Mēnā e pāngia ana koe e te KOWHEORI-19 If you have COVID-19

If you test positive for COVID-19, we recommend you isolate for at least 5 days, even if you only have mild symptoms. Find out what to do if you test positive, how to protect those around you, and what happens after your isolation period.

Report your test result

It is still important to report your positive rapid antigen test (RAT) online or by calling the helpline. This is so you can be connected with any help and support you might need.

If you had a PCR test, your results are reported automatically. You will get a text message with your result.

Receive a text message from Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora

After you report your result, Health New Zealand sends you a text message from the official 2328 or 2648 numbers to confirm your positive result.

The text also has information about antiviral medicines and support options but no longer includes an access code.

Taking leave from work

If your employer asks to see proof that you are isolating, you can use this text message. You do not need a medical certificate from a doctor.

Leave and pay entitlements during COVID-19 — Employment New Zealand (external link)

Get COVID-19 antiviral medicines

Some people who are at a very high risk of developing serious illness, and who have tested positive, are eligible for funded antivirals to treat COVID-19. You may also be eligible if you have symptoms, and have had close contact with someone who has tested positive.

Find out who is eligible and what to do.

COVID-19 medicines (internal link)

Monitor and manage your symptoms

Some people, like older people and kaumātua, and those with other health conditions, are at a higher risk of becoming seriously unwell with COVID-19 and needing hospital care.

People at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (internal link)

If you are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, talk to your doctor or your usual healthcare provider about your medical condition and how to best manage it.

If you have COVID-19, your pregnancy care may be provided through telehealth while you are infectious. 

Let your midwife or doctor know you have COVID-19. If you need any extra care depending on your risk factors, or how well you are managing any symptoms, they can help organise it for you.

Maternity care will always be available to those who need it.

If you are pregnant and get COVID-19, you should contact your midwife or doctor straight away if you experience any of these things:

  • your pēpi is moving less than usual or not at all, there is a change in baby’s usual pattern
  • bleeding from the vagina, or leaking fluid from the vagina
  • headache that does not go away
  • shortness of breath when resting or lying down
  • feeling like you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees
  • feeling really tired
  • feeling very anxious or worried
  • feeling unsafe at any time.

It is rare for babies to get COVID-19 during the pregnancy or birth. Babies who do get it mostly have mild symptoms or none at all.

If you have COVID-19 and are breastfeeding, you can continue to breastfeed while taking precautions.

To reduce the risk of spreading the virus while breastfeeding, you should:

  • wear a surgical face mask
  • wash your hands thoroughly before feeding
  • avoid kissing and touching your baby’s face.

If you are too unwell to breastfeed, you can express your milk and give it to your pēpi in a bottle. Make sure you still follow the precautions above.

There is no evidence of transmission of the virus through breast milk. Your midwife or doctor can provide further advice about breastfeeding when you have COVID-19.

If you need to see a healthcare provider while you have COVID-19, phone ahead and let them know you have COVID-19. You should wear a well-fitting face mask which helps to stop infectious particles from spreading to others.

If your child is uncomfortable with pain or fever, call Healthline on 0800 358 5453

There are things you can do to keep your tamariki comfortable while they recover.


  • If they do not want to drink water, try ice blocks, watered-down juice or electrolyte solution.
  • Drinking is important to stop dehydration.
  • Encourage them to keep drinking their normal amount.
  • Keep an eye on their nappies or toilet breaks to make sure they are drinking enough.


  • They may be vomiting, have diarrhoea, tummy pain, and muscle aches.
  • They also may not want to eat much, which is alright for a short time.


  • Rest is important.
  • Tamariki may still need to take it easy for a while to let their bodies recover.

Recovering from COVID-19

A small number of older tamariki may have symptoms that last longer. This is sometimes called long COVID.

The KidsHealth website has information on:

  • what is known about long COVID
  • how to care for a child who is taking longer to get better.

Recovering from COVID-19, including long COVID — KidsHealth (external link)

Support while you have COVID-19

If you need help with urgent costs, or have to take unpaid leave, you may be eligible for support from Work and Income:

Mental health

It is normal to feel anxious or stressed in times of difficulty. Learn how to stay mentally healthy and where to get help if you are not coping or have concerns for others.

Mental health services and support (internal link)

If you still feel unwell at the end of your isolation period

If you still feel unwell, we recommend you stay home until you have recovered. If you do need to leave the house, we recommend you wear a mask and do not:

  • visit a healthcare facility (other than to seek medical attention)
  • visit an aged residential care facility
  • have contact with anyone at risk of getting seriously unwell with COVID-19.

You do not need to do another RAT after testing positive. But if you are concerned that you may still be infectious after 5 days, a negative RAT is a good indication you are unlikely to be infectious.

You may still wish to wear a mask if you have contact with someone at risk of serious illness. Some facilities may still require all visitors to wear masks.

You may receive a text message confirming your isolation period has ended. You do not need to wait for an official message to leave isolation.

After COVID-19

You should expect to recover from the first signs and symptoms of COVID-19 within 2 to 4 weeks.

After isolation, make sure you rest and eat well. Your body will need time to get back to your normal exercise levels.

You should be back to all activities you were doing before COVID-19 within 12 weeks.


Long COVID is the term used to describe the effects of COVID-19 that last longer than 12 weeks.

Anyone can develop long COVID, but it is more common if you had severe symptoms when you first got sick.

Find out the symptoms of long COVID and how you can manage them.

Long COVID (internal link)