Most people who get COVID-19 have mild symptoms.
Here’s what you need to know on how to manage your symptoms and when to seek help
Most people will have mild COVID-19 symptoms for up to 2 weeks.
Symptoms are usually manageable with simple measures and rest.
COVID-19 – what to expect
I tested positive, what happens next?
During phase 3, we will be provided supervised RAT tests at the clinic if you are a household contact of a case or have symptoms.
If you test positive, our team will be in contact to assess how you are feeling, and your risk of complications. If you are at low risk, you can safely self-manage and call us if you need help or advice. If you are at higher risk, we will contact you regularly during the week. You can also call us or ring 0800 358 5453 for advice.
I did a RAT at home and it is positive, what do I do?
If you did a RAT at home and tested positive and are very unwell, call us. If you are mildly unwell, please either load the positive RAT on your My Covid Record, or call 0800 222478. You will get a text explaining the next steps. We are unable to load your RAT onto the system for you.
My RAT is negative but I still am unwell and have symptoms
The RAT may be negative early in the illness. Test again tomorrow or the next day.
See https://www.arphs.health.nz/information-for-people-with-negative-covid-19-results for more information
COVID-19 symptom timeline – what to expect
Early symptoms of COVID-19 vary widely.
- It can start with a tickle in your throat, a cough, fever or headache. You may also feel short of breath or a little pressure in your chest.
- Sometimes it begins with a bout of diarrhoea (runny poo).
- You may feel tired and/or may lose your sense of taste and smell.
- You may experience some or none of these symptoms.
Even if you have a mild COVID-19 infection, avoid running, workouts, weights and high impact activities until you’ve been cleared by your healthcare team.
These are important days to be more aware of your symptoms. This is when lung (respiratory) symptoms may start to get worse, especially for older people and people who have other conditions like high blood pressure, obesity or diabetes.
- You may start to feel worse and may have aches, chills, cough and an inability to get comfortable.
- Some younger people may develop rashes, including itchy red patches, swelling or blistering on your toes or fingers.
- For people with mild illness, the worst is generally over after a week.
- Some people may get worse at this point, or start to feel better briefly then take a turn for the worse.
- If you start to feel worse, contact us on 092777830 during business hours (or, out of hours, Healthline on 0800‑358-5453) .
Days 8–12 (week 2)
Continue to monitor your symptoms and record them in your diary.
- You may feel better sleeping on your front/stomach or side (see graphic below).
- If you start to feel worse, on 092777830 during business hours (or, out of hours, Healthline on 0800‑358-5453) .
- Most people will feel better by now. Some people feel more tired than usual.
- A slow return to activity is advised.
- If you have ongoing severe symptoms, your healthcare team will advise you what to do.
- This is why recording your symptoms is so important.
How can I manage my symptoms?
There is no specific treatment for COVID-19. It is important to rest at home and drink plenty of fluids.
Treatment is aimed at easing your symptoms. We suggest the following medicines to ease your symptoms.
- Aches and pains: Paracetamol or ibuprofen to help with fever, headaches and body aches.
- Blocked or runny nose, or cough: Nasal sprays, decongestants, lozenges or cough mixtures.
- Sore throat: Suck a teaspoon of honey or gargle with salt water. You can also try using a gargle, throat spray or pain-relief (anaesthetic) lozenges.
- Vomiting (being sick) and diarrhoea (runny poo): The most important thing is to drink plenty of fluids, to avoid dehydration.
For more detailed information on managing your symptoms click here
How do I know when I need help and who do I contact?
It’s important to know when to seek help.
Call 111 if you:
Remember to inform the ambulance service if you are COVID-19 positive. You will still receive care
Call us on 09 277 7830 (or Healthline on 0800‑358-5453 if outside of business hours):
You may experience very mild or no symptoms.
How do I isolate (taratahi) at home?
- Use this Readiness Checklist to ensure your household is prepared if someone gets COVID-19
- Isolate at home (or in other suitable accommodation). Make sure you always have your phone with you and answer any calls. The isolation advice may change over time and family members or close contacts may have to isolate for different times so it’s important to check the Ministry of Health website for latest advice.
How long do I need to isolate for?
You will need to isolate for 10 days from when you became unwell, or tested positive.
0800 358 5453
For COVID-19 health advice anytime 24 hours, 7 days
0800 687 647
Community Isolation and Quarantine Advice Line
0800 512 337
COVID19 welfare line
For help with food, wages, looking after pets and other social needs
0800 929 282
Whānau Ora helps whānau access health and welfare services, and meet basic needs for food, accommodation, heating, internet connectivity, water and sewerage
We’re Here Whenever You Need Us
Last Saturday of the month : 9AM – 12PM
After Hours Services
If you require medical care when the clinic is closed, please phone us on 09 277 7830 to speak to a registered nurse at no cost or visit one of the nearest Accident & Medical Clinics.
Our preferred accident and medical clinic is:
Bakerfield Medical & Urgent Care Clinic
16A Bakerfield Place,
Phone: 09-263 7770