Confirmed Case Policy –
https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/confirmed-case-workplaceConfirmed Case Procedure
What to do if you are a close contact of a person diagnosed with COVID-19
Being a close contact
A close contact is someone who has been identified by Department of Health contact tracers as having spent time with someone who has COVID-19. There is a high chance that people who have been close to someone with COVID-19 will get the virus and could spread it to other people.
Close contacts can be:
- someone who has had face-to-face contact or spent time in a closed space with someone who has COVID-19 while they were infectious, or
- someone who has been in an outbreak or other setting where there is a higher risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Close contact with someone can happen in many ways, such as:
- living in the same household or similar setting (for example, a boarding school or hostel)
- being indoors together, including in a car, lift or public transport
- being at a at a similar time
- direct contact with the body fluids or laboratory specimens of a person with COVID-19.
Someone may also be identified as a primary close contact based on knowledge of a case or outbreak.
Close contacts are determined by the Department of Health through interviews with people diagnosed with COVID-19.
Workplaces and educational settings also identify who they believe could be considered close contacts and provide this information to Department of Health.
The Department will only contact people they confirm as primary close contacts. If you are confirmed as a close contact:
- If you live in the same house as the confirmed COVID-19 case, you must quarantine for 14 days.
- If you are fully vaccinated and DO NOT live with a confirmed case, you must quarantine for seven days. If you haven’t had both doses of the vaccine, you must quarantine for 14 days.
If someone you live with is identified as a close contact, you are not required to quarantine and do not have to stay at home. The person who is a close contact should try isolate from other people within the household as much as practicable.
Quarantine means you must stay in your home or accommodation. You cannot leave your house for any reason unless it is an emergency, you need medical help, or to escape family violence.
Close contacts must quarantine at home and get tested on the second last day of their quarantine period.
If you are a household close contact who lives with a confirmed case in the same home, or you haven’t had both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine:
- You must quarantine at home until you receive a negative result from a test taken no sooner than day 13 of your quarantine period.
- The Department of Health will not contact you to end your quarantine; your negative test result is proof that you have completed your quarantine period.
- If you refuse to get tested late in your quarantine period, you must quarantine for an extra 14 days, or until you receive a negative test result.
If you are a non-household close contact who doesn’t live with a confirmed case in the same home and you are fully vaccinated:
- You must quarantine at home until you receive a negative result from a test taken on day six of your quarantine period.
- The Department of Health will not contact you to end your quarantine; your quarantine ends at 11:59pm on day seven. If you refuse to get tested at the end of your quarantine period, you must quarantine for an extra seven days, or until you receive a negative test result.
Visiting exposure sites
If you have any symptoms, no matter how mild, you should get tested immediately and self-isolate.
If you have been identified by the Department of Health as a close contact from an exposure site, you must quarantine. People who are determined to be close contacts will be contacted by the department.
Feeling sick or developing symptoms during quarantine
If you have symptoms during your quarantine period, you should get tested.
Once you have been tested, go home and wait for your test results. If you test positive for COVID-19 then the Department of Health will contact you with advice on isolating.
- Make an appointment to talk with your General Practitioner (GP) or call Nurse on Call ()
- Phone or video consultations are preferred to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19. If you need to see your doctor in person, call ahead of your arrival and let them know you are in quarantine and are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 so they can prepare appropriate infection control measures.
If you have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, or blueness around the mouth, call triple zero (). Tell them that you are a close contact of a person with COVID-19 and that you are in quarantine.
Going outdoors or leaving home during quarantine
In general, you cannot leave home while in quarantine, including to shop or to exercise.
You are only allowed to leave home for the following special reasons:
- to get medical care or medical supplies
- to get tested for COVID-19
- in an emergency
- if you or your children are escaping harm or are at risk of harm from family violence – you should also call safe steps on or email for help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you are quarantining in a private house or apartment you can go into your garden or onto your balcony. You should wear a face mask when moving through shared spaces to reduce the risk of passing COVID-19 to the people you live with.
You must not allow anyone else to enter your home unless:
- they normally live there
- they are also quarantining or isolating there
- they need to enter for medical or emergency purposes or to provide personal care
- they provide a disability service or household assistance to support a person who needs help due to their age, disability or chronic health condition.
You must wear a fitted face mask when you leave the place you are quarantining for any of these reasons.
If you become unwell or have symptoms of COVID-19, you should immediately seek medical advice and get tested for COVID-19.
Getting food, supplies, or medication in quarantine
If you don’t live with others, you should order food or supplies to be delivered to your house, or have friends, family or your carer drop off supplies to your house. Anyone delivering these items should not enter your house or come in contact with you – they should leave the supplies outside your front door. Do not open your front door to speak with them. This is to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading.
Delivery people should leave any deliveries outside your door and should not enter your home or come close to you in any way. Consider making payment for the delivery online in advance or using a contactless payment method to minimise the chances of physical contact. Avoid paying by cash.
If you need assistance due to your age, disability or a chronic health condition, then a service provider, carer, family member or friend can visit your home and provide you with assistance. You should tell your service provider you are in quarantine at home before they visit.
A service provider or carer will need to wear a fitted face mask while visiting your home.
Can I visit someone in hospital while I am in quarantine?
Only in special, particular circumstances. Speak to the officer from the Department of Health that is supporting you during quarantine if you want to visit someone in hospital while you are in quarantine.
Circumstances where visits might be permitted include if you are the parent or guardian of a child or minor who is in hospital, to support someone giving birth, or to support someone who is dying. Each hospital will determine the conditions, including any necessary safeguards for visitors currently in quarantine.
How long do I have to quarantine if I live with someone who has COVID-19?
You will need to quarantine until you receive a negative result from a test taken on day 13 of your quarantine, or later. In most cases, the period of quarantine will be linked to your last contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 or another relevant person.
If you can avoid contact with the person diagnosed with COVID-19 by staying in separate bedrooms and using separate facilities, then do so as this will reduce the risk of you catching COVID-19.
You cannot have visitors to your home if a person in your household has been identified as a primary close contact.
If you are struggling to get the things you need, call the Coronavirus Hotline on (press 0 for an interpreter). You can get a free emergency relief package with basic food and essentials (such as nappies or personal care items) if you need it. For more information see .
What happens if I can’t isolate at home?
How can you care for someone during quarantine?
If you are looking after a sick family member and they are in quarantine, there are some important things you should do to keep everyone in your home safe:
- Ensure the sick person remains in a separate room away from everyone else in the household.
- Keep the door to the room where the person is quarantining closed and windows in the room open whenever possible.
- Keep the number of carers to a minimum and do not allow anyone from outside the household to visit.
- Always wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser before and after entering the room.
- Keep the person in quarantine’s crockery and utensils separate from the rest of the household.
- If available, wear a surgical mask (single-use face mask) when you are in the sick person’s room – if a surgical mask isn’t available wear a fitted face mask.
- Regularly clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces such as tabletops, doors, computer keyboards, taps and handles.
- Dispose of tissues and masks in a sealed plastic bag and put in the usual household waste.
- When washing clothes do not shake the sick person’s laundry. You should wash their clothes using a hot water wash with your usual detergent. You should wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser after handling their laundry. Let their clothes dry completely.
- If the person starts to feel worse, call your GP or Nurse on Call for further advice.
- If you need to visit your GP, call ahead and tell the GP that you or the person you are caring for is currently in quarantine so they can prepare appropriate infection control measures.
If the person you are caring for develops severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, or turns blue around the lips, call triple zero () and notify them of the person’s close contact status.
Will someone check that I am staying at home?
The Department of Health may contact you regularly to check in and see how you are. They may do this using SMS or a phone call.
Authorised officers are conducting random spot checks to ensure people who are in quarantine are complying with directions by staying at home. Police can take enforcement action if necessary.
What are the penalties for non-compliance?
A fine of $4,957 can be issued to a person found to have breached the requirement to isolate or quarantine for a second or subsequent time.
Victoria Police can issue on the spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses for:
- refusing or failing to comply with the emergency directions
- refusing or failing to comply with a public health risk power direction
- refusing or failing to comply with the Public Health Directions to provide information.
Fines of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for businesses are possible through the court system.
Reviewed 11 November 2021