Testing patients for COVID-19

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Testing patients for COVID-19

Page last updated at 9am 1 December 2022

On this page:

For the latest information on COVID-19 testing, visit Queensland Health’s COVID-19 testing requirements webpage.

Patient support tools

Most people can manage COVID-19 at home and are advised to utilise the tools and helplines below if they have tested positive or suspect they have COVID-19.

National Coronavirus Hotline 1800 020 080 – Available 24 hours a day 7 days per week. To access an interpreter, press 8.

COVID care self-checker web page – A clinical self-assessment tool designed to help patients understand what healthcare they may need based on their symptoms and other risk factors.

I have COVID-19 web page – A step by step guide on what to do if you have COVID-19.

HealthDirect website – A summary or what to do and support services available if you suspect you have or are diagnosed with COVID-19.

There are two types of tests used to detect COVID-19 in Queensland. They are:

• a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)
• a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.

Visit the Queensland Health webpage for COVID-19 testing and fever clinics locations.

Some Metro South Health testing sites are distributing RATs rather than, or as well as, collecting PCR samples.

Rapid antigen tests (RAT)

A positive RAT result must be reported to Queensland Health. RATs can be purchased at pharmacies and retail stores. Individuals should use this self-reporting form to report a positive RAT result.

Concessional Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) can be obtained through participating community pharmacies. RAT kits are also available to purchase in retail shops and chemists. Pathology Queensland does not recommend Oral or Saliva Rapid Antigen Testing Kits.

Polymerase chain reaction tests (PCR)

PCR testing involves a health professional using the swab to collect a sample from inside the nose and throat. PCR tests are no longer required to confirm a positive COVID-19 case.

Selected private collection centres conduct COVID-19 specimen collection, please click below to see which centres offer this service:

Mater Pathology
Sullivan & Nicolaides Pathology
4Cyte Pathology

From 7 March 2022, most clinics require a GP referral and Medicare card to obtain a free PCR test.

GP Respiratory Clinics (GPRC)

Testing is free of charge for eligible people, at the following GPRCs. There are two GP-led respiratory clinics in the Brisbane south region that offer free COVID-19 testing without a GP referral or Medicare card required, for symptomatic people, or otherwise under a public health order.

Clinic map for the Brisbane south region

Click here to make an online booking.

Fever clinics

Metro South Health are conducting COVID-19 screening at fever clinics in a range of locations. Visit the Metro South Health for more information.

Specimen collection

Selected private collection centres conduct COVID-19 specimen collection, please click below to see which centres offer this service.