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Getting your results

Find out about getting the results of your coronavirus (COVID-19) test.

Key points

  • After your test go straight home.
  • Wait for your test results.
  • Stay at home and do not go to work while you wait for your results.
  • You should get your test results within 2 days of being tested. 
  • If you are worried your results are taking too long you can call a service provider for more information.
  • If you test positive you must self-isolate until the Department of Health tells you it is safe to stop – usually 10 to 14 days. You cannot go to work or go out shopping. Others in your housedo not need to self-isolate unless they are also waiting for a coronavirus (COVID-19) test result or have been asked to quarantine.
  • If you test negative:
    • if an authorised officer has told you to quarantine (e.g. as a close contact, as part of an outbreak, or because you have visited an interstate high risk location), you will still need to quarantine for at least 14 days and until you have been cleared by the Department of Health.
    • if you have not been told to quarantine by an authorised officer and once you feel well, you can go about your normal activity, following the restrictions for your area.

After the test

After you’ve been tested, you need to go straight home and wait for your results. 

Do not go to work or go out shopping.

Your doctor or the clinic where you were tested will contact you by phone or SMS to tell you your results, regardless if it is positive or negative.

If you are worried you will lose pay while you wait for your results you may be eligible for a $450 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation Payment.

What if my test was for surveillance testing?

If your test was done as part of industry surveillance testing you do not need to isolate after testing, unless:

  • you have symptoms, or
  • the Department of Health has told you to - for instance, if you are a close contact or have been to an exposure site.

If you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) as part of surveillance testing:

  • you must immediately go home and isolate. Do not make any stops on the way home.

Read the What to do if you've tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) factsheet (Word) for more information or visit What to do if you have coronavirus.

I don’t have symptoms, but I’ve been tested because I’m having surgery soon. Do I have to self-isolate?

In these cases, you will have received instructions from your general practitioner or surgeon – you need to follow these.

See also the consumer elective surgery testing factsheet (Word).

How long does it take to get the results?

You should get your test results within 2 days of being tested. Sometimes there are delays and it can take longer.

Victorian and interstate labs are working around the clock to process all the tests, but with so many coming in every day, sometimes it takes a little longer to confirm the results.

You will receive a text or phone call about your results.

When will I be able to leave isolation after a positive test for coronavirus (COVID-19)?

You must isolate until you receive clearance from the Department of Health. An officer from the department will call you to explain what this means and answer any questions you may have.

The Department of Health or an authorised health worker will do an assessment and decide if your isolation can end. This will depend on:

  • the amount of time since your symptoms began – usually between 10 to 14 days
  • how sick you have been
  • how much your symptoms have improved
  • whether you have a weakened immune system prone to infection (immunocompromised)
  • whether you have had a more infectious strain of COVID-19
  • results from any testing that the department may have asked you to do.

The department will give you written clearance that says you are no longer required to isolate. You will then be able to return to your normal activities in line with any restrictions in place at your location.

You must continue to isolate until you are cleared.

Will I need to be tested again?

While all people who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate until cleared, most people will not need to be tested again.

Before being cleared from isolation, the Department of Health will ask you to be tested again if you:

  • are significantly immunocompromised (have a weakened immune system prone to infection) or
  • have been severely ill requiring hospitalisation and have continuing symptoms, or
  • have had a more infectious strain of COVID-19.

What happens if I test negative?

If you test negative, your doctor or the clinic where you were tested will tell you your result.

If you continue to have symptoms you should ring your general practitioner for advice. If you become very unwell and are having trouble breathing contact triple zero (000).

If you have been identified as needing to quarantine (e.g. as a close contact, as part of an outbreak, or because you have visited an interstate high risk location), you will still need to quarantine until the Department of Health tells it is safe to stop for at least 14 days, even if you test negative.

If you have not been told to quarantine by the Department of Health, you can resume your normal activity once you feel well, following the restrictions for your location.

I don't have my results who can I contact?

You should get your test results within 2 days of being tested for coronavirus (COVID-19). You will usually receive a text message or phone call about your results. Sometimes there are delays and it can take longer.

If you have not received your results within two days, contact the location where you had the test. Location details are below.

I was tested at a clinic, hospital or pathology collection centre

Call the clinic, hospital or pathology collection centre where you had your test. Contact phone numbers for clinics, hospitals and collection centres can be found on the map at: Where to get tested

I was tested at a pop-up testing site

Call the provider for the site where you had your test.

  • Deer Park – IPC Health: 9216 7758
  • Wyndham Vale – IPC Health: 9216 7758
  • Keilor Community Hub – IPC Health: 9216 7758
  • Dandenong – Australian Clinical Labs: 1300 134 111
  • Pakenham – Australian Clinical Labs: 1300 134 111
  • Monash University Frankston – Peninsula Health: 1800 512 405
  • Casey Fields – Australian Clinical Labs: 1300 134 111
  • Melbourne Showgrounds – Western Health: 9244 0472
  • Mildura Central – Sunraysia Community Health: 5021 7653
  • Craigieburn Health Service – Northern Health: 8405 8863 (8:30am–5pm)
  • Fawkner – Australian Clinical Labs: 1300 134 111
  • Greensborough – Banyule Community Health: 9433 0942 (9am-3pm)

I was tested at a drive-through testing site

If you were tested at any of these sites, call the Onsite Doctor Results Hotline on 03 8669 0255 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm):

  • Hume City Council, Broadmeadows
  • Chadstone Golfers Drive, Malvern East
  • Mickleham Road, Tullamarine
  • Darebin Arts Centre, Preston
  • Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, Albert Park
  • Heidelberg Repatriation Carpark
  • Roxburgh Park Youth and Recreation Centre
  • Shorten Reserve, West Footscray
  • Springers Keysborough
  • Victoria University (St Albans Campus)
  • Swinburne University, Wantirna
  • Wyndham Civic Centre

Note that results will be available through the hotline five days after testing, and only for the drive-through testing sites listed above.

I was not tested at any of the above locations or I have been unable to obtain my results

If none of the above options apply to you, or you have been unable to obtain your results, call the Coronavirus Test Results Hotline on 1800 573 222.

The Coronavirus Test Results Hotline operates Mondays to Fridays between 8am and 6pm.

The hotline can provide confirmation of a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) result verbally or via text message only. If you require a letter or other form of documentation of your result (such as for travel, medical, work or educational purposes) you should contact a general practitioner who can obtain your result and provide suitable documentation.

Thank you for your support and patience. We are working as quickly as we can to get results back to people who have come forward for testing. Getting tested is one of the most important contributions you can make to slowing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and keeping the community safe.

If you require further support or information while you await your test results, see Getting tested.

Why is the department contacting me by text message/SMS?

In order to accelerate the contact tracing process, the department may communicate with you via text message.

This is an important method of communication that allows us to speed up contact tracing and help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have been assessed as a close contact who has been exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19), you may receive text messages containing:

  • directions about an upcoming phone call from a department officer - phone calls from the department will appear as a private number.
  • a contact tracing questionnaire - requesting your details and information about the places you have been and the people you have seen.

The department will never ask you for your financial details, to make payments using SMS or email, or to download software.

If you are concerned about the authenticity of a text message or any other communication from the department, you can call us on 1300 651 160.

Reviewed 18 March 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

If you suspect you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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