Coronavirus testing at
Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology

 

Who should be tested for SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19

Risk

Epidemiological criteria

Clinical criteria

Action

      Very high risk

 

  • Close contact in the 14 days prior to illness onset with a confirmed case.
  • International travel in the 14 days prior to illness onset.
  • Cruise ship passengers and crew who have travelled in the 14 days prior to illness onset.
  • Fever (≥38°C) or history of fever OR acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat).
  • Test
      High risk setting

 

  1. Two or more cases of illness clinically consistent with COVID-19 in the following settings:
    • Aged care and other residential care facilities.
    • Military operational settings
    • Boarding schools
    • Correctional facilities
    • Detention centres
    • Aboriginal rural and remote communities, in consultation with the local Public Health Unit
    • Settings where COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred, in consultation with the local Public Health Unit
  2. Individual patients with illness clinically consistent with COVID-19 in a geographically localised area with elevated risk of community transmission, as defined by Public Health Units.
  • Fever (≥38°C) or history of fever (e.g. night sweats, chills) OR acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat).
  • Test
    (on site for aged care residents, where feasible)
      Moderate risk
  • Health care workers, aged or residential care workers.

 

  • Fever (≥38°C) or history of fever (e.g. night sweats, chills) OR acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat).
  • Test
     Background risk
  • (No epidemiological risk factors)

 

  • Hospitalised patients with fever (≥38°C) AND acute respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) of an unknown cause.
  • Test


For more detailed recommendations, this guideline can be accessed by visiting the below Australian Government website [CDNA National Guidelines].

CDNA National Guidelines


Specimen collection

  • The preferred specimen is a combined nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal flocked swab(s).
  • If a sputum sample is available, this should also be submitted.
  • A serum sample in high-risk patients may also be collected for future antibody testing.

 

What to do when arriving at an SNP collection centre?

  • Immediately make your presence known to staff.
  • Put on a mask provided, if not already wearing one.
  • Clean hands with the alcoholic hand wash/gel/foam provided.
  • Practise good respiratory hygiene (tissues, social distancing etc).
  • Patients will be triaged to a single room for the collection of specimens.


Where will the testing be performed?

  • Testing will be performed by Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology at our Bowen Hills laboratory.
  • Once the specimen has reached the laboratory, the turnaround time (TAT) will be 24-72 hours. As the test numbers increase this TAT is likely to increase.
  • The results will be released as soon as available. All positives will be notified to the referring doctor. 
  • A coronavirus request is notifiable regardless of the test result.

 

How much will it cost?

  • There is now a Medicare rebate to cover the cost of coronavirus testing.
  • If a valid Medicare card is not held, an upfront payment of $110 is required.

 

Where can specimens for coronavirus testing be collected?

Specimens can be collected at dedicated SNP collection centres by staff using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

  • For a printable PDF list click the blue box below.

PDF list of  coronavirus (and respiratory virus testing) collection centres

  • To find a dedicated collection centre using our interactive map:
    • Click on the blue box below.
    • If no designated collection centre appears, scroll out to include the nearest collection centre to your location.
    • If the collection centre is closed, please click on the collection centre name and a list of opening hours and contact details will appear.
Interactive map of coronavirus (and respiratory virus testing) collection centres

 

Last information content update 2:42pm 23/03/2020