Getting tested

COVID-19 can cause a range of symptoms from a mild cold to pneumonia.

If you experience:

  • Fever (>37.5C) or have a recent history of fever (e.g. night sweats or chills) with no known source
  • Acute respiratory symptoms, including a cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose
  • Acute loss of smell

You need to get tested.

What happens during the test?

When you go for a COVID-19 test, a qualified healthcare professional, wearing a mask, gown, eye protection and gloves (PPE – personal protective equipment) will insert a swab, similar to a long cotton wool bud, into the back of your throat and then through up your nose. This swab is then sent to a laboratory for testing.

It’s a very quick procedure, lasting less than a minute. It does cause some discomfort but should not be painful.

Where you can get tested

Testing is available at:

  • COVID-19 testing clinics – view the searchable map with opening times
  • Regional public hospitals, health services and remote health clinics
  • Some private pathology centres.

A child's guide to hospital: COVID-19 test

Last Updated: 16/11/2021