Information for people exposed to COVID-19

If you have been exposed to COVID-19, use the advice below to understand your risk and what you can do to protect yourself and others.

What should I do if I have been exposed to COVID-19?

The following table can help to identify who is at greatest risk of COVID-19, and what to do if you have been exposed to COVID-19.

Please note, if you have recently recovered from COVID-19 (released from isolation in the past 12 weeks), you are not required to follow the actions below.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, please see people who have tested positive to COVID-19.

For examples of workplace exposures please see the Workplace Risk Assessment Tool.

You

Risk of getting COVID-19

What do I need to do?

I live with someone who has COVID-19 (household contact)

High

Complete the ACT Health online declaration form

Monitor closely for COVID-19 symptoms

If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms, you should have a PCR test and isolate until you receive a negative result and your symptoms have gone.

Minimise your movements in the community where possible, and only leave your home for activities that cannot be delayed until after 7 days following the last time someone in your household tested positive for COVID-19.

There are actions that you should take to minimise the risk to others if you are leaving the home for 7 days following the last time someone in your household tested positive for COVID-19.

Refer to the risk mitigation requirements for household contacts if you need to leave the house for the following reasons:

You should have a negative COVID-19 test within the 48 hours prior to resuming your normal activities and movement in the community.

I have spent a long time with someone who has COVID-19

For example:

  • I stayed overnight with them
  • I spent the evening indoors at their house
  • I interacted closely with someone who has COVID-19 and we were not wearing masks, for example:
    • we drove a long distance together
    • I looked after children who are now positive

High

You are recommended to follow the advice for household contacts.

While this is not mandatory, it is important in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the people around you.

Monitor closely for COVID-19 symptoms.

If you develop any symptoms, you should have a PCR test and isolate until you receive a negative result and your symptoms have gone.

I have spent some time with someone who has COVID-19

For example:

  • we shared a meal together
  • we met at a pub, club, café or restaurant for a social outing
  • we exercised together indoors without a mask (for example worked out together at a gym, or as part of an indoor sports team)

Moderate

Have a COVID-19 test and minimise your movements in the community while you are waiting for a test result.

Monitor closely for COVID-19 symptoms.

If you develop any symptoms, you should have a PCR test and isolate until you receive a negative result and your symptoms have gone

I had brief or distanced contact with someone who has COVID-19

For example:

  • I dropped off shopping
  • we went for a walk outdoors
  • we were in the same room for a short time while physically distanced
  • we had a short conversation
  • We had a quick hug/shook hands while wearing masks

Low

Monitor closely for COVID-19 symptoms.

If you develop any symptoms, you should have a PCR test and isolate until you receive a negative result and your symptoms have gone.

Who is at risk of being infected with COVID-19?

The risk of infection increases:

  • if you live with someone who has COVID-19 (household contact)
  • if you spent a long time with someone who has COVID-19, and interacted closely with them, for example, you stayed overnight at their house (high risk contact)
  • if you were indoors with someone who has COVID-19 (the risk is lower if you were outdoors)
  • if you or the person with COVID-19 were not wearing face masks (the risk is lower if you were both wearing a face mask)

How do I know if I have been exposed to COVID-19?

There are several ways you could find out that you have been exposed to COVID-19.

These include:

  • being told by someone who has COVID-19
  • being told by your workplace
  • being told by your school
  • receiving a notification via your Check In CBR app
  • being contacted by ACT Health via phone or text message

How long am I at risk for?

After being exposed to someone with COVID-19, you are at risk of developing it for 14 days.

The majority of people who develop COVID-19 will do so in the first 7 days after they are exposed.

However, some people still develop COVID-19 between day 8 and 14.

Counting days since exposure

When counting days since exposure, you must include day zero.

Day zero (0) is the last day of your potential exposure to a person with COVID-19, or the day you visited an exposure location.

If you are in a household with someone who has COVID-19 your last date of exposure will be the date of the test of the last time someone in the household tested positive for COVID-19.

How do I get to a COVID-19 test?

A rapid antigen test (RAT) is a quick way to detect COVID-19.

For a PCR test, see travelling to and from the clinic on the COVID-19 testing page.

Declaration form

A declaration form must be completed for each person in a household (children included) if you live with someone who has COVID-19 (household contact)

You should complete a declaration form within 24 hours of being notified that you are a contact.

You do not need to complete the declaration form again if you have already done so within the previous 7 days.

Once you have successfully completed your online declaration form, we will send you a confirmation email and text to your mobile.

Related information

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: May 13 2022