Frequently Asked Questions
How does the Covid-19 Antigen Rapid test ( Self Test ) work?
Covid-19 Antigen Rapid test ( Self Test ) is a screening tool to help detect COVID-19 in people without any symptoms of COVID-19. Rapid antigen testing involves a nasal swab (using a small cotton bud) that is placed into a chemical solution The result displays within 15 minutes.
What does positive test result means for me?
If you get a positive rapid antigen test result, you must review the states rules at that time.
What does negative test result means for me?
Individuals must continue to follow the latest health advice and restrictions in their area.
What does an invalid result mean?
Sometimes the results are inconclusive or not clear, and the test cannot tell you if your results are positive or negative. If the display on the self-test shows an invalid result or a test error, the test did not work properly. If this happens, refer to the instructions for use in the package insert and contact the manufacturer for assistance. Invalid results can occur for many reasons. Your specimen may not have been collected correctly, or the testing instrument may have malfunctioned. Invalid test results are rare but can occur. Regardless of what your test results are, you should always review the results with a healthcare provider. The healthcare provider will consider the test result together with your symptoms and possible exposure in deciding how to care for you.
What are the advantages of performing self testing?
Rapid antigen tests have been used internationally and in some Australian industries for some time to screen employees for COVID-19 with no symptoms. Rapid antigen tests can be performed easily with results available within minutes. However, these tests have some limitations compared to the standard COVID-19 tests (PCR) used at testing clinics.
How does the nasal swab work? The nasal swab head has a brush which trap the virus in its bristles when the swab is rotated in the nostrils brushing it against the walls of the nasal passage. When the swab is inserted in the buffer and squeezed, the virus breaks down and is released in the buffer.
Why do I need to swab both nostrils?
Swabbing both nostrils ensures that quality sample is collected for testing. How deep should I insert the swab? The swab needs to be inserted only 1 to 2 cms in the nostril.
How do I collect sample of a child?
This test is not suitable for children below the age of 2 years. 3 to 14 years children can be tested with these devices and an adult is required to collect their sample and perform the test. Ask the child to blow the nose gently and clean with tissue. Then while sitting upright, get them to slightly tilt their head so the nasal passage is clearly visible to the collector. Insert the swab around 1 cms in one nostril and rotate it 5 times while brushing the swab head against the nasal passage. Repeat with the same swab in the other nostril.
If I have a runny or blocked nose can I use the swab to do the test?
Yes, you can. Clean the nose with tissue and get rid of excess mucus, then collect sample.
For state and territory COVID information visit the relevant local state and territory health departments – here.
For other relevant information about COVID-19 visit the Commonwealth Department of Health website – here.
Fact sheet explains what COVID-19 home use tests are (also known as COVID-19 rapid antigen self-tests), how they can be used at home and what to do when you get a result.
Information regarding available support services can also be obtained by contacting your local state and territory health department at: