COVID-19 Tests

Need a COVID-19 test?

You only need a COVID-19 test if:

  • you have symptoms, or
  • you are a Household Contact or
  • if mandatory testing applies to your job

Call us on 09 950 7351 to book an appointment to get a FREE supervised COVID-19 test, depending on your situation we may do a RAT or PCR test. Alternatively, find a testing service near you or do a self-rapid antigen test.   

Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs)

Rapid antigen tests (RATs) are the main testing method being used now for people with COVID-19 symptoms or who are a Household Contact. Results take about 20 minutes. RATs detect specific pieces (i.e., antigens) found in COVID-19. It is taken with a front of nose swab. See below for detail on how to do the nose swab.

When to use a RAT

The most important time to use a RAT test is:

  • if you have symptoms and are unwell or,
  • you’re a household contact

Where do I get a RAT?

You can access a free RAT test at our clinic, a testing centre, or you can now order them online if you are a household contact, critical worker or unwell.

You can also purchase RAT tests from pharmacies and supermarkets and use them for other reasons such as:

  • Had exposure to COVID-19
  • Before going to school or work
  • Visiting a person who is vulnerable to risks of COVID-19
  • Visiting a high-risk setting, e.g. an aged care facility, hospital or disability group home
  • Attending a gathering in a crowded place such as a wedding or funeral

Please note, it is not advisable to be visiting high-risk settings or large gatherings in Omicron Phase 3. A RAT test is as an extra precaution alongside other public health measures such as masking and social distancing.

How to use a RAT?

It’s important to follow the instructions in the RAT package and swab correctly to get the most accurate result.

When inserting the nasal swab, you are not trying to swab the inside of your nostril but the tissue further back in the nasal passages. So rather than going directly upwards with the swab, try to go horizontally and about 2-3 centimetres back. Then rotate the swab gently against the walls of the nasal passage the exact number of times your test recommends. Repeat on the other side.

Positive diagnosis with a RAT

If you test positive for a RAT, you need to report the result on the My Covid Record website. Watch this quick 2-min video to learn how to self-report your RAT results. You do not need to confirm the positive RAT with a PCR test unless advised. 

If you test positive - please visit this page to learn how to isolate safely at home and manage your health

If you have a COVID-19 positive child as a result of a self-RAT test please call 0800 222 478

Negative diagnosis from a RAT

If you get a negative result and continue to have symptoms of COVID-19 illness, continue to self-isolate and try to repeat the test in 24 hours.

PCR Tests

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are still being used in some situations. Results take between 2 and 5 days. A health professional can advise you on the right test to take in your situation. PCR tests are being done at testing stations and medical centres.