COVID-19 Positive - How To Isolate At Home

COVID-19 Positive - How To Isolate At Home

If your child has tested positive for COVID-19, they need to isolate for 7 days. This means they have to stay home for 7 days, and cannot have any visitors. Most children will have mild to moderate symptoms and can be cared for at home.

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What do I do if my child tests positive for COVID-19?

Reporting positive (and negative) results

If your child tests positive or negative for COVID-19, report the result.

Find out how to report results on the Unite Aganist COVID-19 website.

You can do this online through My Covid Record or by calling the COVID-19 helpline on 0800 222 478 (choose option 3).

Read more about COVID-19 testing on the Unite Agaist COVID-19 website. 

Check symptoms of COVID-19 on KidsHealth

Find out more about rapid antigen tests (RATS) on KidsHealth

Household contacts of a COVID-19 positive case

Household contacts do not need to isolate. 

Household contacts should test daily for 5 days with a rapid antigen test (RAT) from the day the person with COVID-19 tested positive.

If anyone else in your house tests positive for COVID-19, they must self-isolate for 7 days.

Self-isolating with children  

There are some key things to know about self-isolation. 

You must stay home the whole time you are self-isolating. Do not let people visit you in your home.  

Check the Unite Against COVID-19 website for more information about self-isolation.

Wear masks and open windows

Wear masks while in the same room as someone with COVID-19 in your household, and open windows. Masks and ventilation are important in reducing COVID-19 from spreading.  

Find out more about why wearing masks and creating airflow help reduce the risk  

Practice good hygiene 

Wash hands often and wipe down surfaces, including door handles, light switches and phones with disinfectant.

Getting essential supplies

Ask family and friends to help drop off food and medicines. They can leave these outside your house for you to collect once they have left. Or you can get supplies delivered instead.  

Contact the COVID-19 welfare support line on 0800 512 337 if you need help with kai or welfare support. 

Find out more about preparing for positive cases in your home  

Monitor symptoms 

Most children will have mild to moderate symptoms and family and whānau can care for them at home. If you, your child or someone you know becomes more unwell contact your family doctor or Healthline, or call 111 (in New Zealand) if it's an emergency. 

Find out more about caring for a child with COVID-19

Exercising

When isolating, you can leave your home to exercise without wearing a mask. You can exercise outdoors, but stay away from others and don't go to a shared exercise facility, such as a swimming pool.  

Reasons you're allowed to leave your home 

Find out more about reasons you can leave your home, and for advice on isolating.

What to do after COVID-19

There are some important things to do after you or your child have had COVID-19 and finished your isolation period.

Cleaning

  • when your child or someone in your house has recovered from COVID-19, clean surfaces with a detergent then disinfectant
  • wear gloves while cleaning and open windows
  • wash all dishes you and your whānau used while isolating

Throw away rubbish

  • throw out all rubbish, including used tissues and masks
  • put the rubbish in a separate bag, tie it up and put it in the general household rubbish bag or bin

Washing

  • wash all bedding in warm water

Have the vaccine

Your child can still have the COVID-19 vaccine if they have had COVID. The timing of vaccine doses will be slightly different. This is because infection with COVID-19 reduces the risk of getting COVID-19 again.

Check the advice about timing of doses (in the section 'Can my child still have the COVID-19 vaccine if they have had COVID?') on the following KidsHealth pages.

Check the advice about COVID-19 immunisation for 5 to 11 year olds

Check the advice about COVID-19 immunisation in children aged 12 and over

Keep up healthy habits

  • wear a mask, stay home if you are sick and wash your hands and use sanitiser 

Read more about what to do after your child has had COVID-19.

See the Minstry of Health website for general cleaning and disinfection advice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More KidsHealth content on COVID-19

Find out about caring for a child with COVID-19

See KidsHealth's section on COVID-19

See all KidsHealth's content on COVID-19 immunisation in children

This page last reviewed 13 September 2022.

Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time of the day or night for free health advice when you need it