COVID-19 test tube with swabs

Anyone with cold or flu symptoms need to get tested for COVID-19. For some people with disability, this is easier said than done. Here's what we know on the use of home, call-to-test or self-testing kits. 

People with disability are more likely to be transport disadvantaged. They may not have access to a private vehicle or may not be able to leave their home due to mobility issues. This can make getting tested for COVID-19 tricky because when getting tested, you are required to completely self-isolate until your results come back. This means not accessing community spaces including public transport. Some group care facilities have had mobile testing units sent to test on-site, here we explain home testing.


Read more on testing for people with a disability and saliva testing.


What are the symptoms?

Basically, any cold or flu symptoms could be related to COVID-19. The most common symptoms are: 

  • fever
  • dry cough
  • tiredness

If you need help identifying these symptoms, try the HealthDirect Coronvirus COVID-19 Symptom Checker or call 1800 022 222 24 hours a day. 

 

Can I get a home testing kit or tested at home?

It depends. At the moment, they are only available in some metropolitan areas, which we share below. Please note that we are updating this information as things change, and at the moment they are changing all the time, so do check back. 

Melbourne

If you are unable to leave your home and require a test, you can call the Victorian coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398, then press number 9.  The operator will help you work out if you are eligible for the Call-To-Test service and if you are, take you through the steps to organise it.

The Call-to-Test service is for people who have COVID-19 symptoms and meet the following criteria:

  • 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

People without symptoms may also be able to get it if DHHS has directed them to be tested.
You will need a General Practitioner (GP) referral for a coronavirus (COVID-19) test to access the service, unless you have been directed by DHHS to get a test, as well as demonstrate you are not able to access existing testing sites through family or community supports. The operator on the phone will support you through the process.

Access Easy EnglishpdfVictoria Get a Test at Home  PDF for Download and Accessible Word Document docxVictoria Get a Test at Home.
 

Regional Victoria

Home Testing is not available in regional Victoria. DHHS has said

If you live in a remote or regional part of Victoria and cannot leave home to attend a testing site, you should contact your GP, community health service or local hospital for assistance and to discuss options available to you.

You can also call the Victorian COVID-19 hotline on 1800 675 398, for help.

Returning a test (Self-test kit)

If you are trying to return a self-test kit, you can either hand your completed test back to a community tester or call 1300 13 44 88 between 11 am and 7 pm and press 3 to speak to an operator. The operator will need you to provide the following information about yourself: Name, address, contact number, number of kits to be collected and collection location.

You can also register your details online using the DHHS COVID-19 Self Test pickup form

Sydney

Histopath is working with COVID Test Sydney to deliver and collect home testing kits in the greater Sydney metropolitan area and may be able to help with home tests in the Sydney region.

Go to covidtestsydney.com.au or histopath.com.au for more information.

 

Newcastle

For chronically ill Newcastle and surrounding residents, or those without access to vehicles, you will require a GP referral to 4cyte pathology. The referral must state that "Home Visit required" 4cyte can then contact you for a weekday home visit time.

Adelaide

SA Pathology is providing a metro based Adelaide Domiciliary Service which is staffed by nurses for the collection of potential COVID-19 specimens within a persons’ home.

Home testing supports GPs who may not be able to perform the test in their own clinic.

For more information visit SA Health COVID-19 Response: Home testing

Other States and Territories

IDEAS is not currently aware of options for home testing in other places. If you would like us to find out more for you please call us at Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787.

Need help? Call us!

We have shared with the government that the lack of access to home testing is a serious issue for people with disability and that many people needing tests at home have been calling us. Also, that some people would like someone to come to their home to complete testing.

If you are looking for more information or need a home-based test in your area you can call us on the COVID-19 Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787, Monday to Friday 8 am to 8 pm.

Things are changing all the time so please note that this advice could change. We will let you know if it does.


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