I tested positive for COVID-19 – First steps
As COVID-19 continues to spread across the Northern Territory, it’s likely that you may become infected with COVID-19.
If you test positive for COVID-19 with a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), you will need to register your result online using the Rapid Antigen Test Declaration Form.
If you test positive for COVID-19 with a PCR test, you will be contacted by NT Health via a text message or phone call.
COVID-19 positive checklist
- Step 1. Register your positive Rapid Antigen Test Result Online / receive your positive PCR test result via text message
- Step 2. Isolate for at least seven days
- Step 3. Tell your close contacts you have tested positive for COVID-19
- Step 4. Register for COVID CareNT to receive health support to manage your COVID-19
- Step 5. Follow public health measures for seven days after your isolation period: Wear a mask, apply social distancing, do not enter high risk facilities.
Positive result on a Rapid Antigen Test
If your Rapid Antigen Test is positive, you need to:
- Declare your positive result online using the Rapid Antigen Test declaration form. This is a legal requirement. You can also call the COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 490 484 if you live in a remote area or need assistance with translations or online registration.
- Register for COVID CareNT using an online form to receive support and health advice while you isolate and recover. You will be directed to complete this after declaring your positive Rapid Antigen Test. If you are unable to complete this online call 1800 490 484 to receive assistance.
You only need to have a COVID-19 PCR test if clinically required or requested by an authorised officer.
If you are required to have a COVID-19 PCR test, you will receive your result via an automated text message.
Telling your close contacts
You need to tell your household and close contacts that you have tested positive.
Testing positive to COVID-19 means that you may have spread COVID-19 to others. You may have been infectious from two days before you developed symptoms, or two days before you tested positive if you did not have symptoms.
You need to tell your household and close contacts that you spent time with that you have tested positive.
A person is considered a close contact if:
- You reside in the same household /premises as a COVID-19 positive person
- You have spent four hours or more indoors with a COVID-19 positive person while they were infectious
Example - How to tell your close contacts
I have recently received a positive COVID-19 test result. My infectious period was from XX to XX (two days before you developed symptoms, or two days before you tested positive if you did not have symptoms). As we were together for more than 4 hours during this time, you are classed as a close contact.
Due to this, you will need to isolate and organise to get a COVID-19 test. There is information on the NT COVID-19 website on what to do or you can call the COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 490 484.
Isolation after testing positive to COVID-19
Your isolation period starts on the day you had your COVID-19 test and returned a positive result. This is Day 0 of your isolation period.
If you took your COVID-19 test at 2pm on 12 Jan 2022, this is Day 0. Your Day 7 is 19 January 2022 and your Day 10 is 22 January 2022. You can exit at noon on the day your isolation period ends.
Fully vaccinated people
If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and receive a positive test result, you must immediately isolate for at least seven days.
- If you have no symptoms you can leave isolation at 12 noon on Day 7.
- If you have symptoms on Day 7, you must remain in isolation until your symptoms resolve or you receive a medical certificate from your doctor stating that you are no longer infectious.
If you are unvaccinated against COVID-19 and receive a positive test result, you must immediately isolate for 10 days.
- If you have no symptoms you can leave isolation at 12 noon on Day 10.
- If you have symptoms on Day 10, you must remain in isolation until your symptoms resolve or you receive a medical certificate from your doctor stating that you are no longer infectious.
Once a COVID-positive person has completed the required isolation period, you will not be considered a close contact if another member of the household becomes COVID positive for the next 28 days.
Children are considered vaccinated for the purposes of isolation.
If your child receives a positive test result, they must immediately isolate for at least seven days.
- If they have no symptoms they can leave isolation at 12 noon on Day 7.
- If they have symptoms on Day 7, your child must remain in isolation until their symptoms resolve or they receive a medical certificate from their doctor stating that they are no longer infectious..
If your child tests positive for COVID-19, it’s important that you continue to care for them. You do not need to isolate away from them. Most children who test positive for COVID-19 can be safely cared for at home by their usual household carers, even if they are not vaccinated.
You are required to isolate at home or a suitable place for at least seven days. This means you cannot leave your home unless it is an emergency, you require essential medical care or if you are escaping family violence.
You may go outside into your private backyard, courtyard or balcony as long as there is no one else who is not in isolation with you there.
Visitors cannot come to your home while you are isolating, with the exception of healthcare or disability professionals providing an essential service – you should tell them that you have tested positive for COVID-19 so they can take appropriate precautions.
You can ask friends or family members you don’t live with to get food and medication for you. Make sure they leave it at your door. You cannot have contact with anyone delivering any supplies.
You can arrange a food delivery service. Have all food left outside your house. Do not let any delivery person into your home or accommodation.
If you need a prescription filled, arrange this with your usual pharmacist or GP. They can deliver it to your home or accommodation, or you can let your friend or family member know where to collect the medication.
You also need to stay away from other people in your household.
- Stay and sleep in a separate bedroom
- Use a separate bathroom if available, or clean a shared bathroom after each use
- Do not spend time in the same room as other people in your house
- Do not share household items including dishes, cups, towels, and bedding
- Avoid common areas of the household – if unavoidable, wear a mask when in common areas and clean the area with detergent and disinfectant after use
For seven days after you exit isolation you must:
- Wear a mask when outside of your home
- Wear a mask when you cannot maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from someone you do not reside with
- Do not entre a high risk facility
You do not need to wear a mask when exercising or eating and drinking.
Children under 12 years of age are not required to wear a mask.
Once you leave isolation, you will not be considered a close contact for the next 28 days if you come in contact with a COVID-19 positive person. After 28 days, you will need to follow all close contact isolation requirements.
COVID-19 testing, when you do not have symptoms, is not recommended for four weeks after you have recovered. This is because COVID-19 testing may continue to give a positive result as your body sheds the virus, even though you are no longer infectious
Managing your COVID-19
After you have tested positive for COVID-19 you are required to register for COVID CareNT.
The information collected through your registration is used to inform health professionals about the level of care you require and if this can be undertaken safely at home with follow-up contact from NT Health.
Those people who cannot complete the form or those people living in remote communities are contacted by NT Health with a phone call.
Most people with COVID-19 will have a mild illness and can safely manage COVID-19 at home.
Some people may not have any symptoms at all and most people recover in a couple of days.
Most symptoms can be managed with:
- bed rest
- regular paracetamol and ibuprofen to relieve pain and fevers
- throat lozenges for a sore throat
- staying hydrated with regular water intake.
Continue to take any medications you have been prescribed as usual. If you are unsure about continuing to take your current medication or treatment, or have any concerns about your health, call your doctor. You can also contact Health Direct on 1800 022 222 for health advice 24 hours a day.
If you develop severe symptoms (particularly severe headache or dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pressure or pain) call Triple Zero (000) and tell the ambulance staff that you are COVID-19 positive.
For more information on managing your COVID visit: COVID CareNT page
Save Triple Zero (000) for emergencies.
If you have any concerns call your doctor or contact Health Direct on 1800 022 222 for health advice 24 hours a day.
Most people can safely manage COVID-19 at home.
Call Triple Zero (000) immediately and ask for an AMBULANCE if you or the patient are experiencing any of the following:
- central or crushing chest pain lasting more than 10 minutes
- unconsciousness or a seizure (fit)
- severe difficulty breathing
- severe bleeding or inability to control bleeding with pressure
- sudden inability to move or speak, or sudden facial drooping
- the effects of a severe accident.
By saving calls to Triple Zero (000) for medical emergencies only, we will be able to get the right help to the right people at the right time.