Questions & Answers

When should I be tested for COVID-19?

Current advice for testing depends on the stage of the outbreak in the country or area where you live. Testing approaches will be adapted to the situation at national and local level. National authorities may decide to test only subgroups of suspected cases based on the national capacity to test, the availability of necessary equipment for testing, the level of community transmission of COVID-19, or other criteria.

As a resource conscious approach, it has been suggested that national authorities may consider prioritising testing in the following groups:

  • hospitalised patients with severe respiratory infections;
  • symptomatic healthcare staff including those with mild symptoms;
  • cases with acute respiratory infections in hospital or long-term care facilities;
  • patients with acute respiratory infections or influenza-like illness in certain outpatient clinics or hospitals;
  • elderly people with underlying chronic medical conditions such as lung disease, cancer, heart failure, cerebrovascular disease, renal disease, liver disease, diabetes, and immunocompromising conditions.

Where can I get tested?

If you are feeling ill with COVID-19 symptoms (such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, muscle pain or general weakness), it is recommended that you contact your local healthcare services online or by telephone. If your healthcare provider believes there is a need for a laboratory test for the virus that causes COVID 19, he/she will inform you of the procedure to follow and advise where and how the test can be performed.

How does a coronavirus COVID19 test work?