COVID-19: What you need to know if your test is positive

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After 48 hours:

How often someone checks you will depend on your symptoms and your recovery.

If your illness is mild and your risk is low, it may be every other day. If you have moderate symptoms or are at greater risk, you will be checked daily.
10 to 14 days after the positive test:

A health professional will give you a checkup. The exact day will depend on whether or not you are vaccinated.

What should my family and the people I live with do?

People in your household are called close contacts and are at higher risk of contracting Covid-19.

They should stay home the entire time you and anyone else in the household who tests positive is in isolation.

They will need to get tested immediately, again five days after their last contact with you and again eight days after their last contact with you. If they develop any symptoms, they should be tested immediately.

The people in your household will need to self-isolate at least 10 days longer than you. This is because anyone you live with who has not tested positive will need to start an additional 10 days of isolation after the last person in your household to test positive has completed isolation. This is to make sure they haven’t caught Covid-19 as well.

Can I self-isolate at home?

Things have changed since the start of the pandemic when everyone who tested positive for Covid-19 was taken to a managed isolation center.
Whether you can stay home will depend on your full vaccination and the severity of your illness, as well as your ability to isolate yourself from other people in your home.
You and everyone in your household should isolate yourself from other people. You will do this either at home, or in other suitable accommodation such as a vacation home, or at MIQ.
You will need to self-isolate for at least 10 days if you are fully vaccinated and 14 days if you are not.
If you self-isolate you will only be legally allowed to leave your home if you are asked to have another test or because you need to access an essential health service and that cannot wait until you are well, or if your safety / life or that of someone else is in danger.
All of this is outlined in the Section 70 Notice – which states what is legally required of a person with Covid-19. Failure to do or refuse to do what is required could result in up to six months in jail and / or a fine of up to $ 4,000.

What if I need to go to MIQ?

You may be told that you need to go to a managed isolation quarantine center and you can decide if you want your family to join you.
You will not have to pay the cost of your stay and you will receive three meals a day and snacks. There will be WiFi and laundry services at your disposal and you will have basic toiletries and refreshments.
Upon arrival, you will receive a welcome pack that tells you more about what to expect during your stay.
Your physical and mental health will be closely monitored by the staff and a dedicated health team will take care of you.
If you do not need to go to the hospital during your illness, you will be allowed to go home when the health team is satisfied that you are no longer contagious. But you and your household will need to be at MIQ for 10-14 days after the first symptoms appear. Once you have no symptoms for 72 hours after this period, you will be sent home.

I tested positive on vacation, can I go home?

Whether or not you can return home will depend on where you are. You will only be allowed to leave if you and the people you are with can get home without stopping on the way (unless it is a contactless gas station or a place like a bathroom).
If you’ve taken public transportation or a flight to get to your destination, it’s very likely that you’ll need to stay where you are and isolate yourself there.
You must inform your host that you have Covid-19 and your close contacts will need to do the same. You will also need to inform your car rental company or the owner of the car you are driving.
If you cannot return home, you must follow the self-isolation rules above.
I’m worried how sick I am, who should I call?
If you need urgent medical help, call 111. If you have Covid-19, you won’t need to pay for ambulance services or hospital care – it’s free.
You can also call your GP or Healthline at any time of the day or night on 0800 358 5453.
If you have received an oximeter and have chest pain or feel short of breath, call an ambulance by dialing 111.
Pasifika Medical Association CEO Debbie Sorensen told RNZ that if someone is feeling unwell, is very short of breath, and feels like they can’t breathe, they should call a doctor, no matter what. the number displayed on the oximeter.
“It’s really important that people understand that if they’re feeling bad, and the number doesn’t seem to match what they’re feeling, then they need to see a doctor and not wait for someone to tell them that it’s okay to do that. “

Will anyone know that I have tested positive?

The Department of Health will share the result of your Covid-19 test with your doctor if you ask them.
They can also let emergency services in your area know if it is helpful for them to know.
They will not share your positive result for police or immigration reasons.
Your employer should protect your privacy and should not share your information at your workplace.

Will I be getting sick pay?

In a way, it’s called the Covid-19 Leave Support Scheme and your employer is applying for it on your behalf. It covers two weeks of work and is paid to your employer in one go. This is available for your close contacts who also need to isolate themselves.
If you usually work full time and work 20 or more hours per week, the payment is $ 600 per week. If you usually work part-time and work less than 20 hours per week, the payment is $ 359 per week.
This is the absolute minimum amount your employer must pay you, unless you usually earn less than these amounts – in which case, they must pay you as they usually would.
The Department of Social Development says employers should do their best to pay you your regular wages or at least 80 percent of your regular wages.
There are a few people who cannot get this payment. Find out if you are eligible here.

I have no food in the house, what should I do?

If your test is positive, you will be contacted by someone who will assess your needs and the Department of Social Development (MSD) will coordinate the support you need with local partners, providers and community groups.
If someone is able, they can drop off food for you by leaving it at your doorstep. You have to wait for them to leave before opening the door. You cannot have contact with them or with anyone else.
You can find support services like food banks by clicking here.
If you are not currently in paid employment and need financial assistance, you can contact the Department of Social Development. You will find phone numbers and contact details here.
You can also get help through Whānau Ora to meet basic needs for food, accommodation, heating, internet connection, water and sanitation. If you live on the North Island, you can call them on 0800 929 282, or on the South Island, the number is 0800 187 689.

I was not vaccinated when I tested positive, can I get vaccinated now?

You cannot get the vaccine if you isolate yourself or are in MIQ.
If you have a booked vaccination appointment, you will need to call 0800 28 29 26 or visit the Book My Vaccine website to change your appointment.
Once you have recovered, you can get the vaccine.
The Vaccination Advisory Center says people who have had Covid-19 can get vaccinated.
“It is recommended to start vaccination from 4 weeks after recovery, or from the first positive PCR test for Covid-19 confirmed if it is asymptomatic, and when it is authorized to leave isolation by a clinician . “

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