COVID-19 can be serious and require hospitalisation but most cases are mild and can be safely managed at home.
This document contains important information about how to look after yourself while you have COVID-19 and what to do if your condition changes.
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When To Seek Help
It is important to monitor your symptoms as your condition may change and you may need more help.
Stay at home and care for yourself
If you have mild symptoms such as:
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Aches and pains
- Occasional vomiting or diarrhoea
- Stay hydrated
Keep a bottle of water nearby, drink plenty of water and fill it up throughout the day
- Get as much rest as you can
Good quality rest will help you to recover quicker
- Do a little gentle exercise every day
Gentle walking around the house or garden
- Try to eat several small regular meals throughout the day
- Consider taking paracetamol or ibuprofen as directed on the packaging for aches and pains, fever or headaches
Over the counter medicines may help with symptoms but do not take them if you have previously been told by doctor that they may be harmful to you.
- Take any other medicines as required
As discussed with your doctor or other health professional
If your symptoms get worse you may need to change your plan. Check if your symptoms fit into the other categories below.
Contact a doctor
If you get any new moderate symptoms, such as:
- Mild shortness of breath when moving around or coughing
- Mild chest discomfort when coughing
- Coughing up mucous regularly
- Temperature above 38°C for longer than 2 days
- Severe muscle aches and pains
- Severe shakes and shivers
- Vomiting or diarrhoea for longer than 2 days
- Little or no urination
- Light-headedness that only lasts for a moment
- Your symptoms are getting much worse instead of staying the same or getting better
- You are unable to take care of yourself and others are unable to take care of you (things like washing, putting on clothes, going to the toilet or making food)
You should be assessed by a healthcare professional:
- Contact your COVID Positive Pathways Program if you have one.
- If you don’t, contact a doctor for a telehealth appointment.
- If you can’t make a doctor’s appointment, go to your local hospital emergency department in your own car.
- If you’re not able to get to hospital, call Triple Zero (000) and ask for Ambulance.
If your symptoms get worse you may need to change your plan. Check if your symptoms fit into the category below
Call Triple Zero (000) and ask for an Ambulance
If you develop any severe symptoms, such as:
- Severe shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Becoming short of breath even when resting and not moving around
- Becoming breathless when talking and finding it hard to finish sentences
- Your breathing gets worse suddenly
- Chest pain that is constant or severe
- Lips or face turning blue
- Fainting or often feeling like you will faint
- Agitation, confusion, or severe drowsiness
- You feel something is wrong, are concerned you are getting much worse and need help immediately
!! You should call 000 immediately, tell them your symptoms and let them know you have COVID-19.
Depending on your condition, an ambulance may be sent, or a paramedic or nurse may speak to you over the phone to help you get the best care for your situation.
What to do Now
If you haven’t had a COVID test since developing your current symptoms, then you will need to be tested immediately.
You can test yourself with a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) if you have one or find your nearest COVID testing location here. If the RAT result is negative despite having symptoms you should seek a PCR test from a COVID testing location as PCR results are more sensitive in the early stages of infection.
The COVID test at a COVID testing center is free for everyone. This includes people without a Medicare card, such as visitors from overseas, migrant workers and asylum seekers.
Isolate at home
Your doctor or the clinic where you were tested will contact you by phone or SMS to deliver your results.
If you have received a positive COVID-19 test result, you must follow the public health directions and stay at home, unless you need to seek medical attention.
If you need to leave home to seek medical attention, you must wear a mask, wash your hands regularly and notify your healthcare professional that you are COVID positive before and after arriving.
Taking Care of Yourself
It is important to take care of your mental and physical health while you have COVID-19.
Click here for more information or speak to the COVID Positive Pathway Program, your GP or other healthcare professional.
this raises personal issues for your or you feel you are not coping help is also available from:
- Lifeline Australia 13 11 14
A crisis service that provides support at any time.
- Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Provides specialist help for people in isolation.
- Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
A free and confidential counselling service for young people
Ambulance Victoria is a critical link in Victoria’s healthcare system. We welcome your comments as they assist us to improve our services. If you wish to provide feedback, please contact Patient Experience and Consumer Participation Department either via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 875 137.
*Calls from mobile phones may be charged at a higher rate.