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COVID-19 Testing Frequently Asked Questions

What happens after my swab is taken?

 Your swab will be sent to our laboratories for processing and we will determine if the test is positive or negative. The result will be sent via SMS to the mobile number provided at the time of the swab collection and you should follow the instructions as outlined. Note we can only SMS results to Australian mobile numbers.  

I have not received my result yet - what do I do?

We will send your COVID-19 result via SMS or to your doctor (if no mobile number has been provided) as soon as it becomes available. During periods of high demand, there may be some delays. Please note our call centre operators are unable to provide you with your result over the phone and due to the nature of testing, we are unable to prioritise individual samples on request, as samples are prioritised as they are received. Please continue to isolate until you receive your result.

Can I go back to work before I receive my result?

Please follow the health advice in your state and isolate as instructed, pending the results of your test. If you have any further questions or need more information, please call the National Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 020 080.

I’m travelling interstate - do I need a negative COVID-19 result?

Please check with your state health department and the state health department you are travelling to as to the specific requirements for interstate travel. Some states may require a negative COVID-19 result before travel. Please note that these requirements are subject to change from state health departments.

We strongly advise you to get tested as early as possible, as during periods of high demand, we cannot guarantee a result within short timeframes.

For overseas travel, please visit our COVID-19 Travel Testing page.  

My family member/friend was tested at the same time and place as I was and they have their result - why don’t I have mine?

During periods of high demand for testing, we cannot process all swabs at the same time. Additionally, some swabs may require additional validation which may lead to a delayed turn-around-time. Note this does not relate to whether the result is positive or negative. Please continue to isolate until you receive your result.

I received a positive result – what should I do?

The Department of Health will contact you as soon as possible with further advice. If you need urgent medical care, please call 000. If you go to a Hospital Emergency Department, wear a mask and call them before you arrive.

Please stay at home and inform everyone who lives in the same house to stay at home and remain separate from each other.

Do not have any visitors to your home. For more information visit the national Health Direct website.

My result is positive but I don’t believe it - should I get another test?

Our testing is rigorous and scientifically validated, and it is highly unlikely to be incorrect. If you require further confirmation, we advise you to wait until your State Department of Health contacts you about the next steps.

If my result is positive, who will contact me and when?

Your will receive confirmation that you have a positive result via SMS by Clinical Labs. We will also inform your state health department who will then make contact with you as soon as possible. Their timeframes for contacting you are not determined by us.

My test result states “inconclusive” - what do I do now?

An inconclusive result can sometimes be due to insufficient material being collected on the swab. You will need to undertake a repeat test as soon as possible. You and any occupants at the same address must continue to stay at home and remain separate from each other and other individuals from outside of your household. Do not have any visitors to your home.