Ka aha mēnā e pāngia ana koe e te KOWHEORI-19 What to do if you get COVID-19

KOWHEORI-19 has changed our lives and tikanga. If you or your whānau need to isolate suddenly, there are some things you can do.

Te pānga ki te KOWHEORI-19 Getting COVID-19

If you have tested positive, you need to isolate for seven days. You cannot go to mahi, kura, or whānau or community events.

Also, you should report your positive result. You can do this online through My Covid Record or by calling the Ministry of Health team on 0800 222 478.

My Covid Record

Rongoā whakanoa Antiviral medicine

Some whānau members now have access to free COVID-19 antiviral medicine. You may be eligible if you:

  • are Māori aged 50 and over
  • have a severely weakened immune system
  • have three or more health conditions that put you at higher risk of getting seriously māuiui from COVID-19
  • are living at the same whare as someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and you have symptoms.

You can find more information on our Antiviral medicine page.

Antiviral medicine

Te noho mohoao me te tiaki Isolation and care

If you have COVID-19, you need to self-isolate for at least seven days. If your symptoms worsen, it may be longer. 

Day 0 is when your symptoms started or you tested positive, whichever came first.

When self-isolating, there is some kawa you can follow to keep whānau safe.

  • If you or your whānau test positive, you need to isolate for seven days. You cannot go to mahi, kura, or whānau or community events. Friends and whānau in your whare who don’t have COVID-19 don’t need to isolate. However, they should take a test every day for five days from when you tested positive.
  • Try to keep apart from others in your whare as best you can. This could mean staying two metres apart, sleeping by yourself and limiting the time you spend in shared spaces. If possible, try not to share common items with other people in your whare, such as bedding, towels, and dishes.
  • Ask your whānau and friends to help by dropping off kai, medicine and other things you need while you’re isolating. For online order deliveries or for whānau and friends, let them know where the drop-off point is outside your whare, so they can avoid contact with you. This will help keep them safe.
  • COVID-19 antiviral medicine can help you recover quicker from COVID-19 and make the impact of being māuiui less severe. Antiviral medicine is free for Māori who are 50 and over. People with a high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are also eligible. You will need to have COVID-19 symptoms to get the medicine, and take them within five days of symptoms starting.
  • Rongoā Māori is a taonga from our tīpuna that strengthens our hauora through using natural medicine. Many whānau use rongoā Māori alongside modern medicine for recovery from COVID-19. You can access rongoā Māori from many iwi or hauora providers.
  • If you’re feeling up to it, you should exercise outdoors. But try to avoid running or working out too hard until you’re well. You can’t visit any shared exercise facilities, such as swimming pools or outdoor gyms.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces and things you touch often, like door handles, light switches and phones.
  • Open windows and doors to increase fresh air flow through your whare.

Questions about what to do if you get COVID-19

We've put together a helpful What to do if you get COVID-19 factsheet. You can download this from our resources page.


Isolating with tamariki while hapū

Ruthie shares her experience of isolating while being hapū

Video Link: https://www.karawhiua.nz/assets/Videos/03_Ruthie_230_master.mp4.mp4

Te āwhina i a koe e noho mohoao ana Help when you are self-isolating

There are services around the motu that offer advice and support for whānau. This might include getting supplies such as kai or medicine delivered. In some cases, it might also include help to pay for urgent and essential costs or bills.

For information about how to access extra support, reach out to your local hauora provider or visit the Unite against COVID-19 website.

Help when you are self-isolating

To speak to someone or for information and advice about COVID-19, call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

Looking after your mental hauora

Having concerns or anxiety when isolating is normal. Staying connected through kōrero with your whānau and friends is important. You can do this while keeping your distance from whānau in your whare and through phone and social media. Taking a walk can also help.

If you are concerned about being isolated or lonely, and for tips and more information on who to contact, visit our Tāngata whaiora page.

Tāngata whaiora

Managing your symptoms

For most people, symptoms from COVID-19 will be mild and can be safely managed at home. There are things you can do to manage your symptoms.

  • If eligible, take antiviral medicine
  • If you can, take rongoā Māori
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Rest as much as possible
  • Eat when you feel able to.

If you or the person you are caring for develop worse symptoms, including difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, fainting or falling unconscious, call 111 immediately.

Te rongoā Māori Healing with rongoā Māori

Rongoā Māori is a taonga from our tipuna that strengthens our hauora through using natural medicine.

Many whānau are using rongoā Māori alongside modern medicine to prepare for and recover from KOWHEORI-19.

You can access rongoā Māori from many iwi or hauora providers.

Ministry of Health funds rongoā Māori providers across the motu. You can find a rongoā Māori provider on the Ministry of Health website.

Rongoā Māori traditional Māori healing

Healing with rongoā Māori


Most people who get COVID-19 recover completely after two to six weeks, and make a full recovery within 12 weeks.

However, some experience a range of symptoms beyond the standard time of recovery.

Symptoms can include:

  • fatigue
  • breathlessness
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • chest tightness
  • chest pain
  • difficulty concentrating
  • cognitive impairment or 'brain fog'
  • difficulty sleeping
  • pins and needles
  • dizziness
  • joint pain
  • muscle pain.

The best way to prevent long COVID is to be up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccinations. There is some evidence that being vaccinated reduces the risk of developing long COVID following a COVID-19 infection.

For support with managing and treating long COVID, seek help from your local hauora provider or visit the Ministry of Health website.


Kāore he utu hauora COVID-19 healthcare is free

You don't have to pay for any COVID-19 related medical costs for up to six weeks from the first day of your symptoms or the day you test positive, whichever came first.