What to do if you test positive for Covid-19

Jan 12, 2022
Are you ready for Covid-19? Source: Getty

Covid-19 is scary. As Australians, we’ve spent the last two years suppressing it, flattening the curve as quickly and firmly as we can. Melbourne and Sydney have suffered through some of the harshest lockdowns in the world, but now, life in Australia is stumbling its way back to some semblance of its former self, before Covid-19, amid a massive Omicron outbreak.

Aussies are experiencing a massive culture shock. We’re learning to live with the virus. We are in a phase now of “letting it rip,” despite the harm this virus could cause a number of vulnerable communities across Australia.

Grim statistics noted by Melbourne epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely, at the University of Melbourne show that despite Australia hitting record infection numbers every day, actual Covid-19 case numbers at the moment “are between five and 10 times the daily confirmed cases”. This prediction aligns with Australia’s official Covid-19 Health data shared by IHME. You can see the most up to date data from IHME here. 

With this in mind, Professor Blakely has indicated that “about three weeks at those sorts of numbers” will lead to “40, 50, 60 per cent of the population” being infected. At this point, he says “the virus will run out of steam”.

Similarly, Federal deputy chief medical officer Michael Kidd shared that Australians would indeed return a positive test result in January. He urged people to prepare.

“It’s important to be prepared because you won’t be able to go to your supermarket or pharmacy if you are diagnosed with COVID-19,” Kidd said

As we wait for this surge to come, and eventually, infect us all, here’s what you can do to prepare for managing Covid-19 at home, before you get it.

Prepare by:

Stopping at the pharmacy

Ensure you have visited the chemist to renew your scripts. Make sure you have at least two weeks supply of your prescription medications.

While you are at the chemist, ensure you have other essentials for when illness strikes. This may include paracetamol and ibuprofen to manage the aches, soreness, and fever, that come with Covid-19, as well as cold and flu medication or decongestants to relieve runny or stuffy noses and to dull sinus pain.

Something to soothe sore throats would also be beneficial, as reports indicate a cough and a raspy voice are two major symptoms of Covid-19 infection. This could be throat lozenges or medicinal hot drink sachets.

Ensure you also have some electrolytes at home. This will help with dehydration that comes with any illness.

Doing your groceries

Doing your groceries, or ordering them online for delivery to your car boot, or to your home, will ensure you have enough food in the house to get you through a Covid-19 infection. Proper nutrition will help you fight off the virus. You could also prepare meals and freeze a few, so you’ve got something ready to reheat then eat, in case a Covid-19 infection hits you particularly hard.

Preparing yourself, and your home

Make sure those you live with have a plan for if one of you catches Covid-19, and the other doesn’t. What will you do? How will you handle shared spaces? Will you or your partner sleep in separate rooms? Having these conversations now can ensure everyone feels at ease before Covid-19 makes its way into your home.

Ensuring you are up to date with your laundry regime. Additionally, make sure you’ve got extra towels, and sheets. By many reports, Covid-19 brings with it a fever, which can make you very sweaty indeed. Having spare manchester clean clothes means you’ll have a fresh set of everything, should you need it, mid-infection.

Manage at home by:

Isolating and reporting

While this may seem self-explanatory, it’s also mandatory. From the moment you undertake a test, whether it be a PCR or a RAT, you must self-isolate until you receive a result. If the result is positive, HealthDirect.gov.au shares that “you must follow the testing and isolation rules of your state or territory Health Department.”
Should your positive test result come via a RAT, ensure you report that result, should your state require that. Each state and territories requirements can be found here:

Focussing on your health

Victorian Government provides great advice about testing positive. “Covid-19 can be a serious illness. Call a doctor if your Covid-19 symptoms worsen. Go to hospital if it’s an emergency.”

Notifying those you’ve been in contact with if you can

While National Cabinet has determined that a close contact is a person who has “spent four hours or more with a confirmed case in a household or household-like setting, such as a residential care facility”. However, if you know you spent a considerable amount of time with someone, and they may have caught the virus from you, it’s always a kind move to notify them that they may have been exposed.

According to Victorian Health, you are infectious two days before symptoms begin, or if you are asymptomatic, two days before you were tested.

A list of symptoms can be found here.

Recovery:

A list of questions and answers about recovery from Covid-19 can be found here. 

Please remember, if your symptoms worsen, please seek medical assistance. Stay safe.

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Do you know what to do to prepare for a positive Covid-19 result? What will you do if you catch it?

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