A COVID-19 test is a way to check if you have COVID-19.

It is important to know if you have COVID-19 so you can look after yourself and the people around you.

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When to get tested

Anyone who has symptoms should get tested for COVID-19.

A symptom is a sign that you might be sick.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • fever
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • runny nose
  • feeling short of breath
  • loss of your sense of taste
  • loss of your sense of smell.

If you have any of these symptoms, you should get tested for COVID-19.

You should also test for COVID-19 if you recently spent time with someone who has COVID-19.

How to get tested

There are two kinds of COVID-19 tests:

  • Rapid antigen test (RAT)
  • PCR (nose and throat swab).

Rapid antigen test

Most people can check if they have COVID-19 by doing a rapid antigen test (RAT).

You can do a rapid antigen test (RAT) at home.

You can buy a rapid antigen test (RAT) at:

  • a pharmacy
  • a supermarket.

Some people can also get free rapid antigen tests from:

  • their NDIS provider
  • a neighbourhood or community centre.

Find out more about getting a free rapid antigen test (RAT)

How to do a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)

Transcript: How to do a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)

If your rapid antigen test says you have COVID-19, you must tell us.

You can tell us by:

PCR test (nose and throat swab)

If you are at higher risk of severe illness, you should get a PCR test.

PCR tests are more accurate than RAT.

You can get a PCR test at:

  • a testing clinic
  • some hospitals.

You can get help:

  • talk to your GP
  • Call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080

Find a COVID-19 clinic


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Current as at: Thursday 20 October 2022
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW