NSW Health Pathology is currently providing SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Nucleic Acid Diagnostic testing at 15 NSWHP laboratories, including ICPMR Westmead, Prince of Wales Randwick, Concord, Lismore, Liverpool, Nepean, Royal Prince Alfred, Royal North Shore, John Hunter Hospital, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Bega and Tamworth, Wollongong and Gosford using a variety of platforms.
NSW Health Pathology has Cepheid GeneXperts in 37 laboratories throughout NSW, including all larger regional laboratories. These instruments provide rapid PCR diagnosis (approximately 60 minutes) and have been used to provide rapid flu testing. A limited number of cartridges to allow rapid on-site SARS-CoV-2 testing is now available at metropolitan, regional and rural sites with GeneXperts. These sites are: Westmead, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Lithgow, Bathurst, Mount Druitt, Nepean, Bega, Broken Hill, Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Goulburn, Orange, Dubbo, John Hunter Hospital, Armidale, Taree, Gosford, Tweed, Tamworth, Coffs Harbour, Lismore, Calvary Mater Newcastle, Royal North Shore, Campbelltown, Liverpool, Bowral, Fairfield, Bankstown, Randwick, Wollongong, St George, Royal Princess Alfred, Concord Hospital, Kempsey, Grafton and Moruya.
Rapid SARS-CoV-2 testing should only be considered in high risk patients where an urgent result is required (within one to four hours).
PCR Testing can only be requested by a Consultant, preferably following discussion with the on-call NSWHP Microbiologist or Infectious Diseases physician. Request forms should indicate the consultant authorising testing.
Acutely unwell inpatients (including patients in the Emergency Department) with recent onset of respiratory symptoms/pneumonia (particularly if pregnant) OR patients with unexplained sepsis developed in hospital
Requirement for a rapid result to inform clinical management (i.e. treatment or transfer)
Conventional rather than rapid testing should be performed for:
All results will be treated as critical results and communicated to the ordering clinician as per local procedures.
Should you need further information about rapid diagnostic testing for Rapid SARS-CoV-2 testing please contact the local Microbiologist or Professor Robert Lindeman (Robert.Lindeman@health.nsw.gov.au).
Further updates will be provided as required.
Pathology EOC and Pathology community of practice.
Dr Nigel Lyons, Deputy Secretary, Health System Strategy and Planning, NSW Ministry of Health.
Local health districts, specialty health networks, other health providers and medical practitioners.