14 August 2020
Who should get tested?
Anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms, even if very mild, should get a COVID-19 test as soon as possible. COVID-19 symptoms include:
- fever e.g. chills, night sweats
- respiratory symptoms such as cough, sore/ scratchy throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste
- other symptoms including muscle and joint pain, diarrhea, nausea/ vomiting and loss of appetite.
What to expect when you get tested?
- Testing is free, easy and quick.
- If you have been referred to a testing clinic, please take your referral with you. This is not needed for most clinics.
- Staff at testing and respiratory clinics will be wearing masks, gowns, gloves and face shields.
- Staff will ask you about your symptoms
- Swabs are taken from inside your nose and your throat.
What happens after I get tested?
- You must stay at home (self-isolate) until you get your test result and are well.
- You cannot leave your home unless you are seeking medical care or in an emergency. You cannot have visitors.
- If your symptoms become serious (e.g. difficulty breathing), call Triple Zero (000). Tell the ambulance staff you have been tested for COVID-19.
- If you are sharing your home with others you should separate yourself in another room. Wear a surgical mask when you are in the same room and keep 1.5 metres away.
- Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands often. Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue.
Where can I get more information about self-isolating?
- If you have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19, you need to stay home for 14 days after you last saw that person. (Close contact includes living in the same household or spending more than 15 minutes face-to-face or 2 hours sharing a closed space, with someone with COVID-19, from 48 hours before they became ill).
- Home isolation applies to all close contacts, even if you are currently feeling well and or have received a negative test result.
How will I get my results?
- You will usually receive your test result within 24 to 48 hours but please allow up to 72 hours.
- If you had your test done at an Emergency Department or public hospital COVID-19 clinic you can receive your COVID-19 negative test result by SMS if you register for Pathology COVID-19 SMS Results Service. If you don’t register you will receive a call from a Public Health officer at your Local Health District.
- If you had your test collected by your GP or at other sites, your doctor will give you your results.
What happens if I test positive?
- NSW Health will look after you. There will be no cost for your treatment, even if you don’t have Medicare.