Advice for contacts
Simple steps to follow if you are a close contact of a positive case.
Close contacts are those people that live with you or spend a lot of time indoors with a person diagnosed with COVID-19. They are at higher risk of catching COVID-19 and then passing the virus on to others.
Public Health recommends close contacts take some simple steps to help reduce the risk to others especially those at risk of severe illness.
A close contact may be:
- anyone who has stayed overnight in the same premises as a case during their infectious period, or
- anyone who has spent more than four hours (over a 24-hour period) in residential setting with a case during their infectious period.
What is the infectious period?
A case is infectious from two days prior to developing symptoms and up to 10 days after their symptoms began.
A positive case is most infectious for the two days before symptoms develop and during the time they have acute respiratory symptoms (cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever).
Simple steps to protect others
- Stay at home and test immediately if you have any symptoms, even mild.
- Stay at home while you have symptoms.
- Do not visit people at risk of severe illness (people aged over 70), anyone in hospital or an aged or disability care facility.
- Anyone identified as a close contact but must be in a high risk setting such as health, disability and aged care to maintain business continuity or provide end of life care may be required to show a negative RAT before entering. Please contact the facility for more information.
- Wear a face mask in any indoor space and on public transport for seven days after last contact with the case.
- Avoid large gatherings and social events where physical distancing is not possible.
- Keep following all COVID safe behaviours.
View Infographic - What to do if you are a close contact
What if I have recently had COVID-19?
You are not considered a close contact within 5 weeks of testing positive to COVID-19.
If it has been more than 5 weeks since you tested positive and you become a close contact then you should follow the advice for contacts.
Find out more about re-exposure to COVID-19
Living with someone who has COVID-19
If someone in your household tests positive to COVID-19 follow these measure when possible to reduce the risk to others:
- Avoid physical contact with the case, they should have their own room or area away from others. Make sure the home has good air flow (open the windows to increase air circulation). Wear a face mask if you need to be near the case.
- Do not share household items such as cutlery, plates, towels or bedding. The items used by the case must be washed thoroughly.
- Do not share food and drinks.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces like door handles, sink taps and benches in shared areas at least daily, using normal household detergent or disinfectant.
- Have own bathroom if possible. If there is only one bathroom, any windows in the bathroom should remain open, fans on and ensure the toilet is flushed with the lid closed.
- Leave food, snacks and essential items at the closed door of the room of the case.