Getting tested for coronavirus (COVID-19)

May 18, 2020

By DHHS Victoria 

Find out if you should be tested for COVID-19 and where you can go to have the test done near home.

Over 160,000 Victorians were tested during our COVID-19 testing blitz.  This vital work continues.

Our goal is to complete a further 150,000 tests by the end of May.

From Tuesday 12 May, testing is only available to people:

  • with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), even if mild
  • who work in a government or non-government school

Everyone who feels unwell and is tested for COVID-19 is helping us understand how the virus is spreading. Everyone who is tested is helping us plan for the restriction levels we need to protect our health system, keep our community safe and save lives.

On this page

Why are Victorians being encouraged to get tested?

  • The first round of testing indicates that the number of cases is low, however, there is still a chance that the virus is present but undetected in the community.
  • Testing to date has uncovered 30 previously unknown cases and contact tracing is underway to understand what impact that may have.
  • By extending testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) we can better track the spread of this virus.
  • The increase in testing will provide a clearer picture of how the virus is spreading in Victoria and will inform any future changes to the Chief Health Officer’s directions.

Should I get tested?

If you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, you should seek advice and get tested.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Fever
  • Chills or sweats
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of sense of smell 

In certain circumstances headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also be considered.

To get further advice, call the 24-hour coronavirus hotline 1800 675 398, your local doctor, or use our online self-assessment tool.

What if I feel tired or fatigued?

Feeling tired or fatigued is common during many illnesses, including coronavirus (COVID-19). If you are feeling tired and have any of the symptoms above, you should get further advice about testing for coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Why should I get tested?

Diagnosing coronavirus (COVID-19) early, even when symptoms are mild, helps us all quickly stop and control the spread of the virus. Testing will help us track how well our efforts are working.

It means that you can take informed action to protect yourself and your loved ones. You will be doing your bit to protect all Victorians. 

Do I have to pay to get tested?

No, the coronavirus (COVID-19) test is free. There is no fee for the test when you get tested at a public health facility, mobile testing centre or GP offering bulk billing.

Do visitors from overseas, migrant workers and asylum seekers with symptoms have to pay for testing?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) test is free for everyone. This includes people without a Medicare card, such as visitors from overseas, migrant workers and asylum seekers.

If you have symptoms, you can receive a free test at any Victorian public respiratory clinic below. This does not include general practice (GP) clinics.

Please bring a form of identification and contact details with you to the testing clinic. If you don’t have a Medicare card, please bring one form of identification, for example, your driver’s license, passport, transport concession card, or student ID.

The testing clinic does not need to know your visa status.

For more information, read the factsheet on Testing for international visitors, migrants, and asylum seekers (Word).

What does testing involve?

The test of choice in Victoria looks for the virus from a swab. It is collected from the back of your throat, then nose. It usually takes less than a minute.  

Your swab is sent to a laboratory and tested to see if you have coronavirus (COVID-19). You will be contacted by your doctor or the clinic with your results.  

Who can perform tests?

Test samples must be taken by a trained healthcare worker, usually a doctor or nurse.

Where do I get tested in Victoria for coronavirus (COVID-19)?

If you work in a Victorian school, please visit the education sector information page for more information on the Victorian School Staff Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing Scheme.

People get tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) at many places across Victoria. To find out what’s available near you, call the 24-hour coronavirus hotline 1800 675 398 or use the map below.

If you have symptoms, you can visit:

  • Your local general practitioner. Call them before you visit. They may perform a test or refer you to a pathology provider for swab collection.
  • A GP respiratory clinic. Visit the Australian Government coronavirus (COVID-19) site for a full list of GP respiratory clinics and how to book an appointment.
  • A Victorian hospital respiratory clinic. 
  • A Community Health Centre respiratory clinic. 
  • A mobile drive-through clinic at a shopping centre. 
  • A regional walk-through clinic.

The map below shows some of the locations where you can get tested across Victoria. For more information about locations and operating hours of testing services, please hover over the icon on the map. There is also a list of locations available in csv format

You are requested to call ahead prior to visiting a testing site, except if you choose to be tested at a retail drive-through testing site.

The post about “Getting tested for coronavirus (COVID-19)" appeared first on the DHHS Victoria website.

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