COVID-19 specimen collection

The criteria for COVID-19 testing are listed on the NSW Health website and are subject to change as the global situation changes. 

IMPORTANT: Please note all patients must have a valid pathology request for COVID-19 testing. 

  • Only low-risk COVID-19 patients should be referred to a DHM COVID-19 collection centre.
  • A doctor collection can be performed using full personal protective equipment (PPE),  if a patient presents with mild illness (no severe coughing or shortness of breath). 
  • All high-risk patients (fever or significant respiratory symptoms) must be referred to a local hospital. 

Dedicated COVID-19 only collection centres

A limited number of DHM collection centres have now been designated as COVID-19 only collection centres, which require an appointment. Please click here for an up-to-date list of these locations.

With stringent safety procedures associated with COVID-19 specimen collection, these centres are operated by staff members who have expertise covering all aspects of coronavirus/respiratory virus specimen handling, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The dedicated centres have been carefully selected, with no shared facilities.

Please note: These centres are not collecting specimens for any other pathology testing. Patients requiring collection for other pathology tests should be directed to another convenient DHM collection centre.

DHM COVID-19 Booking Hotline – 1800 026 622 (Mon–Fri 9am–5pm, Sat 9am–1pm)

All patients who have a pathology request form for COVID-19 testing are asked to call our DHM COVID-19 Booking Hotline on 1800 026 622 (Mon–Fri 9am–5pm, Sat 9am–1pm). This is a well-staffed, central booking service established to coordinate all coronavirus appointments at our dedicated COVID-19 collection centres.

Doctor swab collection

Both a throat and nasal specimen collection are performed on a single swab. 

A doctor collection for COVID-19 testing can be performed if a patient presents with mild illness (no severe coughing or shortness of breath) using full personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves, gown, mask and eye protection.

If severe illness (severe coughing and shortness of breath), please send patient to the nearest public hospital Emergency Department.

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