Treatments and tests

COVID-19 testing

Get tested for COVID-19 early – people are most infectious when they first experience symptoms.

COVID-19 can cause a range of symptoms. These can range from mild illness to pneumonia. If you experience any of the below symptoms, no matter how mild, please get a COVID-19 test.

What are the symptoms and when should I get tested?

Get tested if you have any of the following, no matter how mild:

  • fever of 37.5°C or above OR fever in the last few days (for example, night sweats or chills)
  • coughing, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose
  • loss of smell or taste.

COVID-19 tests for the purposes of International Visa requirements, G2G applications for travel interstate or work clearances are not available at public COVID clinics. Testing is available at private pathology collection centres with a referral from your GP or medical practitioner.

What does the test involve?

A swab will be inserted into the back of your throat and then through your nose by a qualified practitioner. This is a fast procedure, lasting less than a minute. It may cause some mild discomfort but is not painful.

Your swab sample will be taken to a laboratory to be tested for COVID-19.

Where can I get tested?

Testing is available at COVID clinics, regional public hospitals, health services and remote health clinics (where COVID clinics are not available); and, private pathology centres. For locations and opening days/times please visit the COVID clinics page.

Testing in regional and remote WA

Find out where to get tested for in regional and remote areas of WA (PDF 1.5MB).

Hear about Jill's testing experience

View the WA Health coronavirus (COVID-19) playlist on YouTube (external site).

After your test

After your test you must go directly home and you must stay home while waiting for your test results. You cannot have visitors to your home and you cannot go to the shops or go for a walk while you are waiting for your results. If you fail to isolate you can be charged and fined.

For more information see Self-quarantine in Western Australia for returned travellers, close contacts and those tested for COVID-19 (PDF 225KB)

Isolation instructions for people awaiting test results or people in quarantine who are symptomatic (PDF 327KB).

Exemptions from isolation after COVID-19 testing 

The following people do not need to isolate after testing, provided they do not have symptoms of COVID-19:

  • people tested under a Presentation for Testing (Quarantine Centre Workers) Directions
  • people tested under a Transport, Freight and Logistics Directions
  • people tested as part of the DETECT borders program
  • carers of a dependent who has been tested, whilst waiting for the result of the dependent person
  • people who undergo serology testing
  • people who need to provide evidence of a negative COVID test for overseas governments. Testing under this circumstance can occur at private pathology collection centres and should not occur at WA government COVID clinics.

When will I get my results?

It can take up to 3 working days to receive your results via phone or SMS. Results are texted between 8am and 8pm daily. 

Call 1800 313 223 for your result if:

  • If you have waited more than three working days
    AND
  • You had a test at a public COVID clinic in WA or at a public testing facility in country WA.

Note: This number is Monday to Friday 8am-4pm.

If you were referred for a test by your GP or a private provider, contact them directly.

What if I get a negative test result?

  • If you have previously been directed to self-quarantine you will have to continue to self-quarantine for a total of 14 days even if the test result is negative.
  • If you have not been directed to self-quarantine and have received your negative result then you will no longer be required to isolate. You should stay at home until you are well. Physical distancing of 1.5 metres, cough etiquette and self-hygiene recommendations still apply.

What if I get a positive test result?

A Public Health Unit staff member will discuss your positive result with you.

If you are a confirmed case of COVID-19 you must self-isolate until you recover and are cleared by the Department of Health to resume your normal activities (you will receive a formal letter of clearance from the disease). If you are well enough you can carry out your isolation in your home or other suitable accommodation.

Last reviewed: 02-02-2021
Coronavirus information helplines: 13 COVID (13 268 43). Interstate callers: 1800 595 206. International callers: +61 8 9118 3100.