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A guide to managing COVID-19 as rules relax

Blog post | 25 Oct 2022

Are you uncertain about how to deal with COVID-19 now that you’re no longer legally required to isolate?

While COVID-19 numbers have dwindled in Australia, the pandemic isn’t over.

Here’s how you can continue to protect yourself and the community if you get COVID-19.

Which COVID-19 rules remain in place?

Most COVID-19 management rules have ended across Australia, but you may still need to report a positive rapid antigen test.

Do I need to test if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

Yes, you should. Health authorities strongly recommend getting tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms. It’s especially important to get tested if you’re at higher risk of severe illness. This is so you can get early treatment, including antiviral medicines.

What should I do if I have COVID-19?

If you get a positive COVID-19 test result, report it to your state or territory government. In some states and territories this is still mandatory, so check with the relevant authorities.

You should stay at home until your symptoms go. If you must leave your home, you should wear a mask when indoors and on public transport.

Tell your close contacts that you have COVID-19. Don’t attend large gatherings and crowded indoor spaces or visit people at high risk of severe illness.

If you work in high-risk places, such as health, disability-care and aged-care centres, you should stay away from your workplace for 7 days and until you have no symptoms.

Speak to your employer before you attend work.

How long am I infectious?

Most people may be infectious for up to 10 days. But you’re most infectious in the 2 days before your symptoms appear and while you have acute symptoms, such as a runny nose, sore throat, fever and cough.

How can I recover from COVID-19 quickly?

Most adults with a mild case of COVID-19 will recover in a few days, but for some, symptoms can linger. If you have COVID-19, make sure you:

  • get bed rest
  • stay hydrated with regular sips of water
  • use throat lozenges to soothe a sore throat
  • take pain medication, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, to relieve pain and fevers

If you have any concerns about your health, contact a doctor.

Will I get COVID-19 if someone in my house has it?

Your risk of getting COVID-19 increases with the amount of time you spend with someone who has COVID-19. Your risk also rises when you’re indoors and don’t wear a mask.

If you’re exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should:

  • get tested if COVID-19 symptoms appear
  • stay at home until your symptoms go
  • wear a mask when you’re in indoor areas that aren’t your home and on public transport
  • stay away from high-risk places (such as hospitals and aged-care centres), and don’t visit people who are at high risk of severe illness, for at least 7 days — if you must visit them, do a rapid antigen test before you go

If you test positive to COVID-19, you should isolate and follow the recommendations for people with COVID-19.

How can I avoid getting COVID-19?

The advice for avoiding COVID-19 hasn’t changed. You should:

  • practise good hygiene by washing your hands frequently, covering your coughs and sneezes, avoiding touching your face, and cleaning surfaces you use often
  • catch up with friends and family in a well-ventilated place or the outdoors
  • wear a well-fitted mask in indoor public spaces
  • stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations

Are COVID-19 payments still in place?

The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment has ended. But if you work in high-risk places (such as health, aged-care and disability-care centres) and can’t earn an income because you’ve tested positive to COVID-19, you may be eligible for the High-Risk Settings Pandemic Payment.

For more information

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