What information do I give my caregiver and other people in the household?

Current evidence suggests that a person with COVID-19 can infect other people up to three days before experiencing any symptoms. This means that the infected person can infect others before they know that they are infectious. A person with COVID-19 is also considered infectious until they are told that they are well enough to be released from isolation.

Anyone who has been in close contact with a person with COVID-19 should monitor their own health and get tested if they develop any of the symptoms described at the beginning of this guide.

Caregivers and other household members who have had close contact with a person with COVID-19 will need to quarantine for a period of time. This time differs between states/territories and might be dependent on if they live with the COVID-19-positive person. They will also need to be tested for COVID-19. People should should check the specific requirement in their area.

When quarantining, people need to stay at home, unless they need to leave to get medical care or if they feel unsafe in their home.

People in quarantine must not:

  • attend work or school, visit public areas, or travel on public transport or in taxis or ride-share services.

People in quarantine should: 

  • always call ahead before attending a healthcare service, family violence service or police, and let them know that they have been a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and are quarantining
  • access medical care using telehealth (using a phone or video) if they need it. Medicines can be arranged to be delivered to their home.

At the end of the required quarantine period, if the close contact has not developed any symptoms and has completed any testing requirements, the quarantine period ends.
This means that the close contact is allowed to return to the community. They still need to follow the restrictions currently in place in the local area.

Household contacts who are not providing care might choose to move to another location, if this is available, to complete their quarantine. By doing this, they could be released from quarantine at an earlier date than if they choose to stay at home.

Caregivers and others in the household should also read the above information about how they can help to stop the spread of the virus.

Other Toolkits

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the land and sea in which we live and work, we recognise their continuing connection to land, sea and culture and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.