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COVID-19 Testing & Results

How to get a PCR test and result for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.

PCR tests and rapid antigen testing

COVID-19 PCR testing in NSW has changed. For most people, if you have COVID-19 symptoms, please do a rapid antigen test (RAT).

Until 31 September 2023, RATs are available for free at Service NSW service centres, mobile service centres and recovery centres. Find a RAT near you.

If your doctor recommends a COVID-19 PCR test, they will give you a pathology referral form for a free COVID-19 PCR test. The referral form will have a private pathology provider location to visit so you can get tested.

If you are a patient presenting to a NSW Health facility and need to be admitted to hospital, you will be assessed for symptoms of an acute respiratory infection (ARI).  You might be required to have a RAT or PCR.

Visit the NSW Health website to learn what COVID-19 test should I do?


COVID-19 rapid antigen test updates

From 1 October 2023, you will no longer be able to:

  • register a positive rapid antigen test (RAT) result with Service NSW. This is because the Service NSW RAT portal will close on this date
  • collect free RATs at Service NSW locations and recovery centres.

NSW Health still recommends you should stay at home and not visit high risk settings such as aged care facilities and hospitals if you have cold or flu symptoms. This is to help protect other people. Find out what to do if your RAT is positive or negative.

If you are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, speak to your doctor and make a plan about testing and antiviral medicines before you get sick. If you are unwell and can’t contact your doctor, call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 or use the online Service Finder.

PCR test results

Where did you get tested?

If we performed your PCR test there are two convenient ways to get your result.

1. The Results Portal

NSW Health Pathology Results Portal

Our Results Portal lets you securely access your COVID-19 test result.

Negative results can be downloaded in a report to share with authorised third parties like your employer or school.

Positive reports can be downloaded as a smartcard to your mobile phone.

If you’ve also been tested for influenza and other respiratory viruses results for these will also be available.

2. SMS

Send an SMS with the words my result to the mobile number listed on the flyer you received when you were tested and follow the prompts.

When your result is ready, you will get an SMS with a link to the Results Portal where you can obtain your result.

Read our step-by-step guide to obtaining your result:

Read our Step-by-Step Guide

Please note - from 31 October 2023, NSW Health Pathology will cease providing the COVID-19 Results Service and Results Portal.

People in NSW now require a pathology referral to obtain a PCR test for COVID-19 so, from 31 October 2023, patients will receive their results from their treating GP or requesting clinician. This takes us back to the process that was in place before the pandemic.

What if my result is positive?

If your result is positive, you will receive an SMS with a link to the Results Portal where you can see your result and find what to do next.

If you require urgent medical assistance, call triple zero (000) and let the operator know you are COVID-19 positive.

Many private pathology providers also perform COVID-19 testing. We can’t access their records so contact them directly for your result or talk to your GP.

Private pathology providers and their phone numbers for results are below:

Information on which COVID-19 test best suits your particular requirements is available on the NSW Health website.

If you require urgent medical assistance, call triple zero (000).

COVID-19 Test Enquiries

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If it has been more than 48 hours since you were tested, follow up with us using the enquiry form below.

Note: if you have registered for an SMS or the Results Portal, you DO NOT need to complete this form.

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