Free COVID-19 tests at home for vulnerable Victorians to help slow the spread

Vulnerable Victorians can now get tested at home for free to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Call-to-Test service is free for people who have COVID-19 symptoms and cannot leave home due to injury, mobility, or other eligible reasons.

The special service is available throughout regional Victoria too but you need a GP referral for a COVID-19 test to access the Call-to-Test service.

If you do not have a regular GP, our service can arrange a telehealth consultation for you.

Having a GP referral means the test result can be incorporated into appropriate treatment plans. The operator will talk to you about how you can get a GP referral and support you through the process.

The Call-to-Test service is available to:

  • People with an injury, chronic health issue, or frailty affecting mobility.
  • People with moderate to severe physical or psychosocial disability.
  • People with moderate to severe mental health or behavioural issues not otherwise classified as a psychosocial disability.
  • Carers for a person with moderate to severe disability.

You must be over five years of age to access this service.

Close contacts without symptoms can use the Call-to-Test service if they have been told by the Department of Health to get tested and meet any of the criteria listed above.

Call the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398 and select option 5 then option 5 again to find out if you are eligible for this service.

The service will ask you questions to see if you are eligible. A trained nurse who will ask questions to understand your unique circumstances. This conversation will explore current injury, health, mobility or other issues that impede your ability to travel to a testing site.

A nurse will visit your home within 48 – 72 hours of calling the hotline. The nurse will call you on the number provided to us before arrival, so you will have enough time to prepare for the visit and they will show identification upon arrival.

For eligible callers living in metropolitan Melbourne and most regional Victorian towns, visits take place between 9am and 5pm, seven days a week or Monday to Friday, depending on where you live.

The test takes around a minute and involves taking a sample swab from the back of your throat and nose.

Once the test is complete, the nurse will take your sample to a laboratory for testing to see if you have COVID-19.

Saliva testing is not available through the Call-to-Test service. Please talk to your GP or doctor about other testing options available to you.

It usually takes one to three days to get your results after being tested. Sometimes there are delays and it can take longer. You will get a text message or phone call about your results.

If you haven’t received your result after three days, call the GP who referred you for Call-To-Test.

If you have been waiting for your results for more than three days, call the dedicated Coronavirus Test Results Hotline on 1800 573 222 from Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm.

The service is available only to those who have COVID-19 symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Chills or sweats
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Loss or change in sense of smell or taste

In certain circumstances, headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also be considered.

Regardless of whether your symptoms persist, you must remain in self-isolation at home until you find out your test result.

Testing for vulnerable people in NSW

If you live in New South Wales and need a COVID-19 test but can’t go to a testing clinic, contact your GP to discuss if they can arrange home testing.

If your GP is unable to arrange COVID-19 home testing, your local health district may be able to assist you.

This service may be limited to people who cannot leave their home due to disability, injury, chronic health issues, or frailty affecting mobility.

For further information contact your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055.

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