COVID-19 symptom diary (PDF, 2 MB), so you can track if your symptoms get worse.

While you are staying home, use our tips on looking after your mental wellbeing and keeping healthy and active at home. If you are worried about your mental health, read about when to seek help and the mental health services available to support you.

If you need any other support while you’re in isolation, read our guide on where to get help.

It is possible to have mild symptoms at the start of your illness but become sicker over time. Read what to do if you get sicker.

Getting medical care - coronavirus (COVID-19)

Most people will not get very sick and can manage their symptoms at home , just as you would for many other mild viruses.

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

Get medical advice

You should seek medical advice if you:

  • are not improving after 2 or 3 days, or are getting sicker

  • have a chronic health condition

  • are pregnant.

You can also use our care self-checker if you’re unsure whether you need medical care for your symptoms.

If you need help with your symptoms or looking after yourself at home, call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.

You should only go to a hospital or call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance if you have severe symptoms like:

  • difficulty breathing even when walking around the house

  • coughing up blood

  • significant chest pain

  • collapse or fainting.

If you need to call Triple Zero (000) or go to a hospital, tell them you have COVID-19.

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

Leaving isolation to get medical care

You can only leave isolation for emergency medical care. If it is not an emergency but you need to speak to a doctor, call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 or arrange a telehealth appointment with a GP or health provider.

If you are well enough to get yourself to a hospital for emergency medical care, use private transport like driving your own car, having a close contact drive you, or walk, ride or scooter if it’s close by.

If you are unable to drive yourself, call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance.

You must:

  • wear a face mask

  • keep your distance from other people as much as you can

  • handle your own belongings

  • use hand sanitiser.

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

COVID care self-checker

Most people who are fully vaccinated will be able to care for themselves at home, like you would for other viruses.

You may have symptoms like a fever, cough, headache or a sore throat. You will probably feel unwell for a day or 2, and then start to feel better. Some fully vaccinated people will have no symptoms at all.

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

If you’re unsure what kind of care you may need, use the COVID care self-checker.

It is a clinical self-assessment tool designed to help you understand what healthcare you may need based on your symptoms and other risk factors.

Once you complete the form, you’ll be presented with recommended next steps and self-care information. You’ll be told if you need to see your GP or your details will be sent to a hospital so they can call you. Some people will be told to call Triple Zero (000).

Start COVID care self-checker

Alternatively, if you prefer, you can:

  • call the National Coronavirus Helpline 24/7 on 1800 020 080. Press 8 if you need an interpreter; or

  • speak to Queensland Health's automated assessment service, Billie the Bot. Call:

    • 1800 953 919 for advice for adults

    • 1800 845 298 for advice for children (less than 16 years).