Testing for COVID-19

Last Updated: 09 Apr 2020 6:21pm

Who can be tested for COVID-19

There are strict national guidelines about who should be tested for COVID-19 because of global shortages of testing resources. There is no point testing people who are not sick.

North-West Tasmania has been designated as a geographical localised area with risk of community transmission. Testing criteria for people in this region has changed.

If you have a fever ≥38°C (or signs of a fever, eg night sweats, chills) OR respiratory symptoms (eg cough, shortness of breath or sore throat) AND you have spent time in North-West Tasmania in the 14 days before your symptoms started, you should call your GP or the Public Health Hotline as you may need to be tested for COVID-19.

Where can I be tested

Testing for COVID-19 is only available at a few places in Tasmania. If you meet national guidelines for testing, your doctor or Public Health Services will tell you where you need to go. You’ll need to book an appointment to have the test done. You will need to wear a mask to your appointment.

I’m being tested. What do I need to know? has more information about the process for testing for COVID-19.

Coronavirus respiratory clinics

Four respiratory clinics have opened in Tasmania to help meet the demand for COVID-19 testing. The clinics are located in Hobart, Launceston, Burnie and Latrobe.

These clinics are not open for walk-up testing. Anyone who thinks they may need testing should contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738. Your GP can also refer you for testing if you meet national guidelines.

After being tested, you will be instructed to return home to self-isolate until you’ve been told your test result. Results will usually be available within 48 hours.

Those who are in self-isolation after close contact with a case or travelling to Tasmania from interstate or overseas must complete their 14 day isolation, even if they have a negative test result.

How and when will I get my test results

The clinic that conducted your test or your GP will call you with your results. It usually takes at least 48 hours.

Please do not call the Public Health Hotline for your test results as they do not have this information.

I’ve had a negative test result but I’m getting worse

See your GP or call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. If you are severely unwell, call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance.

I want to be tested even though I’m not sick

The national approach is to test people who are unwell and have recently travelled overseas, interstate or been on a cruise ship, or been in contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19. There is no value in testing people who are not sick. There is a global shortage of testing resources.