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HealthInfo Canterbury

Self-isolation after COVID-19 testing

After being tested for COVID-19, you're now a "suspect case" until you receive a negative result. You must go straight home after your test and stay in self-isolation until you get your result. For more information on self-isolation, see the links below.

Other people in your household don't need to self-isolate unless there's a high risk that you have COVID-19. That is, if you've recently returned from overseas or if you've been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.

If you're a healthcare worker, you need to tell your line manager that you've been tested for COVID-19.

If you become more unwell at any time, you should contact your GP or phone Healthline on 0800-358-5453 if you don't have a GP.

Getting your result

You'll be contacted with your test result as soon as possible. It can take more than 24 hours to get your result.

If you haven’t had your result after 72 hours, please contact the healthcare provider where your testing was done. If you were tested at one of our community-based assessment centres (CBAC), contact your GP. If you don't have a GP, contact the healthcare provider who referred you to the CBAC.

Self-isolation for the person being tested

Self-isolate until you've received your test result. If your result is:

Positive, carry on self-isolating. Community & Public Health will be told of your result and will contact you with further advice.

Negative, carry on self-isolating until your symptoms have been gone for 48 hours. But:

These rules apply to everyone, including healthcare and essential workers unless Community & Public Health tells you otherwise.

Healthcare workers who've been in close contact with a person with confirmed or probable COVID-19 need to have a negative test on day 12 to 13 of their quarantine period before they can return to work.

Household and close contacts of the person being tested

See below for details of what a close contact is.

If you're a close contact of or live in the same house as someone being tested for COVID-19, follow this advice. If their result is:

Positive and:

Negative and you don't have any symptoms, you can carry on with your normal activities (as far as the current public restrictions allow). If you also develop symptoms, you must self-isolate and contact your GP or phone Healthline on 0800-358-5453 if you don't have a GP.

Casual contacts of the person being tested

See below for details of what a casual contact is.

You can carry on with your normal activities (as far as the current public restrictions allow). If you develop symptoms, you should self-isolate and contact your GP or phone Healthline on 0800-358-5453 if you don't have a GP.

Close contacts

A close contact is anyone who has had the following exposure (without personal protective equipment) to someone who might have COVID-19 when they had symptoms:

Casual contacts

Contacts that don't meet the close contacts criteria above.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Page created April 2020. Last updated May 2020.

See also:

Caring for yourself at home with COVID-19

Wellbeing during COVID-19

Page reference: 733604

Review key: HICOV-710714