About this guide
This guide is for people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have mild to moderate symptoms.
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must follow the instructions given to you by your local public health unit, health department, hospital or general practitioner (GP).
Most people with COVID-19 will recover without needing to go to hospital or any special treatment.
If you have no symptoms, or your symptoms are mild to moderate, it is usually safe for you to isolate and manage your symptoms at home. If you have risk factors for more severe disease you may be linked in with a hospital service or directly with your GP.
Remember: It is normal for COVID-19 symptoms to change over time. Some people will have no symptoms and some people’s symptoms might become worse over days or a couple of weeks. This guide is designed to help you understand what to expect when you are diagnosed with COVID-19, and what to look out for so that you know if your COVID-19 is getting worse.
You will need to continue to monitor your own health as well throughout this time. To help you to monitor your health at home, you may think about buying a thermometer and a pulse oximeter to help you do this.
Do not wait for your health provider to contact you if you have symptoms that are causing you concern.
If you have any of the following symptoms call 000 immediately and let them know you have COVID-19:
- severe shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- lips or face turning blue
- pain or pressure in my chest
- cold and clammy, or pale and mottled, skin
- confusion (eg I cannot recall the day, time or names)
- finding it difficult to keep my eyes open
- little or no urine output
- coughing up blood
- oxygen level of 92% or less*
- respiratory rate of more than 30 breaths per minute*
- heart rate staying at or above 120 beats per minute*
*Your individual age and general health may mean these symptoms are not all relevant or may need to be adapted.
If you are managing COVID-19 with assistance from your GP you can access a more detailed guide available here.
Your COVID-19 action plan and symptom diary
The My COVID-19 action plan and My daily symptom diary can be downloaded from here and printed at home or saved on your computer.
We recommend that you share this with a household member or a friend you trust who can regularly check in with you each day while you are in isolation. If you need to speak with a healthcare professional, or if you call for an ambulance, then show them this action plan.
You should to fill out the My daily symptom diary at least once every day while you are isolating at home. It will help you to keep a check on how you are feeling.
COVID-19 assistance in your language
You can access COVID-19 assistance in your language by calling the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 and select the option for interpreter services.
You can access the Centrelink multilingual phone service on 131 202.
The information set out in this publication is current at the date of first publication and is intended for use as a guide of a general nature only and may or may not be relevant to particular patients or circumstances. Nor is this publication exhaustive of the subject matter. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgement or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular circumstances when so doing. Compliance with any recommendations cannot of itself guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional and the premises from which the health professional operates.
Whilst the text is directed to health professionals possessing appropriate qualifications and skills in ascertaining and discharging their professional (including legal) duties, it is not to be regarded as clinical advice and, in particular, is no substitute for a full examination and consideration of medical history in reaching a diagnosis and treatment based on accepted clinical practices.
Accordingly, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Ltd (RACGP) and its employees and agents shall have no liability (including without limitation liability by reason of negligence) to any users of the information contained in this publication for any loss or damage (consequential or otherwise), cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information contained in this publication and whether caused by reason of any error, negligent act, omission or misrepresentation in the information.