COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus (coronavirus). It affects your lungs, airways, and other organs. Delta and Omicron are variants (different types) of the COVID-19 virus.


Common symptoms are like what you might experience with a cold or the flu. You might have one or more of the following:

  • a new or worsening cough
  • fever (high temperature)
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sneezing and runny nose
  • temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste

Less common symptoms include Diarrhoea, headache, muscle pain, nausea and vomiting, confusion and irritability, chest, or stomach pain.

When to get tested

You should get a COVID-19 test if:

  • you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms
  • you are a household contact of a case (on days three and seven of isolation)
  • if you have symptoms and it has been more than 28 days since you last contracted COVID-19
  • if mandatory testing applies to your job

How to get tested

Rapid antigen tests (RATs) give you a result within 15 minutes.

Have a pātai or need RAT tests, phone and kōrero with us on 0800 TP MOBILE (876 624) or email us at

Protecting yourself and your whānau

COVID-19, like other illnesses, can spread through droplets sprayed onto people or things when you cough, sneeze or talk.  Therefore, it’s important to:

  • regularly wash your hands with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds) and dry them
  • cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing
  • avoid personal contact, such as kissing, sharing cups or food with sick people
  • avoid close contact with contaminated surfaces
  • wear masks when in public or around unwell whānau members
  • stay home if you feel unwell

If you or a member of your whānau have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice early. Please make sure you phone ahead to your medical provider and tell them your symptoms before arriving. They might ask you to stay outside in your car or see you in a separate waiting area from other patients so that you don’t accidentally spread your illness.

Phone your preferred health care provider or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.


Preparing your whānau for COVID-19

There are simple, practical things you can do to prepare in case you, or someone in your whānau becomes unwell, or if COVID-19 becomes common in our community. You can:

  • make a plan for your household
  • know what to expect if you have to self-isolate
  • have ideas to keep busy/entertained while isolating
  • know how to stay connected while isolating
  • prepare shopping checklists and take other practical steps.

Make a plan with your whānau today

Sit down as a whānau and make a plan, that way you are prepared to isolate yourself or a household member, in the event of a COVID-19 diagnosis.

You can find a link to the COVID-19: Isolation Plan here.

Need support?

For support to isolate due to covid-19, influenza or just needing support in general as a consequence of having to isolate or take time off work to support unwell whānau, Te Puawaitanga ki Ōtautahi Trust whānau/clients or Māori whānau in the community, please phone us to see what support we may be able to provide on 0800 TP MOBILE (876 624) or email

We have a team of nurses and kaiwhakapuawai to support you and your whānau.