Testing for COVID-19

Who can get tested

Patients who meet the following clinical criteria can be tested for COVID-19:

  • fever OR chills with no alternative illness that explains these symptoms)
  • an acute respiratory infection e.g.:
    • cough
    • sore throat
    • runny nose
    • shortness of breath
  • loss of taste and smell.

If you have other symptoms not listed above, visit the healthdirect SymptomChecker to see what you should do. Call 000 (Triple Zero) in an emergency, such as difficulty breathing.

Not sure what to do? See the What you should do flowchart (PDF 49KB) below:

What should you do?

Health Practitioners should refer to the latest COVID-19 CDNA National Guidelines for Public Health Units for a comprehensive list of case definitions.

How to get tested

See your GP

Contact your GP about getting tested for COVID-19. Your GP clinic will ask you about your symptoms to determine if you need to be tested. If you do qualify for a test, your doctor will give you instructions on what to do, which may include remaining in your car until someone can come outside to take a swab test, or they may provide you with a referral to attend a drive-through testing clinic.

Visit a dedicated COVID-19 clinic

People with COVID-19 symptoms can also visit a dedicated COVID-19 clinic to be assessed and tested. You don't need to call ahead or make an appointment.

Visit the COVID-19 Clinics and Testing Centres page to find your closest dedicated COVID-19 clinic across metropolitan and regional South Australia.

What to do after your test

After your test, go straight home and self-isolate while you wait for your test result (which you should usually get within 2 days) and:

  • stay at home and do not attend work, school or childcare
  • wash your hands often with soap and water
  • cough and sneeze into a clean tissue or your elbow
  • avoid close contact with others, including members of your household.

If you have a positive test result

If you have received a positive result for COVID-19, visit the Information about a positive result for COVID-19 page for information about what to do.

If you have a negative test result

It is important that you follow medical advice.

If you receive a negative test result, you should still stay at home and not attend work, school or childcare until you are feeling well again.

Certain people considered to be at higher-risk (PDF 52KB) such as people who have returned from travel or been in close contact with a confirmed case will need to remain in self-isolation even if they return a negative test result.

If you are feeling worried but well

  • talk to friends, family or a professional if you need help
  • call the SA COVID Information Line on 1800 253 787
  • call the SA COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line on 1800 632 753.