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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 those 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.

COVID Positive Pathways makes sure you're 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 can 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. This is 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 will tell you whether you've been placed on the COVID Positive Pathway Program, or if you're able to manage your COVID symptoms at home.

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

Other sources of information and support for Victorians with COVID are detailed below.

People with COVID-19 and carers

If you have COVID-19, or you are caring for someone who has:

Note: If you are a carer of someone with COVID-19, make sure you're up-to-date with your booster.

Where to get further care and support

  • Your GP – call your usual GP to ask if they can see you in person or via a telehealth (telephone) appointment.
  • Accessing antiviral medication – people aged over 70, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 30, and those living with health risk factors, chronic conditions, and immunosuppression (weakened immune system) should check their eligibility for COVID medicines. You should also contact your General Practitioner or a free GP Respiratory Clinic, even if your symptoms are mild. If you can’t get an appointment, or there is not a Respiratory clinic in your area, you can contact the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department. For more information, see Antivirals and other medicines.
  • The National Coronavirus Helpline1800 020 080 is available 24/7 to provide information and support for Victorians testing positive for COVID-19.
  • GP Respiratory Clinics – offer assessment, testing and treatment for people with respiratory conditions (including COVID-19). Clinics can also provide antiviral medication prescription for eligible people who cannot get an appointment with their usual GP. GP Respiratory Clinics are free for everyone, with or without a Medicare card. To check if there is a clinic in your area, or to make an appointment, see GP Respiratory Clinics.
  • Nurse-on-call – direct contact with a registered nurse for free, caring, professional health advice, call 1300 60 60 24 from anywhere in Victoria, 24 hours a day.
  • Victorian Virtual Emergency Department – a public health service for non-life-threatening emergencies. Access emergency care from anywhere in Victoria, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service can also prescribe antiviral medication for eligible people who cannot get an appointment with a GP. For more information, see Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED)External Link .

Reviewed 02 June 2023

Coronavirus Hotline

Call the Coronavirus Hotline 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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