First steps after your positive COVID-19 result

If you test positive in a PCR test, you will receive a text message from SA Health and/or the laboratory telling you that you have tested positive for COVID-19.

If you test positive using a rapid antigen test, you will be required to report your positive result. After you have reported your result, you will receive a text message from SA Health with more information.

Read 'What happens when you test positive for COVID-19' (PDF 91KB) for more information and follow the below steps.

1. Isolate immediately

Isolate yourself away from other people as much as you can, including other people in your household.

If possible, isolate in a different house to reduce the chance of your household getting sick, if they haven’t already caught it.

You can leave isolation 10 days after you had your positive COVID-19 PCR test taken or tested positive using a rapid antigen test, unless otherwise advised by SA Health.

When calculating your 10 day isolation period, the date the positive test is taken is day 0.

Find more information about how to isolate if you have tested positive to COVID-19.

2. Report your rapid antigen test result

If you test positive using a rapid antigen test, you must report your result within 24 hours. You must report your positive result if you get your test through a designated RAT Collection Point, from a retail outlet or through any other means.

Report your result using this online form.

If you don’t have a mobile phone with internet access, you can report your result by calling the SA COVID-19 Information Line (8am to 8pm, 7 days). If you test positive outside of these hours and cannot report your result online, call as soon as possible during the SA COVID-19 Information Line’s operating hours.

3. Tell your close contacts and advise them to get tested and quarantine.

It’s likely you will have been in close contact with other people while you were infectious.

Your close contacts include:

  • a household member or intimate partner
  • someone you have had close personal interaction with during your infectious period (i.e. close physical proximity in an indoor setting for 15 minutes or more where masks are not worn by you and the other person).

You are considered infectious two days before your symptoms started. If you didn’t have any noticeable symptoms, you are considered infectious two days before you had your positive COVID-19 test taken.

Close contacts will need to quarantine for 7 days since they last saw you.

Find more information about what your close contacts need to do.

Someone from SA Health may contact you to identify any venues you visited. Not all venues you visited will be listed as exposure locations. Exposure locations will only be listed if they are a high risk setting, there has been confirmed transmission at this site or if there is a specific group of people considered vulnerable to COVID-19 at this site.

4. Help us assess your needs

After your initial positive notification, you may be contacted by different people from SA Health working together to support you, including through text message and phone calls.

You will receive a text message from SA Health that will include a link to a short survey. This will ask questions about your occupation and high risk setting exposure, as well as some questions about how you are feeling, your medical history and whether you can safely isolate away from others.

Answering these questions will help ensure you are appropriately supported and know more about where you have been recently and who you have been in contact with.

You may receive a follow up phone call from the Communicable Disease Control Branch or COVID-19 Response Care Team.

5. Prepare for your isolation

Most people who have a positive COVID-19 test result will isolate in their home. If you need supervised care you will be notified by the COVID-19 Response Care Team.

You will be in isolation for at least 10 days. If you’re isolating at home, make sure you have the things you need while staying safe.

Ask your family or friends who do not live with you to help by delivering groceries and medicines as needed, or you can order food online or by telephone. Major supermarkets, as well as food delivery services can deliver to most areas. Ask them to leave the food on your doorstep and wait until they have left before opening the door with a mask on.

If you need medicines (including prescription medicines), ask a family member or friend to deliver them to your home and to leave at your door. Some pharmacies offer a home delivery service. Ask for deliveries to be left at your door.

If you need urgent support services, these may be arranged for you by calling the COVID-19 Response Care Team on 1800 272 872.

6. Access support

If you need support while you are home, contact the COVID-19 Response Care Team on 1800 272 872.

In an emergency, or if you have worsening symptoms such as difficulty breathing or chest pain, call 000 (Triple Zero) and tell them you are COVID-19 positive.

Visit the COVID-19 health support page for information about what health support you will receive after testing positive to COVID-19.

Visit the Mental health support page for information about looking after your mental health and wellbeing during isolation, as well as what support and services are available.

Visit the Financial support for individuals page for information about Commonwealth and SA Government payments available for eligible workers affected by COVID-19.

For COVID-19 posters, fact sheets, videos and audio resources in languages other than English, visit the translated resources page.

If you have a positive COVID-19 result, read the COVID-19 Positive – COVID-19 Response Care Team – Patient Information Fact Sheet (PDF 283KB) for more information on what to do.