Getting tested (before & after)

It’s great we’ve been getting COVID-19 tested, but there is still some fear or shame out there about going in for your test. 

We understand that COVID-19 is new and has left us all feeling vulnerable. Getting a test puts you in control of the situation and ensures you get the help you need to keep you and your loved ones safe. 

This is a new test but you should treat it the same as getting tested for any other health check you’ve done.

When you are thinking about getting tested, be prepared, and make sure you have someone available who might have to drop off groceries or check in on someone you might be caring for, while you’re waiting for the test result and if you have to go into isolation. There is information for people caring for people who are isolating here.

If you have any questions, before, during and after isolation or quarantine, you can contact your local Aboriginal Health Service, GP or the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 (24 hours, 7 days a week), or you can yarn with mob at Yarning Safe’n’Strong on 1800 959 563 if it all feels a bit too much to manage.

Below is a step by step list of what you need to do to get tested and keep yourself and your family and friends safe at the same time.


  1. If you are feeling unwell do not go to work or leave your house.
  2. Check your symptoms. It’s flu season right now and most flu symptoms are the same as COVID-19 so don’t be fooled thinking it’s just a flu. Symptoms are fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose and loss of sense of smell or taste.
  3. Get tested at a nearby testing location if you have any of the symptoms AND return home immediately. 
  4. Wait for your test results. Do not go to work or shopping,-- stay at home. It usually takes between 1 and 3 days for your results to be returned to you. If you are worried your results are taking too long, you can call your testing service for more information. 
  5. If you are worried you will lose pay while you wait for your results find out if you can claim the $300 Coronavirus Test Isolation Payment
  6. If you test negative and are still feeling sick, wait until you feel better before you leave your home and remember to follow the restrictions for your town. If you’re not getting better, contact your health service. You might need another test or other care.
  7. If you test positive you will be contacted by your doctor and the COVID-19 Team and you will need to self-isolate for 14 days. This means you can’t leave your home for 14 days unless you need health care or it’s an emergency. All the people who live with you and others you’ve have close contact with must quarantine for 14 days. The COVID-19 Team will answer questions such as where and how you can isolate if you can’t isolate at home and who you’ve come into contact with, so they can be tested as well. If you leave your home during these 14 days and the COVID-19 Team comes to check on you, will be fined.
  8. Do not go to work while in isolation or quarantine. If you are worried you will lose pay, find out if you can receive the $1500 Coronavirus Worker Support Payment.
  9. If your condition worsens contact your local GP or local health service. If you become very unwell and are having trouble breathing contact triple zero (000), you may need to be admitted to hospital.
  10. You must isolate until someone from the COVID-19 Team clears you. Some people will get another test before they can leave quarantine or isolation. If no one contacts you call the Team.  

You can find more information on quarantine and isolation here.