WA COVID Care at Home

Most people with COVID-19 can care for themselves with some support from their GP, if required.

WA COVID Care at Home delivers home monitoring care for COVID-positive people who need it because they have risk factors that put them at greater risk of requiring hospitalisation.

You need to register for this free service. If you are unable to complete the form by yourself and do not have someone to help, you can call 13 COVID (13 268 43), who can complete it on your behalf.

To help determine whether you would benefit from WA COVID Care at Home you must first have had a positive COVID-19 test result. Pre-registration is not available.

WA COVID Care at Home will enrol patients based on risk factors such as age, severity of symptoms, medical history, and social factors.

Please note: WA COVID Care at Home will accept patient registrations until Wednesday, 30 November 2022. After this date, people who test positive to COVID-19 should contact their GP or specialist for support and care.


Extra support and registration

You will be required to complete a short registration form (external site). This will assist in determining whether you can care for yourself at home with your GP’s support or would benefit from the additional monitoring of COVID Care at Home.

If you tested positive through PCR, we will send you a link through text or email to complete a WA COVID Care at Home online registration (external site).

If you tested positive through a RAT, you must register your RAT result and complete the online registration (external site).

The online registration will guide you through the process. With your consent, another person can complete the registration on your behalf.

If you are vaccinated for COVID-19 and do not have high-risk factors, it is likely you will be guided to self-care.

If you are identified as needing home monitoring, you will be asked to consent to enrol in the program.

What you need to do

You should stay at home, reducing all direct contact with others and wear a mask (unless living alone).

Most people will have mild COVID-19 symptoms for about 5 days, but symptoms can last for 10 days.

You may be provided with an easy-to-use device, a pulse oximeter, to measure your oxygen levels in blood non-invasively and heart rate.

As part of your induction, you will receive full instructions on how to use the pulse oximeter. More details are provided below. 

You can also access the WA COVID Care at Home – Monitoring Diary, which enable you to easily keep a record of your health.

What you need

You must have access to a telephone, tablet, or computer and an appropriate level of data.

You or your carer must be able to describe or report symptoms and use remote monitoring devices.

We will check to see if you have good:

  • understanding about your health
  • understanding of how to use computer equipment
  • communication and language skills.

Pulse oximeters are non-invasive, painless, handheld devices that measure a person’s blood oxygen level and heart rate. These readings can be used by health practitioners to help manage the care of a COVID-19 positive person from their home.

A pulse oximeter looks like a clothes-peg and attaches onto your fingertip. It operates by shining a light through your finger to a sensor on the other side of the clip.

Who needs them?

Most West Australians will be able to manage COVID-19 at home without the need for a pulse oximeter. Based on risk factors such age, vaccination status, severity of symptoms, medical history and social factors, a small group of people who test positive to COVID-19 will need to be monitored remotely through use of a pulse oximeter. 

How to use a pulse oximeter

Below is a list of general instructions for pulse oximeters. For WA COVID Care at Home patients, please refer here, How to use your monitoring equipment (external site). For equipment oximeter instructions, please refer to the manufacturer’s instructions provided for your pulse oximeter.

For more specific information, please refer to the instructions provided for your pulse oximeter.

  1. Make sure batteries are in the battery compartment and cover is on.
  2. Remove any nail polish or false nails (these can interfere with the device and give inaccurate readings).
  3. Wash your hands with warm water and thoroughly dry them (the device works best when your hands are warm).
  4. Sit in an upright position.
  5. Give your fingers a wiggle and rub to get the blood flowing, then keep fingers still.
  6. Attach the clip to one of your fingers so that the tip of your finger is touching the end of the device. The palm of your hand should be pointing down, and the screen of the pulse oximeter should be pointing up so you can read it.
  7. Breathe normally.
  8. Keep your hand and the pulse oximeter still for at least a minute, or longer, until the result has not changed for five seconds.
  9. Once the reading has not changed for five seconds, write down the result. Note, the device will give you two readings, one for your pulse and the other for your blood oxygen level (the device instructions will tell you which is which).
  10. If sharing the pulse oximeter with other people in the household, make sure to clean it down with an antiseptic wipe and each person should thoroughly wash their hands after use

Smartphones and Smartwatches

Some smartphones and smartwatches have similar functions of a pulse oximeter. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (external site) have stated they are not accurate and should not be used.

Interpreter service

For free help in your language call 13 14 50

Note: This information is for people over the age of 16 years only. If you have concerns about a child, please call your GP. If it is an emergency, call 000.

Last reviewed: 04-11-2022