NT COVID-19 hotline 1800 490 484
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NT COVID-19 hotline1800 490 484
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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 will be used to ensure you are provided the appropriate health and social support to isolate and manage your COVID-19 illness.

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.

Most people with COVID-19 will have a mild illness and be able to safely manage COVID-19 at home.

Options for care

There are four options for care to manage your COVID-19.

  1. COVID Well

    People who may have no symptoms or mild symptoms and can 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 will need extra monitoring and support from their GP or normal clinic and the hospital specialists working together to help manage their health and escalate if symptoms worsen. This includes people with moderate symptoms, those people who are unvaccinated, are pregnant, are vulnerable or have health conditions.

  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.

  4. COVID in Remote

    People who live in remote areas will have individualised care plans considering their health status, their choices about where the isolate and the capacity to move to alternative accommodation if required.

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, alternative accommodation may be found for you. This may include the Alice Springs Quarantine Facility, the Centre for National Resilience in Howard Springs or regional facilities as they are developed.  You will not be required to pay to stay in accommodation as part of alternative arrangements.

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.

If you are identified as a COVID case of concern, you will be contacted by the COVID CareNT team to undertake a clinical consultation and develop a plan for you and your health needs which will include regular contact with a health professional.

The COVID CareNT team will make sure  you know where you can go for advice or support as your health or social needs change. If you move between clinical pathways you will be given updated information about how you seek assistance if your symptoms worsen.


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.

Symptoms may include: fever, cough, 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 4 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. If you can, explain to 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.

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 help and encouragement.
  • Encourage them to rest and not overdo it.
  • Use paracetamol (Panadol) or ibuprofen (Nurofen), 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


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.


Vaccination remains the best defence against COVID-19 and is strongly recommended for all people aged five years and over. You do not need to wait to get you COVID-19 vaccination or booster dose after you have fully recovered from COVID-19. Talk to your GP if you have any questions.

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.

  • If you have symptoms or are a close contact after you have recovered, you should get tested for COVID-19 and isolate as required.

    Unfortunately, people can become unwell with COVID-19 more than once. Call your GP about your symptoms – they may order other tests to check for other illnesses.

    People who have recovered from COVID-19 have a lower risk of getting the virus again in the six months after their infection. This is because most people develop some immunity and have the ability to fight COVID-19.

  • Routine COVID-19 testing when you do not have symptoms (such as workplace surveillance testing) is not recommended for four weeks after you have recovered.

    If you have symptoms or are a close contact during this time, you should get tested for COVID-19 and isolate as required.

    Unfortunately, people can become unwell with COVID-19 more than once. Call your GP about your symptoms – they may order other tests to check for other illnesses.

  • Once you have received your text message or email with your medical clearance, you can return to your usual activities.

    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.

  • Help Lines

    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