COVID-19 test results

You will get your test results by text message. If your test is positive, we will also call you. 

HSE IT systems down

There may be some delay in getting your COVID-19 test results.

If you are waiting for a COVID 19 test result, it’s important that you self-isolate (stay in your room) until you get your test result. This is stricter advice than usual while we work through this IT outage.

When you'll get your results

Most people will get their results within 2 days, but it can take longer. 

Patients who are most seriously ill and in hospital will get their results first. 

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus):

What your results mean

There are 3 types of result you can get:

If you have not received your test results

Test results are given 7 days a week up until 9pm.

Call the COVID-19 helpline if you are waiting more than 2 days (48 hours) for your results.

Do not contact your GP for test results. Their phone lines need to be kept open for people who need help with symptoms.

If you were tested because you had symptoms

If you have not received your test results you can stop self-isolating if both of these apply:

  • you have not had a high temperature (38 degrees Celsius or higher) for 5 days in a row
  • it has been 10 days since you first developed symptoms

If you were tested because you were a close contact

If you are a close contact and do not have any symptoms, continue to restrict your movements (stay at home) for 14 days. Do this from the last date you were in contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19. If you’re not sure when that was, restrict your movements until the date you were told by our contact tracing team.

You can stop restricting your movements when both apply:

  • you have a negative test (COVID-19 not detected) 10 days after you were last in contact with the person who tested positive
  • you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19

Living with a close contact

If you live with someone who is a close contact, you do not need to restrict your movements while they wait for their test or test results.

But if they test positive for COVID-19, you will need to restrict your movements and should follow the advice for close contacts.

Follow the advice on living with someone who is a close contact

If you live with someone waiting for test results

If you live with someone who has symptoms, is self-isolating and waiting on test results, you should restrict your movements.

If their test comes back positive (COVID-19 virus found), you will become a close contact and should follow advice for close contacts.

If their test comes back negative, you can return to your normal activities.

Last updated: 14 May 2021 at 3pm