Care in the community

Be COVID-ready

Being ready for getting COVID-19 is about making sure you and your household have a plan and know what to do. It will mean your whānau and community can help each other if needed.

Here are some simple practical things you can do now in case you, or someone in your household becomes unwell, or if COVID-19 becomes widespread in our community.

How to prepare your household for COVID-19

  1. Make a plan
  2. Have what you need
  3. Know and share your plan
  4. Reach out to friends and whānau

Getting your results

If you test positive for COVID-19 you will be notified of your result by text message from the official 2328 number. It will include a link to an online form you will need to fill out. This form takes about 30 minutes to complete and asks for information that will help those with the highest health or welfare needs get the support they need.

The text message will also have a link to more information about:

Testing positive is nothing to be embarrassed about — it can happen to anyone. COVID-19 does not care who it infects.

From this point on:

If you are positive for COVID-19, you can find advice on the COVID-19 Health Hub:

I have tested positive for COVID-19 |

Latest update - 9 March

Isolation period reduced from 10 to 7 days


Everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 and everyone who lives with them will need to isolate for 7 days from the community to help stop the spread of the virus. This will be at home or in suitable alternative accommodation.

Start counting your 7 days from day 0. Day 0 is the day that your symptoms started or the day that you got tested if you do not have any symptoms.

How to self-isolate

If it is unsuitable for you to isolate at home, other options are available — this could be because of how severe your symptoms are or whether you are at-risk for complications. A health professional will help you decide if managed isolation is suitable for you.

If you are very unwell, you will receive hospital care.

What to expect if you go into managed isolation

For people who are a close contact

You are a Close Contact if you have had contact with a person with COVID-19 when they were infectious. Close Contacts do not need to self-isolate.

You are a Close Contact in the following situations:

How you will be notified

If you have been identified as a Close Contact of someone with COVID-19, you may be notified by:

What you need to do

You do not need to self-isolate if you are a Close Contact.

Monitor yourself for symptoms, and if you develop any, get a test. 

COVID-19 symptoms

More information

What type of contact are you?

Household Contacts

You are a Household Contact if you live with someone who is has tested positive for COVID-19.

What you need to do

You are a Household Contact if you live with someone who is has tested positive for COVID-19. Whether you are fully vaccinated or not, you will need to:

While you are isolating, try to avoid contact with the person who has COVID-19.

How to self-isolate

When you can leave self-isolation

If someone else in your household tests positive, you do not need to restart your isolation period. You can complete your isolation at the same time as the first person in your household who had COVID-19 if:

For further guidance and advice, visit the COVID-19 Health Hub:

I am a household contact of someone with COVID-19 | COVID-19 Health Hub

Contact tracing

You will need to provide details of where you have been recently and who you have seen. This is to help prevent further spread of COVID-19.

If you have a valid mobile phone number, you will get a text message with a link and access code to a contact tracing form.

If you use the NZ COVID Tracer app, you can share your digital diary. If you have Bluetooth tracing turned on, you can also share your Bluetooth data.

Completing the form is quicker than an interview — it only takes about 30 minutes. You can start anytime within 24 hours of getting the link. If you do not start the form within 24 hours, someone will call and complete the case interview with you.

How contact tracing works

Care while you are in self-isolation

If you test positive, you will not have to pay for any COVID-19 related medical costs.

If you are self-isolating at home

You will have support from local healthcare providers to meet your health, welfare and wellbeing needs while you are recovering from COVID-19.

A 24-hour contact phone number will be available for health support. Contacts for health support may differ across the country. Your point of contact may be an individual or a team from your general practice, primary care provider or from a local community health service.

Your contact person will tell you how often they will be in contact to check on you.

If you need medication, contact your doctor or your local community pharmacy who can get it safely delivered to your home.

Read more here

If you are away from home

If you are travelling around the country and you test positive for COVID-19, there is a risk that you may not be able to return safely to your home to isolate. You will only be able to return home if you or a whānau member are able to drive.

You will need to prepare for the possibility you will get COVID-19 while away from home.

If you test positive for COVID-19 while travelling

For community providers

Advice and resources for community providers

The COVID-19 Care in the Community Framework (Ministry of Health)
Supporting providers through COVID-19 (Work and Income)
COVID-19: Advice for all health professionals (Ministry of Health)
COVID-19: Support workers (Ministry of Health)
COVID-19: Primary care (Ministry of Health)
COVID-19: Advice for community allied health, scientific and technical providers (Ministry of Health)
COVID-19: Aged care, disability and hospice care providers (Ministry of Health)
COVID-19: Pharmacy (Ministry of Health)
COVID-19: Well Child Tamariki Ora (Ministry of Health)
COVID-19: People with dementia at home (Ministry of Health)


COVID-19 Care in the Community: Framework for Public Health, DHBs, PHOs, Providers, Social and Wellbeing Organisations (PDF, 1MB)

More information

COVID-19: Infection prevention and control recommendations for health and disability care workers (Ministry of Health)
Case definition and clinical testing guidelines for COVID-19 (Ministry of Health)
COVID-19: Medical transfer (road and air) (Ministry of Health)

Important websites

For COVID-19 vaccine enquiries email

COVID-19 Healthline number

0800 358 5453