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Do you currently have COVID-19 or are you a contact?

If so, visit the Checklist for COVID cases or Checklist for COVID contacts pages instead, because there are key steps you should take - which can include isolating, telling others and getting tested.

If you want advice on how to effectively isolate, or monitor and care for your symptoms, visit Managing COVID-19 at home for more information.

This page is about advice for making sure you and your household are prepared in case you or a loved one gets COVID-19 or becomes a contact in the future.

Why should I prepare?

If you get COVID-19 you should isolate as soon as you test positive for at least 5 days and until you don't have symptoms.

Preparing to stay home when you're sick will help you to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect your community.

Top 12 tips to prepare ahead

The full checklist is below, but you can use these top tips to understand some of the most important things.

  1. Get the next dose of your COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible. Book today
  2. Check if you can get medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19. If you are eligible, see a GP to make a plan for if you do get COVID-19
  3. Have basic medical supplies like a thermometer, pain relief and your regular medications available
  4. Make sure you have enough face masks and hand sanitiser
  5. Plan ahead for who can safely deliver any supplies you might need while staying home with COVID-19
  6. Plan ahead for home activities to keep you entertained
  7. Plan ahead for who can look after children or pets if you have to go to hospital
  8. Check for symptoms regularly and get tested as soon as they develop
  9. Have rapid antigen tests in your house and know the checklist for COVID cases and the checklist for COVID contacts in advance.
  10. Keep your home well ventilated (windows open) and have gatherings outdoors
  11. Wear a mask if you are indoors in a public space or outside in a crowded place where you can't physically distance
  12. Have an emergency contact list with important phone numbers - including your GP if you have one and the National Coronavirus Helpline (1800 020 080)

Your checklist to prepare for COVID-19

Do you have enough supplies, equipment and medication? Yes/No
Face masks
Hand sanitiser or liquid hand soap
Pain relief - paracetamol or ibuprofen
Your regular medications for a week
Hydration options, especially for children (i.e. icypoles or electrolyte drinks)
Specialised equipment if you or your family need it (wheelchair, glasses, hearing aid & supplies such as batteries)
Oximeter - optional but useful for older people and those with underlying medical conditions
Rapid antigen tests
Activities for a week for yourself and household members
Household disinfectant or disinfectant wipes
Enough food, water and essentials such as nappies, medications and baby formula for a week.
You may need specialty foods - such as nutrition drinks and ready-to-feed formula - for infants, for people with dietary restrictions, those with food allergies and sensitivities, and medical conditions such as diabetes.
Electronics, phone charger, internet - to help you stay in touch

Have you and your family had all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses? Yes/No
You may be eligible for your third or fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Booster doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will provide you with strong protection against serious illness and reduces the spread of COVID-19 to others. Book today.

Have you and your family checked if you are eligible for COVID-19 medicines? Yes/No
People with a high risk of getting very sick with COVID-19 can get medicine to help them stay well. To see if you may be eligible and for more information, visit COVID-19 medicines. If you are eligible, see a GP to make a plan for if you do get COVID-19

People with very weak immune systems or who can not be vaccinated due to an allergy may be eligible for a medicine to help prevent them getting COVID-19. Discuss medicines with a GP or specialist while you are well.

Do you have a plan for who can support you if you get COVID-19? Yes/No
Know in advance what you should do if you have COVID-19 or are a contact – read the Checklist for COVID cases and the Checklist for COVID contacts.
Plan for who can look after your children, pets, or people in your care if you have to go to hospital.
Plan for assistance with caring for your children or dependants if you become too unwell.
Plan for your pets - ensure they have enough food, medications, and a way for them to exercise.
Plan for someone who will be able to provide supplies to your door while isolating. (When they are dropping off, don't have any face-to-face contact. Ask them to leave it at the door and speak to them over the phone).
Isolation can be mentally tough. Plan for a buddy system to check in on each other by phone, email, social media groups or text during times of need. Read about managing your mental health.
If you have a disability, have a plan for managing your disability and how to seek help. Inform your carer or other supports that you are feeling unwell or unsafe, or needing help.

Will you need financial support? Yes/No
Financial assistance may be available for you and your family if you need it.

Do you know the signs and symptoms, and do you know how to get care? Yes/No
Know the symptoms and get tested if any develop. Contact a GP or GP respiratory clinicExternal Link if they get worse. If you can't see a GP, you can contact the Victorian Virtual Emergency DepartmentExternal Link for urgent care. Call Triple Zero 000 in an emergency.
Have the number for your GP or other trusted health professional handy.
Have an up-to-date emergency contact list. This could include emergency numbers, household contacts, neighbours, personal care network, other doctor(s) or healthcare providers, GP respiratory clinicsExternal Link , and the Coronavirus helpline (1800 020 080)

Is your home as COVIDSafe as possible? Yes/No
Ventilation: Take steps to improve, airflow and indoor air quality (e.g. open windows and doors, ceiling fans on low setting).
Cleaning: Routinely clean frequently-touched surfaces.
Gathering: Remember the ways to have safer gatherings at your house.

Learn about how you can manage COVID-19 at home

If you get COVID-19, it's important to know in advance how to manage COVID-19 at home and what to do if symptoms worsen. Make sure to tell your family about this, too.

    More help and resources

    Take note of these numbers, websites and resources so you can view them when you need it:

    Reviewed 05 September 2023

    Coronavirus Hotline

    Call the National Coronavirus Helpline if you have any questions about COVID-19.

    Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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