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What happens during the coronavirus test

Coronavirus testing

Last updated: 23 July 2020 at 4.20pm

There are 28 test centres nationwide. Most offer a drive-thru service. The test takes about 15 minutes.

Test centre

Do not go to a test centre unless you have an appointment - you will not be seen.

  1. Park and remain in your car.
  2. A healthcare worker will approach you.
  3. They will give you a mask to put on and explain what will happen, ask you some questions and take you into the test centre.
  4. You will wash your hands properly.
  5. Healthcare staff will take some personal details from you including your phone number. This is so you can be contacted with your results.
  6. You will blow your nose into a tissue and bin it in a secure bin.
  7. A healthcare worker will take a sample from inside your back of your throat and nose using a swab. This may be uncomfortable but it won't be painful.
  8. We will send your sample to a lab for testing.
  9. You will drive home and keep self-isolating.

Drive-thru test centre

Some test centres offer a drive-thru service.

You can drive yourself if you feel well enough. If not, someone in your household can drive you. If you have a child who has an appointment to be tested, you can drive them.

Do not go to a drive-thru test centre unless you are in a car and have an appointment - you will not be seen otherwise.

  1. Drive to the centre.
  2. Stay in your car at all times.
  3. Follow the signs and the directions of staff.
  4. A healthcare worker will ask you to open your window.
  5. They will give you a mask to put on.
  6. They'll direct you to a test bay to take your test sample - do not get out of car.
  7. One healthcare worker will take your personal details - this is so we can contact you with your results.
  8. Another will take two swabs from inside the back of your throat and nose - this may be uncomfortable but it won't be painful.
  9. You will drive home and keep self-isolation.

Testing in your home

If you cannot attend a test centre, you may be tested at home.

  1. A healthcare worker will call to your home with a testing kit.
  2. They will use a swab to take a sample from inside back of your throat and nose.
  3. You will be asked to give them some personal details - this is so we can contact you with your results.

Join the Fight Against Coronavirus.

Download the CovidTracker app