What happens if you have COVID-19

If you get tested and find out you have COVID-19, it is normal to feel worried or scared. Most likely you will have minor cold and flu-like symptoms and will recover safely at home. 

To guide you through what happens if you have COVID-19, follow the steps below or download the fact sheet and look after yourself, your family and your community.  

COVID-19 testing

There are a few different tests for COVID-19. Find out what kind of test you should get if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

Rapid Antigen Test

If you have completed a rapid antigen test and it shows you have COVID-19:

  • report your result within 24 hours and fill in the SA Health online form, or
  • call the SA COVID-19 Information Line – 1800 253 787

PCR test

If you have completed a PCR test, you will receive:

  • a phone call, or
  • a text message, or
  • be given your result.

You must stay home and isolate for 7 days.

Your 7-day isolation period starts from the day you receive the test result confirming you have COVID-19.

You must stay away from other people so you don’t give the virus to someone else.

For more information, download the ‘How to isolate at home when you have COVID-19’ fact sheet.

Isolate in your home or at suitable* accommodation

  • Do not have visitors.
  • Do not go to the shops.
  • Only leave in an emergency.

*Suitable accommodation means you can isolate away from others in a separate room, if possible, use a separate bathroom and not have physical contact with other people.

If you don't have somewhere suitable* to isolate

You may be moved to COVID-19 supported accommodation for your isolation period.

COVID-19 support accommodation allows people to safely and effectively isolate away from home and stop the spread of COVID-19 in community.

People are looked after and receive:

  • culturally appropriate support
  • health care for COVID-19 symptoms and other health conditions
  • interpreters (if needed)
  • mental health support
  • accommodation
  • food.

If you need to isolate away from home and want to plan what to bring, download the ‘What to pack and prepare’ fact sheet.

For housing support and advice, call the SA COVID-19 Information Line 1800 253 787

Tell your close contacts you have COVID-19

A ‘close contact’ is someone you have been around while you were infectious. 

Think of people you:

  • live with or care for
  • spent close time with in the 2 days before you felt sick or had your COVID-19 test.

Tell your close contacts to get tested and self-isolate

They must:

  • get a COVID-19 PCR test immediately
  • isolate for 7 days from the day they saw you
  • get another COVID-19 PCR test 6 days after the first test.

For more information about testing and isolation requirements for close contacts, visit the close contacts webpage.

Fill out the survey

After you find out you have COVID-19 and have reported your RAT test results or received your PCR test result, you may receive a website link to a survey sent to your phone. Help us to help you. Answer questions about:

  • how you are feeling e.g., symptoms
  • your medical history e.g., health conditions
  • whether you can safely isolate away from others at home
  • who you have been in contact with
  • if you need support with food or medicine.

Manage your symptoms and health

  • You may feel sick with fever, cough, headache or a sore throat.
  • You will probably feel sick for one or two days, and then start to feel better.
  • Rest and drink plenty of water. 

For more information, visit the managing your symptoms at home webpage.

If you need support

  • Call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 (available 24 hours, 7 days) or your health care worker.
  • Call the SA Aboriginal Mental Health Support and Advice Line (Thirilli) on 1800 841 313 (9.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday).
  • In an emergency, or if you feel really sick e.g., hard to breath or pain in your chest, call 000 (Triple Zero) and tell them you have COVID-19.

Recover from COVID-19 and finish isolation

  • If you isolated at home, you can leave at the end of your 7 days if you have no symptoms.
  • If you isolated away from home (COVID-19 support accommodation) you will be returned to Country.
  • If you still feel sick, speak to your health care worker or call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.

For more Information, visit the SA Health COVID-19 positive advice webpage.