If you get COVID-19 you and your whānau have to stay home until you have recovered and no longer risk passing it onto others.
While COVID-19 is a serious illness, most people feel better within a few weeks. You will also have regular check-ins with trained health professionals, to make sure you and your whānau are safe and have essential items you need.
There are things you can do to reduce the risk of getting COVID-19, and also to prepare in case you get COVID-19, or someone in your whānau has COVID-19 and you need to stay home.
This page provides information on:
Being vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your whānau from COVID-19. Anyone in Aotearoa aged 12 and over can get vaccinated.
To be fully vaccinated you need two shots, at least 3 weeks apart.
Other things you can do to reduce the risk of getting and passing on COVID-19 include:
More information on how to stay safe at our current alert level is available from Unite against COVID-19.
If you or someone in your whānau gets COVID-19 you will need to act quickly. You should:
Someone from Public Health will then call you to:
Those you live with will be close contacts, and will need to stay home too.
If it is not safe for you or your whānau to isolate at home you may go to a managed isolation facility.
When you have COVID-19 you get regular calls from a health professional. They make sure you and your whānau:
They will also tell you when you no longer risk passing on COVID-19 to others, and can leave your home.
Your whanau at home will also get calls about when to go for tests, checks to see if they have symptoms, and when they can finish their isolation. Their isolation is longer than yours if they are at home with you, so you may be able to resume your normal life before them.
If anyone in your home feels unwell and you have concerns you can ring Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor. Healthline is a free service available 24 hours a day. Interpreters are available.
If you need urgent medical help or are having difficulty breathing call 111 for an ambulance.
If people in your household have COVID-19 symptoms they should get another test (wear a mask to the testing centre), tell the health check team, and remain at home until they are released.
They can also call Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453. The Healthline service is available 24 hours a day, and offers support in a range of languages. If you’re having a medical emergency or difficulty breathing call 111.
Everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 and their household needs to stay at home and avoid contact with others, including whānau.
Being ready is about people, conversations, connections and knowing what to do. Being ready will mean your whānau and community can help each other if needed.
If you get COVID-19 health staff will want to know who is in your whānau and any medical conditions they have. This will help them know what manaaki you may need, and whether it’s safer to go to an MIQ facility. Depending on your circumstances, you may stay home but your whānau members may go to a managed isolation facility.
Information to have ready on your whānau includes:
They will also need to know more personal details for the people you live with, such as whether they have any addictions. This information will be kept confidential and will not be shared with anyone else.
While you are recovering from COVID-19 you and your household members won’t be able to leave your home. This means you can’t go to the shops or pharmacy. Others in the community can help you get these items, but they can’t come into your home.
You should prepare a list of essential items you may need while you are isolating at home, such as:
If possible try and stock up on these items so you’re ready if you get COVID-19 or need to isolate.
Manaaki support is available for those who may need help getting essential items while they are isolating at home.
You may not be able to stay at home if you get COVID-19. If you are unwell you may need to go to hospital, while some individuals go to an MIQ facility if it’s safer for them or those they live with.
If this happens it’s important you know who will look after your children, pets, or other members of your whānau who need care.
If you’re worried about this you could talk to others in the community about care swapping arrangements.
If you get COVID-19 there are steps you can take to reduce the chance of others in your home also getting sick. Where possible families should try to:
To help prepare for this you can draw a map of your home, and work out:
If you or your whānau get COVID-19 you cannot have visitors over. This is because COVID-19 spreads easily, especially indoors.
You can put this poster on your door if you want to let others know you are not having visitors in your home.
Once you are told you have COVID-19 health staff will ask for a list of people you have been in contact with, such as family, neighbours, or workmates. They will contact them if they are at risk of getting COVID-19 too, and make sure they get tested and stay home if they need too.
If you want to warn your extended whānau as well about the risks of COVID-19, you should tell them to:
If you or someone you live with gets COVID-19 you cannot go to work.
If you need to tell your employer you have COVID-19 you can get a letter from the health team. They can also give you a letter when you are free to return to your normal life, and you can give this to your employer too.
Financial support is available if you have to miss work because of COVID-19.
If you are very unwell or having difficulty breathing call 111. Request an ambulance and tell them you or someone in your whānau has COVID-19.
Call your GP or Healthline on 0800 358 5453. Healthline is a free service, available 24 hours a day. It has interpreters available if you need them.
It’s okay to not be okay. While isolating at home you may feel sad, distressed, worried, confused or anxious.
You can reach out to family or friends, or connect with the below services:
Talk to your family, whānau, friends and neighbours to see if they could deliver essential items to you.
Alternatively you can:
If you need help getting essential items tell the health professional that calls to check-in on you, and they may also be able to arrange additional support.
Anyone can call Age Concern New Zealand on 0800 65 2105 to get advice and support.
If you do not know your NHI number, you can call 0800 855 066 to find out, or ask your GP if you are registered.
It's helpful to have your NHI number when making a booking for our COVID-19 vaccine.
Visit the Work and Income website for urgent financial support and ongoing needs. You can apply for a main benefit online and check your eligibility for food assistance.
In MyMSD you can check your payments, tell MSD about changes and apply for a benefit or NZ Super: Use MyMSD.
You can also use the COVID-19 financial support tool on the Unite Against COVID-19 website to see what support is available to you: Use the financial support tool.