It is so important to keep ourselves safe during this pandemic. This means to maintain social distancing, avoid unnecessary travel and to get tested if you feel unwell even with the slightest of symptoms. I got sick over the weekend and I knew I wanted to take a covid test for peace of mind. I thought I would share my experience as well as all those questions I’ve sure you have in mind when it comes to the covid test.
When to get tested – covid symptoms
As I mentioned, get tested at even the slightest of symptoms. Definitely have an overreacting rather than an under-reacting attitude when it comes to covid. More than 2.5 million people have died worldwide of this disease.
If you are a close contact with a known positive case or even if you were visited a confirmed covid case for even the shortest time, get tested or at least monitor your symptoms. The scary part of this illness is a lot of people who carry it are asymptomatic. This means that whilst the person is not displaying symptoms, they can still transmit the disease to others.
Covid symptoms include:
- fever (37.5 ° or higher)
- sore throat
- shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
- runny nose
- loss of taste
- loss of smell
- acute blocked nosed (congestion)
- muscle pain
- joint pain
- loss of appetite
What if you have asthma, hayfever, etc
I’ve got you. As an asthma sufferer myself, I find that a lot of the covid symptoms are similar to those found in asthma. I find that when I get my triggers, I’m really prone to a runny nose or cough. Symptoms such as itchy eyes and nose could point more towards seasonal allergies. More serious symptoms such as muscle and body aches and especially new loss of taste or smell could point more towards covid.
I’ve found a lot of people similar to my age have contracted covid and the loss of taste and smell seems to be a really prominent short and long-term symptom of covid.
Definitely take this as a precaution. If you haven’t had these symptoms for a while, I would definitely would not delay getting a covid test.
Where to find the closest covid clinic
I’ve heard that there are covid tests you can do at home which is super convenient. As far as I’m aware, we don’t have that in Australia.
If you live in Sydney or NSW (Australia), click here to find your closest covid clinic.
There are several different types of covid clinics including:
- you need to make a booking
- children can be tested at the clinic
- a referral from your GP is required
- there is wheelchair access
- the clinic is drive-through and you need to stay in your car for the test.
For me, I wanted to get my covid test as soon as possible so I opted for a clinic that did not need a GP referral. If there is any cost to the test, I think it would be a GP referral if you do not have bulk-billing.
I can be very discouraged by expensive prices but this is such an important test. Plus, it is free so there really shouldn’t be any reason to not take a covid test if required.
What to expect before going to the clinic
You will need to bring your Medicare card with you or if you don’t have a Medicare card, bring at least one form of identification, such as your driver’s licence or student ID. Medicare details were asked for on the form I had to fill out.
Check the opening and closing hours of the clinic you’re attending
Unfortunately the opening and closing hours can be quite unideal. For example, the clinic I went to was open 9am to 4pm. Please keep this in mind. The worst thing that can happen is if the clinic is closed when you turn up.
Covid test experience | how long does it take, how painful was it, etc
Getting to the venue was very easy and the signs made it very easy to navigate. I had to wait outside before staff let me in. She gave me hand sanitiser and then ushered me to a seat.
It was then when I received a form to fill out which included all my details. Once then, the staff ushers me to the desk where I display my clipboard against a window screen so they can get my details.
Bonus: You are allowed to keep the pen.
The nurse then asks if my details have been displayed correctly (I assume the sticker is attached to the vial so it can be tested). It is then that I get my phone and scan a QR code. You are then asked to register your details and it will automatically send a text stating that your registration has been received and your results will be sent by SMS within 24-48 hours (this is usually less than 24 hours – for me it was about 12). The text also states a unique passcode that you will type in once your test is ready.
The nurse also stressed the importance of picking up your phone as a positive covid test will be told to you via phone call rather than a simple SMS.
Note: If you’re taking your test during an ‘outbreak’ you may have to wait a while queuing up as there will be a large increase in people getting tested.
Now lets get into the covid test.
How long does it take
The covid test probably takes 30 seconds. Another nurse ushers you into a room where you sit down with your clipboard. You are then asked to open your mouth so they can swirl your swab on your throat and then swab inside both your nostrils.
Then you’re given hand sanitiser and escorted out. That’s it!
How painful was it
The poking inside my nostrils was super uncomfortable but it lasted like 5 seconds. Fight through the pain.
What to do after your testing
You are told to immediately go home after testing and isolate until you receive a negative test. You should get an SMS text within the 24-48 hour time frame.
If you were a close contact to a known positive case, you are required to isolate for the full 2 weeks incubation period regardless of a negative result.
And that’s what you need to know about covid testing. It is a very easy and seamless process to ensure the health and safety of yourself, your loved ones and the greater community.
Lastly, I thought I would leave you with this cute reminder. Wash your hands and stay safe.