COVID19 How Long Did You Wait for COVID19 Results?

I am interested to know whether the delay I am experiencing in getting back my COVID19 results is on par with the wider (Ozbargain) community.

I had a COVID19 test done in Melbourne last week at a temporary clinic after having some (hopefully unerelated) minor symptoms. The experience itself felt safe and efficient and I am thankful for those stationed to work there.

7 days have passed though and I'm still awaiting the results. I've called the clinic and the national COVID19 hotline who have both just mentioned the large number of people getting tested. That's fair enough though at 7 days or more that's increasing potential spread by my limited contacts (I haven't left home since). Interested to hear of other users experiences in getting their results back. The information i've found online indicates long waits like this are more common in regional areas.

Poll Options

  • 27
    Results within 48 hours
  • 13
    Results with 3-4 days
  • 4
    Results within 5-7 days
  • 1
    Results after 7 days
  • 2
    Still awaiting results
  • 11
    COVID19 is just a conspiracy


  • My dad's took 3-4 days I think, I told him if he had tested positive they'd be on the phone to him pretty quick. He also got tested in Melbourne at a shopping centre.

  • +20

    The result is overnight if you're a Treasurer of Australia

    • +17

      I'm not even treasurer of my household :(

  • Result is within 24-48 hrs.

    Hearing more epeople getting it next day

  • I did the test at RMH. After a bit of a wait(understandable), I got tested at noonish, they said it would take 2 to 3 days, but I got an SMS at 8am the next morning to say I was negative.

    • +2

      But what about the Corona test results?

      • The police aren't doing RBTs here at the moment.

  • +1

    I saw the results appear on My Health Record about 2 days after my test but couldn't see it due to the 7 day waiting period. I ended up calling them 4 days later and was told I was negative. Some GP software will put alerts against urgent results and they would/should call you immediately. If they haven't contacted you hopefully you're all good but doesn't hurt to give them a call if you know who/where they are sending the results to.

    • Cheers, I'll give that a try.

  • Two weeks ago, my husband and I got tested the same day, maybe an hour apart (I went first). My test came back (negative) 25 hours after via SMS. He didn't get an SMS, and since he got tested on a Monday, he had to know his result on Thursday to be able to tell his workplace if he can come in on Friday as rostered. He ended up calling the pathology number provided and they picked up that the SMS system must've been down for him to not receive his test result (negative). We're in Toowoomba QLD.

  • my friends took 7 days after chasing them up over the phone. Work still requires a doctors note so they're still not "cleared".

    • That's annoying, it doesn't look to be a seamless experience for everyone.

  • The experience itself felt safe and efficient

    You mean when they poke your nose real deep?! Did you bleed? Is this the only way to get tested? :(

    • +2

      Ahh yeah I forget to say it was uncomfortable and I didn't realise they take the scraping from your brain (well it felt they went that high anyway). I don't want to scare people off from taking it though! It's a brief uncomfortable moment.

      They did both nostrils (no bleeding) and the back of my throat.

      • Yikes! That sounds torturous! How long did it take? Seconds? A minute?

        • Seconds.

        • Seconds but feels longer. Hold your breath makes it easier. If they don't go so far up can end up with false result.

  • +1

    Test result return rate seems to vary wildly.
    From the grapevine, getting tested a hospital with its own lab has a faster turnaround than at a testing location where the tests need to be transported to a lab.
    This makes sense to a certain degree, but should add only a day or two to the turnaround you'd expect.
    I suspect the Lab preferentially tests local samples and external samples are tested in the downtime. Would not at all surprise me if it is a KPI for the lab to get local samples turned around within x hours, and despite the current circumstances this KPI is still being measured.

    • Thanks for the input, it wouldn't surprise me if the grapevine is correct. I went to a clinic because of convenience though I see sense in going to the hospital. I'd prefer the possible extra minutes wait than the extra days wait thereafter.

  • We had ours done at St Vincent’s hospital on the Saturday and they rang us on Sunday to give the all clear. Roughly 24 hours. The funny thing is I got the SMS telling me I was negative about 7 days later. If in doubt I would head for a hospital to get the test done, they seem to be quicker. St Vincent's only had one person being tested in front of us too.

  • I took 2 tests on the same day : the RT-PCR, which tests for active infection and the immunoassay, which test for antibodies. I got both results within 24hrs.

    • The antibody ones are a bit controversial due to the false positives. Our real positives are so low they tend to be swamped by the false positives. How did you get the antibody one?

      • +1

        Best mate is part of a team of researchers working on the vaccine. I don't believe it was a false positive in my case. I was in China in January and went into voluntary confinement on my return. I wouldn't be surprised if I was one of the asymptomatic ones and have developed anti-bodies.

        • +1

          Thanks, I was interested to know because they don’t tend to test for it. Best of luck to your mate in finding the vaccine.

          • @try2bhelpful: Just to add, the antibodies tests we bought are rubbish. The one I used was the Roche Elecsys serology test. It has a specificity greater than 99.8% and sensitivity of 100%.

            • +1

              @DisabledUser102420: Certainly better than the other tests but, even, 0.2% is going to add up when you are doing hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of tests. The other problem is we don’t know if, having recovered, it means you can’t get it again. I’m 58 and, given the stats, I do like my chances of not dying from this. However, it would be nice to know if I have encountered the virus. Even the experts are on a steep learning. More power to them. They are certainly going to need it with people like a Trump involved; however he is providing them with a huge number of test subjects without all the pesky ethics people getting in the way so “silver lining” as they say.

  • Had to get my 1 year old son done yesterday arvo. Got results 7am next morning.

    • How did he cope with it?

      • I’ll give it to the testing people, they were quick and efficient, my boy didn’t seem to care. But I certainly didn’t envy him haha

        • It wasn’t pleasant but it wasn’t painful. We didn’t have bad symptoms but the sore throat had been there for a while. We seemed to be OK, in ourselves, but I was worried about spreading it to other people if we were infectious.

  • Does it hurt?

    • I wouldn’t say pain as such. Definitely uncomfortable. Got a nose bleed afterwards. Results in 18 hours at Austin Hospital in Melbourne

  • did a drive thru test. quick and easy and took maybe 30 hrs for negative result

  • My drive through experience was slow, but pleasant.When I returned home to isolate, I signed up for the results app. I received my results at 4am the following morning by text!!!!

    My only criticism was that prior to being tested I phoned a doctor. Had a telecheck, (which wasn’t necessary) and she asked me to come in for a script, so I obliged.

    When I got to the testing facility, the nurse didn’t want my script. You didn’t need to have one, yet that doctor insisted on a teleconsult and a physical visit to the medical centre.

    Wish I knew I could have just gone directly to the testing facility!!!!

  • Myself and my two youngest children got tested at the Covid clinic at Fiona Stanley hospital in WA, 2 weeks ago. There was only us and two other people to be tested. Took me longer to fill out all the paperwork & give my long medical history than the actual the test. The test itself was a little uncomfortable but the kids didn't complain so it's not that bad. Got the results back in 24 hours. Plenty of staff there and they were pretty efficient and great with the kids.

  • Thanks for the feedback everyone. It seems like my more than 7 day wait certainly isn't the norm.

  • First time tested in dedicated covid-19 testing centre from GP referral and results back in 3-4 days.
    Second time in ER of major hospital took 6 days, though anticipated results in 4 days, lady explained more tests than anticipated and running behind.
    Negative both times.

  • I think fastest now is 24hrs

  • Our family of four was tested yesterday at a local pop-up respiratory centre because both my kids had sore throats, potentially from visitors on the weekend, and I had visited my parents.

    We were fretting about the nasal swab, but surprisingly they tested each of us using just a throat swab. It was so quick I was skeptical that I was tested properly/thoroughly. Got the results this morning that we were all negative.

    Has anyone else been tested only via throat swab? Do they use different methods depending on the level of symptoms you have?