Most people can manage COVID-19 at home and may have no symptoms or mild to moderate symptoms. But symptoms can change, so it’s important to understand what to look for if they get worse.
You should monitor moderate symptoms closely and seek medical advice if they get worse.
What you need to know
Severe symptoms include being short of breath, even when resting, or being unable to speak in sentences, drowsiness, and chest pain lasting for more than 10 minutes. If you experience severe symptoms, call triple zero (000) for an ambulance and tell the staff you have COVID-19.
While you have COVID-19, ask yourself these questions in the morning and, afternoon, and at night. Can I get my own food? Can I drink water? Can I go to the toilet normally? Can I take my regular medication? If you answer ‘no’ to any of these questions, call your GP.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, so you can monitor if you are getting worse by checking your breathing. You may have also been given a pulse oximeter from your GP to check your heart rate and oxygen levels.
Keep a diary to track your symptoms and follow your COVID-19 action plan if you have one.
If you have COVID-19 and are pregnant, have a chronic medical condition or are concerned at all, contact your GP or call the National Coronavirus Helpline — even if you have mild symptoms.
Use the COVID-19 Symptom and Antiviral Eligibility Checker to find out if you need to seek medical help.
Call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 at any time if you need advice.
Last reviewed: July 2022