Regular testing is important to help reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the community.
When should I get tested for COVID-19?
It’s important to do a rapid antigen test (RAT) if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or are a close contact. Test early, as that’s when you’re most infectious.
Types of COVID-19 tests
Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)
You can take a rapid antigen test (RAT) at home, which provides a result within 15 to 30 minutes. There are two types of RATs:
- Saliva test – user spits into a tube, or sucks on a swab
- Nasal swab – user swabs each nostril
A RAT takes approximately one minute to complete.
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test
A PCR test is fast and highly accurate in testing for the virus that causes COVID-19.
A swab will be inserted into the back of your throat and then through your nose by a qualified practitioner. This is a fast procedure, lasting less than a minute. It may cause some mild discomfort but is not painful. Your swab sample will then be taken to a laboratory to be tested for COVID-19.
Where to get a PCR test
Find where to get a PCR test at the Department of Health, including opening days and times and locations if you live regionally or remotely.
A referral from a GP or other medical practitioner is required to access PCR testing at clinics operated by private pathology providers.