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 family/whānau.

If you test positive for COVID-19, somebody will be in contact to see what your needs are, and assess whether you are well enough to isolate at home or need to go to hospital. This will depend on how bad your symptoms are, what other health conditions you have and whether your home is a suitable place for you to stay in when you have COVID-19. Most people will be able to isolate in their own homes.

If you are sharing parenting of tamariki/children with another whare/household, or have extended whānau responsibilities, they can be discussed at this point as well. 

When one person tests positive for COVID-19, all members of the household will need to be tested as well. 

Everyone in your household will need to isolate

If someone in your household is COVID-19 positive, everyone in your household will need to isolate. This means you all 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 arranging for somebody outside your household to collect them for you. 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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Support for if you get COVID-19 Unite against COVID-19, NZ
Be prepared for COVID-19 Unite against COVID-19, NZ

Credits: Health Navigator Editorial Team.