A new type of coronavirus was detected in late 2019. This virus can cause a severe respiratory illness called coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Coronavirus spreads through close contact with people. Self-isolation is a method being used to stop the spread of the virus.
There are many reasons why you may need to self-isolate, including:
- You are being tested for coronavirus - self-isolate until you get your results
- Confirmed infection - you have tested positive for coronavirus. You will need to self-isolate until you no longer have symptoms and have been told you can stop self-isolating
What does self-isolation mean?
This means you must stay at your home. If you live with other people, they do not have to leave. However, you should take steps to try to separate yourself from them. Avoid having visitors unless these are people who need to come over, such as home care services.
You cannot engage in your regular activities. You are not allowed to go to places where other people may be, such as work, school, or public areas. You are not able to go shopping (arrange home delivery or have someone bring them to you).
You should not be leaving where you live unless going to your doctor or the hospital, or if there is an emergency such as a fire.
This does not mean you always have to stay locked inside. If you live in a house, you can go into your garden or courtyard. If you live in a flat or an apartment, you can go onto your private balcony. You can also go to the community garden or courtyard if you are wearing a face mask.
How can I protect the people I live with?
If you live with other people, there are many steps you can take to protect them from becoming infected. This includes:
- Remain separated if you can by being in different rooms
- If you must be in the same room, wear a surgical mask. Wear a mask when using a shared area like the kitchen even if they are not there
- Use a separate bathroom to the others if this is possible
- Follow good hand and cough hygiene even when alone
- Avoid sharing household items such as dishes, cups, cutlery, towels, etc. Wash these items with soap and water after you use them. If you have a dishwasher or washing machine, use these to limit how much you and others handle the items
- Clean all household surfaces that are considered ‘high-touch’ at least once a day. These are surfaces we touch a lot during the day. This includes tables, benchtops, door handles, taps, fridge doors, toilets, remote controls, etc. Whoever is cleaning them should wear a mask and gloves