Preparing for having somebody with COVID-19 in your home

With COVID-19 in the community, it is possible someone in your household might become ill with COVID. Here are a few tips for understanding what that means and how to prepare your whānau.

If you test positive for COVID-19, make sure you get the help you need. For medical help, talk to your GP or call the COVID Healthline on 0800 358 5453. If you need welfare support, this link gives you information on what support is available. Most people will be able to isolate and recover in their own homes.

When one person tests positive for COVID-19, it is recommended other household members do a rapid antigen test (RAT) each day for 5 days. It is also advisable for other whare members to avoid contact with the person who has COVID. 

Isolating means you need to remain at home and shouldn’t go to work, school, public areas or use public transport. You won't be able to go out to buy food or other essentials so you will need to make arrangements, eg, having groceries and medicines delivered to your home, or asking those in your household who aren't isolating to collect them for you. Or you could ask a friend or whānau member to drop off supplies. You should avoid close contact with others by:

  • not having visitors
  • not using taxis or public transport
  • asking a friend or neighbour to get your shopping or arranging for a delivery to be left at your door
  • not sharing towels, clothes, toothbrushes or razors.

This situation can be overwhelming for family/whānau. Here are a few tips on how to prepare your family/whānau for the possibility of a family member becoming ill with COVID-19.

Have a plan

Everyone's living situation is different. You may be in a large family/whānau, living together with grandparents, aunties, uncles, school-aged children and toddlers, or you may be in a flatting situation, or you may be living alone. Korero with the members of your household so that everyone understands how things will need to change if someone is COVID-19 positive. Then make a plan for how you are going to get things done and meet the specific needs of all family/whānau members. 

If anyone in your household needs specific care services, eg, disability, mental health or addiction support, they should talk to their support staff to make sure they can still get the support they need if they get COVID-19. A useful plan for you to fill in is provided by Regional Public Health.


You may want to be prepared by making sure you have an idea of who can help your household with the shopping, buying of medicines, etc. Have a contact list of people or organisations you can reach out to.

The following provides very useful advice on what to consider when preparing for COVID-19 in your home.


#Protect Te Moananui a Kiwa
Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai Charitable Trust, NZ, 2021

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Credits: Health Navigator Editorial Team.