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What is the COVID Positive Pathways Program?

COVID Positive Pathways provides targeted care and support for Victorians diagnosed with COVID-19 who need support to recover or who experience barriers to accessing care.

Most people can manage COVID-19 at home. COVID-19 medicines are now available for eligible Victorians to prevent them from needing hospital care. To see if you may be eligible and for more information, visit COVID-19 medicines.

The program focuses on people most likely to need additional support. Including people:

  • aged 80 years and over
  • living with a disability or carers of people living with a disability needing help to recover at home
  • of refugee or asylum seeker status
  • who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • living in rural isolated communities

The program is delivered by Victorian health services, through community health services and hospitals, in collaboration with Aboriginal health services and other providers, and coordinated by the Victorian Department of Health.

COVID Positive Pathways makes sure you are cared for in the best possible place, whether at home or in a hospital bed, depending on your personal needs.

The program also connects you to other important services you may need while sick, including food relief and essential supplies, medicines and other services.

How could the COVID Positive Pathways Program help me?

The COVID Positive Pathways program is for people who are most likely to need care and support at home from their local community health service or hospital while they have COVID-19.

Depending on your care needs, you may:

  • be asked to monitor your symptoms daily, if you can
  • be asked to record and submit these details to your care provider using a web link or smartphone app, if you can
  • be contacted by someone from your local health service regularly via phone calls, text messages and/or telehealth (video) consultations to provide the care and support you need. In some cases, they may also visit you at home.
  • be given a device called a pulse oximeter to measure your heart rate and blood oxygen levels, if you are having difficulties with breathing. Your care team will show you how to use this equipment, if you can
  • be provided with food, essential supplies (such as baby nappies) or medicines
  • be supported to access other services to remain at home safely
  • be supported to access COVID medicines

How will I be registered for the program?

If you test positive on a rapid antigen test (RAT), you will complete a short survey on your care and support needs when you report your positive result. You can report your result using an online form or via the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.

If you test positive for COVID-19 on a PCR test, you will receive a text message from the testing laboratory confirming your diagnosis.

You will receive a second text message from the Department of Health. It will include a link to a short survey to assess your care and support needs. If you need assistance completing the survey please call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.

After completing the survey, you will receive another text message from the Department of Health. This message will let you know whether you have been allocated to the COVID Positive Pathway program, or if you are able to manage your COVID symptoms at home.

If you have been allocated onto the program, you will receive text messages and/or follow-up phone calls from your local community health service or hospital to clarify your care and support needs while you have COVID-19. Your care will be personalised for your needs and circumstances.

Your GP can contact the COVID Positive Pathways program, if they are concerned about you, to discuss whether monitoring and care through the program is appropriate.

Pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

  • COVID Positive Pathways ensures Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria who test positive to COVID-19 are cared for in the best possible place, whether at home or in a hospital bed, depending on their personal needs and circumstances. Visit COVID-19 information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for additional information and resources.

    Importance of reporting your COVID-19 positive result

    It is important you test for COVID-19 using a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) or PCR test if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild the symptoms are.

    If you test positive for COVID-19 via a RAT:

    You are considered a positive COVID-19 case. It is vital that you report your result as soon as you can, so you can be put in touch with the best care to match your symptoms and medical history.

    You can report your positive RAT result by calling the Aboriginal COVID-19 Info Line on 1800 312 911, or filling out a form online, which includes an assessment survey, at the Reporting your result page.

    If you test positive on a PCR test at a testing site:

    You will be sent a text message from the Department of Health.

    It will include a link to a short survey to assess your care needs. It is vital that you complete the survey as soon as you can, so you can be put in touch with the best care to match your symptoms and medical history.

    If you identify on the assessment survey that you are an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person, you will be connected into the COVID Positive Pathways program.

    You will be contacted via phone call by your local health service to assess your care and support needs. You may be given the option of being put in touch with your local or preferred Aboriginal health service if available.

    It is important to answer these calls so you can be connected to the right care pathway for your needs.

    COVID-19 medicines are now available for eligible Victorians who have COVID-19 to prevent them from getting sick and needing hospital care. To see if you may be eligible and for more information, visit COVID-19 medicines.

    Only people most likely to need hospital care can get subsidised medicines to treat COVID-19. This includes people who:

    • Are 70 years or older, even if they don't have any symptoms or other health conditions
    • Have a weakened immune system, disability or congenital heart disease
    • Are 30 years or older and have other health conditions

    The COVID Positive Pathways program also connects you to other important services you may need while you're unwell, including food relief and essential supplies, medicines and other services.

    Resources

Clinician resources

View clinician resourcesExternal Link , information and guides for the care of patients in the COVID Positive Pathways program.

Reviewed 12 October 2022

Coronavirus Victoria

Coronavirus Hotline

Call the Coronavirus Hotline if you need help to report a rapid antigen test (RAT) or if you have any questions about COVID-19.

The Victorian Coronavirus Hotline diverts to the National Coronavirus Helpline every night between 4pm and 9am.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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