Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) Guide

Rapid testing guideRapid antigen tests can be used at home to check if you may have COVID-19. Most rapid antigen tests will provide you with a result in 15 to 30 minutes. Do not eat or drink 30 minutes before doing a saliva rapid antigen test. This page tells you when to get a Rapid Antigen Test, when to go to a testing centre and get the standard test, and what your results mean. A link to reporting is also given.


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Rapid antigen tests can be used at home to check if you may have COVID-19. Most rapid antigen tests will provide you with a result in 15 to 30 minutes. Do not eat or drink 30 minutes before doing a saliva rapid antigen test.

These tests are faster but less accurate than a standard (PCR) test that you can get at a COVID-19 testing site.

There are currently two types of rapid antigen tests available:

  • Saliva – this test involves spitting into a tube or sucking on a swab
  • Nasal swab – this test involves swabbing each nostril.

When to use a rapid antigen test

Rapid antigen tests can be used:

  • if you have symptoms
  • are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID (household, education, workplace or social)
  • if you want to quickly check if you may have COVID-19
  • as part of a surveillance program such as one organised by your school or employer
  • when recommended by the Victorian Department of Health

When to get a standard (PCR) test

You should take a standard (PCR) test at a testing site if you:

  • have symptoms or are a contact of someone who is a COVID case and cannot access a rapid antigen test
  • if you do not have symptoms and are not a contact of a COVID case, but you have tested positive on a rapid antigen test
  • when otherwise recommended by the Department of Health

Where to get a rapid antigen test

Rapid antigen tests are available from some supermarkets, pharmacies, select testing sites (you can find the nearest testing site to you at: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/where-get-tested-covid-19) or online.

More info at https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/checklist-contacts

Your Test Result

Rapid Antigen Test Result

Children and rapid antigen tests

Rapid antigen tests are safe for use with children. If a child is aged 12-17 years old and would like to undertake the test themselves, they can do this with parent or guardian supervision to ensure they are following the steps correctly. Children under 12 years old will need a parent or guardian to perform the test on them.

Always follow the instructions and watch the linked videos within your rapid antigen test kit carefully on how to do your test.

Recording results

If you test positive on a rapid antigen test, you are a case. You must report your positive rapid antigen test result as soon as you can. To report your result, call the Coronavirus Hotline at 1800 675 398, or fill in this online form: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/report

 

Rapid Antigen Test Guide - step by step

 

Rapid Antigen Test Guide - step by step

 

Rapid Antigen Test Guide - step by step

 

Rapid Antigen Test Guide - step by step


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