NT COVID-19 hotline 1800 490 484
8am to 4:21pm, 7 days a week
209 new daily cases 12 patients in hospital | 0 intensive care
NT COVID-19 hotline1800 490 484
8am to 4:21pm, 7 days a week
More information

Managing your COVID-19

COVID CareNT

When you have a positive COVID test you need to register for COVID CareNT using the online registration form. You should complete the online registration form before 8pm on the day you test positive.

All Territorians need to register as this ensures you are connected to an appropriate care and treatment pathway and are assisted for social supports if required. Registering for COVID CareNT also includes the mandatory declaration of a positive Rapid Antigen Test. You can call the COVID-19 hotline on 1800 490 484 if you live in a remote area or need assistance with translations or online registration.

The information collected through your registration will be used to facilitate access to appropriate health and social support to isolate and manage your COVID-19 illness. It will also help determine whether you need a discussion with your normal GP about a COVID treatment.

Those people who cannot complete the form, or those people living in remote communities will receive assistance to do so from a clinic staff member or through a phone call to the COVID-19 hotline on 1800 490 484.

Most people with COVID-19 will have a mild illness and be able to safely manage COVID-19 at their existing place of residence eg. home, boarding school, hostel, etc.

COVID CareNT pathways

There are three care pathways which you may be linked into to manage your COVID-19.

  1. COVID Well

    People who  have no symptoms or mild symptoms and are usually well may be assessed as being able to care for themselves at home or in the community.

  2. COVID of Concern

    People who are able to stay at home or in the community but may need extra monitoring and support from their GP or health clinic. This may include people with moderate symptoms, those people who are unvaccinated, are on medication, are pregnant, are vulnerable or have health conditions. You will have an early assessment by a nurse or doctor to decide what support and ongoing care you require depending on your answer to further questions.

  3. COVID in Hospital

    People who are cared for in hospital. This includes people who are very unwell with COVID-19 or have chronic health conditions that make them more unwell.

Managing COVID yourself

You will be found suitable to self-manage your COVID illness if you are:

  • medically assessed as suitable
  • have suitable accommodation.

If you do not have a suitable place to isolate and recover, or have social support needs, the COVID CareNT team can support you to find an appropriate place to stay.

If you are identified as being suitable for the COVID Well pathway and can stay at home or in the community, you will receive information from the COVID CareNT team on how to isolate and recover and what to do if your symptoms worsen. This is usually via the email you nominate in your registration.

If you are identified as a COVID of Concern person, you will be linked to a care team (usually your normal clinic or doctor) to undertake a clinical consultation and develop a plan for you and your health needs. This plan may include regular contact with a health professional. You may be offered medication or be given a device to measure your oxygen levels at home.

The COVID CareNT teams are in each region of the NT and are linked to GPs and primary care clinics. They will make sure you find local care and support following the NT-wide model.

If you haven’t heard from your local team and expect to due to underlying illness please contact the COVID hotline and follow the prompts to speak to someone from COVID CareNT.

Symptoms

Everyone who gets COVID-19 will experience it a little differently.

Most people will have a mild illness, recover in a couple of days and feel completely better in a week or two. Some people may have no symptoms at all. Those who have up to date vaccinations are less likely to experience severe symptoms.

Symptoms may include fever, cough and sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhoea, vomiting / nausea, loss of smell or taste, muscle or joint pain and loss of appetite.

You can monitor your symptoms using the symptoms diary PDF (298.8 KB) and can use the Health Direct symptom checker to assess and manage your symptoms.

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.

If your symptoms worsen, or you have any concerns about your health contact the National COVID Nurse Hotline (1800 022 222) for clinical advice.

You should call if:

  • feel gradually more unwell or more breathless
  • have difficulty breathing when you stand up or move around
  • feel very weak, achy or tired
  • are shaking or shivering
  • have lost your appetite
  • are unable to care for yourself (e.g. dressing yourself or making food is too difficult)
  • feel unwell after four weeks (this may be long COVID).

What to do if you become very unwell

If you become very unwell at home, you need to call Triple Zero (000) and ask for an ambulance. You should tell the operator that you have COVID-19.

Call Triple Zero (000) if you:

  • are so breathless you are unable to say short sentences when resting
  • suddenly find it hard to breathe or your breathing has gotten worse
  • cough up blood
  • feel cold and sweaty, with pale or blotchy skin
  • have a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin and doesn't fade when you roll a glass over it
  • collapse or faint
  • feel agitated, confused or very drowsy
  • stop urinating or are urinating much less than usual.

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

Treatments for COVID-19

In the last few months medications have become available which decrease the severity of COVID illness. The decision about whether someone needs these medications requires an individual clinical assessment as there are a variety of medications and each one has limitations and benefits.

People who are more likely to benefit from medication include those who haven’t had all their doses of COVID vaccination, have underlying illness, are older and are on various medications.

For these medications to work they must be given very early in the disease process. For this reason it is essential that people self register for COVID CareNT as soon as possible so that they can link to their normal GP or primary care team if they are in the COVID of Concern group. GPs have been provided tools to help them decide which people most benefit from these medications.

If you need a discussion about these medications you will be flagged and directed to contact your GP by telehealth. You will then be given individualised advice about the benefits and risks of the medication.

In addition, inhaled corticosteroids (puffers e.g. budesonide) are often given with the other medicines and help lower the amount of irritation in the airways, can reduce the dry cough and help recovery.

COVID-19 in children

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.

When caring for your child with COVID-19 at home:

  • Give your child plenty of fluids to drink. They may not feel like drinking much so will need your encouragement.
  • Encourage them to rest.
  • Use paracetamol or ibuprofen, only if you think your child is in pain or appears uncomfortable with a fever. Follow the instructions on the label, and do not give more of these medicines than is recommended in a 24-hour period, as this may be harmful for children.
  • Dress your child in appropriate clothing, so that they are comfortable - not sweating or shivering.
  • Watch your child for signs that their illness is getting worse.

If you have any concerns call your doctor or contact Health Direct on 1800 022 222 for health advice 24 hours a day.

If you are concerned that your child is seriously unwell, has difficulty breathing, is severely dehydrated or fainting, call Triple Zero (000) immediately and inform the operator that your child has COVID-19.

Further information

Royal Children’s Hospital fact sheet for parents - coronavirus

Qld Health general information about kids and coronavirus

Finishing your isolation and recovery

Exiting isolation

You are not required to have a COVID-19 test to exit isolation. 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.

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
  • not enter a health facility such as a GP clinic, remote clinic, hospital, disability shared care house or residential aged care facility.

If you need routine medical care you should request a telephone appointment with your GP.

If you need to go to hospital as a patient in an emergency, inform them on arrival that you are recovering from COVID-19 and wear a mask at all times.

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.

Returning to work

You can return to work after you have completed the required isolation period and no longer have symptoms.

Employers and managers do not need to request medical clearances from employees who have completed their isolation period.

Reinfection after having COVID

For 12 weeks after you have exited isolation, you are not required to get tested or undertake isolation if you are a close contact. Following this, you will be required to comply with all testing and isolation requirements.

COVID-19 testing is not recommended for 12 weeks after you exit isolation. 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.

Vaccination

Vaccination remains the best defence against COVID-19 and is strongly recommended for all people aged five years and over.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, it is recommended you get your next COVID-19 vaccination three months after the date of your infection.

You can book your COVID-19 vaccine online or by calling the COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 490 484.

  • Most people who have COVID-19 recover completely within a few weeks. This is not the same for everyone and depends on the severity of your illness and your underlying health.

    Symptoms that are more likely to last beyond a few weeks include:

    • feeling tired (fatigue)
    • chest discomfort
    • cough

    Other physical symptoms can also continue beyond a few weeks. These include problems with sense of smell or taste, headache, runny nose, joint or muscle pain, trouble sleeping or eating, sweating, and diarrhoea.

    Some people have ongoing psychological symptoms too. These might include:

    • trouble thinking clearly, focusing, or remembering
    • depression, anxiety, or a related condition called post-traumatic stress disorder ("PTSD")

    If you continue to have symptoms for more than four weeks or if your symptoms worsen you should consult your GP.

  • You can return to your usual activities once you have exited isolation and no longer have symptoms. You must not enter a clinic, aged care facility or hospital until 2 weeks after your initial COVID-19 diagnosis.

    You are encouraged to practice social distancing, wear a mask in line with current recommendations and requirements, and regularly perform hand hygiene.

    Wash your hands regularly with soap and water (or alcohol hand sanitiser) for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. These things are important for your safety, and to ensure the safety of your family, friends and community.

  • Helplines

    General COVID questions  
    For NT specific information NT COVID-19 1800 490 484 Hotline
    All questions about vaccine, general Coronavirus questions National coronavirus help line - 1800 020 080
    Clinical SymptomsHealth direct symptom checker
    For general symptoms management advice Nurse Advice Hotline - 1800 022 222
    Care related to non-COVID issues, prescriptions or COVID-19 symptom management Your GP
    Contact point described in your COVID CareNT care plan
    If you or your GP feel the care needs of you and your family need to be escalated
    COVID CareNT team - 1800 490 484
    Help with children Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800
    In case of emergencies Triple Zero (000)
    Mental Health Support 
    Team Health Team Talk free support service

    Website: teamhealth.asn.au/news/2020/introducing-teamtalk
    Phone: 1800 832 600

    Beyond Blue Coronavirus Wellbeing Support Service
    Website: https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au
    Phone: 1800 512 348
    Lifeline Crisis Support Website: https://www.lifeline.org.au/
    Phone: 131114
    Suicide Call Back service Website: https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/
    Phone: 1300 659 467
    Northern Territory Mental Health line Website: https://www.mentalhealthnt.com.au/
    Phone: 1800 682 288