NSW Health Pathology is part of the international response to COVID-19. Dedicated public pathology testing laboratories are working together to provide timely, accurate, reliable and safe COVID-19 testing for the people of NSW.

NSW Health Pathology continues to provide negative COVID-19 test results within a standard 24-48 hour turnaround time. Patients who test positive are always contacted directly by public health staff as a priority. 

NSW Health Pathology conducts molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing at 15 laboratories across NSW. Used across the world, the PCR test is the fastest, most reliable way to diagnose an active infection of COVID-19

Current testing laboratories are:

  • NSWHP-ICPMR, Westmead
  • NSWHP-Prince of Wales, Randwick
  • NSWHP-Bega
  • NSWHP-Concord
  • NSWHP-Dubbo
  • NSWHP-Gosford
  • NSWHP-John Hunter Hospital
  • NSWHP-Lismore
  • NSWHP-Liverpool
  • NSWHP-Nepean
  • NSWHP-Royal Prince Alfred, Camperdown
  • NSWHP-Royal North Shore
  • NSWHP-Tamworth
  • NSWHP-Wagga Wagga
  • NSWHP-Wollongong
  • Accredited testing is also performed at the Elizabeth Macarthur Agriculture Institute (EMAI) on behalf of NSW Health Pathology.

Together, NSW Health Pathology’s laboratories can run more than 15,000 tests per day, which is a significant contribution to the total tests carried out across the state.

NSW Health Pathology regularly reviews its testing capabilities across its statewide network to ensure reliable, timely testing is available where it is needed.

NSW Health Pathology’s laboratories have continued to meet demand for COVID-19 testing throughout the pandemic. Surge strategies are also in place to support any significant increase in testing needs, should this arise. 

Rapid PCR testing

Rapid PCR testing is a vital part of NSW Health Pathology’s strategy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rapid PCR testing is conducted at 38 NSW Health Pathology labs and is used for high risk, high priority cases where an urgent diagnosis is needed. This includes the elderly, acutely unwell patients, those with pre-existing or chronic health conditions and some isolated communities.

NSW Health Pathology has the specialist diagnostic instrumentation needed for rapid PCR testing of COVID-19 in place across its statewide network of labs. The rapid COVID-19 test kits work with existing GeneXpert instrumentation, which NSW Health Pathology has used in recent years for the rapid diagnosis of influenza and other respiratory viruses.

There continues to be high global demand for COVID-19 rapid testing cartridges and as such, NSW Health Pathology works with clinicians to distribute testing kits, with priority given to the most urgent cases.

Refer to COVID-19 clinics for a full list of COVID-19 testing clinics across NSW.

Current as at: Monday 16 November 2020
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW