What to do when you test positive for COVID-19

Immediately isolate for 7 complete days

You must immediately isolate at home, or other suitable accommodation, away from other people in your household. You are not required to isolate from other household members who are also COVID-19 positive.

The 7-day isolation period means 7 complete days from the time you took your test. This means 7 x 24 hours. For example, if you tested positive at 3pm on a Monday, your isolation period ends at 3pm the following Monday. 

Register your positive RAT result

If you tested positive by using a rapid antigen test (RAT), you must register your result online. For RAT registration help, call 13 COVID (13 268 43). Press star (*) if you need an interpreter.

You don't need to register your result if you tested positive by PCR test.

Tell your close contacts you have COVID-19

It's likely you will have been in close contact with other people while you were infectious.

Tell your close contacts that you have tested positive for COVID-19 as soon you can. It’s especially important to let people in your household know straight away, so they can stay safe while you are isolating.

Your close contacts are:

  • a household member or intimate partner.
  • someone you have had close personal interaction for a total of 4 hours or more during your infectious period (i.e. in an indoor residential setting where masks are not worn by you and the other person)
  • someone who is told by WA Health that they are a close contact.

The infectious period is taken from 48 hours before onset of symptoms, or 48 hours before the positive test result if they do not have symptoms, until the end of their isolation period. For example, if they first tested positive on Wednesday afternoon, their infectious period started on Monday afternoon. 

You will receive an SMS (text message) from WA Health with more information, with a link to a short online survey. Your answers to these questions will let us know if you need any extra support while you are isolating.

Don’t delete this text message – it can be provided as evidence of your COVID-positive status and can’t be re-sent by WA Health at a later date.

Tell your workplace you have COVID-19

Tell your work manager or relevant staff member that you have tested positive for COVID-19.

Tell them the date of your test, the date you got sick (if you have symptoms), and any dates you were at work while infectious.

This will assist your employer assess the risk to the workplace (external site) and determine the action they should take.

Your employer may ask for the following as evidence of COVID-19 infection:

  • photograph of your positive rapid antigen test (RAT)
  • PCR test result from My Health Record
  • PCR test result text message
  • text message from WA Health with link to online survey that you received following a positive PCR test or RAT that has been registered on Healthy WA.

Monitor your symptoms

Most people with COVID-19 can look after themselves in their own home however, it is important to monitor your symptoms and know when to seek medical help.

If you experience shortness of breath at rest or difficulty breathing, or if your symptoms become suddenly worse, you should call 000.

Tell the ambulance staff you are COVID-19 positive. If you feel your symptoms become worse, but are not life-threatening, contact your GP or go to a hospital emergency department. An ambulance is not required unless you are seriously unwell.

If you need to go to hospital, call the emergency department to tell them that you are coming in and you are a COVID-19 case. You must go directly to the hospital and, if you can, ask a household member to drive you there (you should both wear masks, if possible).

Positive children

You must tell any education facility your child (under 18) attended while infectious with COVID-19 of their positive result. An education facility is a school, childcare centre, early childhood education centre, school boarding house, TAFE, university, or college.

The facility will need to know so they can record your child’s absence, let relevant staff know and make any necessary learning arrangements while your child is away from school.

Access support while you are in isolation

COVID-19 support

Further information on support options (including mental health support, family and domestic violence support and financial support) is available on the Looking after yourself page. 

Leaving isolation

If you don’t have respiratory symptoms at the end of 7 complete days, you can leave isolation. You do not need to be cleared by WA Health. You do not need a negative test.

If you have respiratory symptoms (such as a frequent cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose or blocked nose) at the end of 7 complete days, you must continue to isolate until your respiratory symptoms resolve.

Some people may have very mild respiratory or other symptoms that continue after their recovery from COVID-19. You can leave isolation if you have a mild and infrequent cough (e.g. a mild cough that occurs only a few times per day), loss of taste and/or smell, and tiredness or muscle/joint pain.

For advice, call 13 COVID (13 268 43) or book a telehealth appointment with your GP.