If you have symptoms and are a close contact of a confirmed case, have recently travelled overseas, or been in contact with recent travellers, call your doctor before getting tested and ensure you understand the process to follow when you arrive. Some health care centers may need you to wait in your car or a waiting area. You need

During your assessment the doctor or nurse will wear personal protective equipment and will ask you questions about your:

  • symptoms
  • general health
  • living situation.

Depending on your symptoms and circumstances, they may decide you do not need to be tested for COVID-19 at this time and will send you home. If you do need to be tested for COVID-19, they will tell you what to do next. If you are sent home and your symptoms get worse, then contact your doctor or Healthline again and explain.

How testing works

There’s more than one way to test for COVID-19, for example, a nose swab or a sputum test. Whatever form a test takes, it involves collecting a sample from you. That sample goes to a lab to be analysed. The lab results may take some time.

When you are tested you will be told when and how to expect your results. Whether you test positive or negative, you will be notified about your results. While you wait for your results you may be advised to self-isolate. Your medical professional will advise you on this.

If you are tested you should follow the advice you’re given about what to do next.

Help protect healthcare workers when getting tested

If you get tested, we need your help to keep healthcare workers safe. That means continuing to cough into your elbow, cover any sneezes and staying 2 metres away from other people wherever possible.

Follow any instructions you get, like turning up on time, calling ahead or waiting in your car.

People testing you will wear protective equipment likes gowns or masks — this is nothing to worry about, it helps protect them and everyone they are testing.

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