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COVID-19 - getting tested COVID-19 - getting tested

Getting your child tested

Getting tested for COVID-19 is important to help keep your community, your mob and your child safe. By diagnosing it early, it means they can get the treatment they need and take steps to avoid spreading the virus to family, friends and the community.

What happens when your child is tested for COVID-19

Wondering what to expect when your child is tested for COVID-19 and how to explain it to them? Watch Keith’s journey below as he gets tested for COVID-19.

Watch: What do I do if I or my family test positive for COVID-19?

Supporting children and young people (parents and carers)

COVID care self checker
Information on home isolation for COVID-19

Frequently asked questions

When should I get my child tested?

In Queensland, anyone who has the following symptoms should be tested, no matter how mild:

  • Fever (or history of fever) OR respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath). Children may also experience other symptoms, such as runny nose, headache, loss of smell, loss of taste, nausea or vomiting, muscle pain, joint pain, fatigue, diarrhoea or a loss of appetite. Symptoms can vary depending on each case.
  • People in quarantine, in accordance with current quarantine protocols.
  • Contacts of confirmed or suspect cases.

If you are concerned that your child may have COVID-19 and requires medical treatment, please take them to your nearest Emergency Department.

If you think your child or a family member may have COVID-19 and their symptoms are mild, call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84). You can ask to speak with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander registered nurse when you call.

Call emergency services on 000 if your child is very sick.

Where can I get my child tested?

If your child has any COVID-19 symptoms, they can get tested by a GP, a Respiratory Clinic, or at public and private hospitals where fever clinics have been established.

If you live in Brisbane, you can bring your child to the Queensland Children’s Hospital Family Testing Clinic to be tested as a family. To find your nearest testing centre visit the Queensland Health testing and fever clinics webpage.

General practice
General practice doctors, or GPs, can do COVID-19 testing or arrange it through pathology providers, or they will refer you to another facility (like a pathology collection centre) for a test. Some GP clinics are now also offering special COVID-19 testing clinics.

Respiratory clinics
Some general practices have established specialised respiratory clinics for people with respiratory symptoms to be assessed and tested as required separate from regular GP waiting and consulting rooms. There is no cost to individuals attending these clinics.

Most hospitals can test for COVID-19 and some have fever clinics set up specifically for this purpose. This helps to reduce the potential spread of the virus and keeps emergency departments available for other emergencies. Unless your child is very unwell or it is an emergency, it’s best to contact your GP before visiting a hospital. If your child is very unwell or in an emergency, call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance and let them know you have symptoms of COVID-19.

Fever clinics
Fever clinics are clinics for people who have symptoms of COVID-19. These clinics help keep people who may be contagious away from other areas of hospitals or health services to minimise risk to other patients and staff. You can find a list of fever clinics in Queensland on the Queensland Government website.

What’s involved?

A healthcare worker wearing a mask, gown, eye protection and gloves (personal protective equipment) will use a nasal swab to collect secretions from the back of your child’s nose. The thin swab will be inserted about 2-3cm inside your child’s nose. The collected sample will be sent to a lab for testing.

To help reduce your child’s anxiety around being tested for COVID-19, we’ve developed a short video to help explain what happens when they’re tested.

What happens after the test?

After your child’s test, the clinic staff will give instructions on what to do to help keep your child, family and the community safe until their test results become available. Depending on the reason for testing, this may include isolating at home until they receive their test results.

Other members of your family and other people your child has been in contact with, do not need to self-quarantine unless specifically advised by your local public health unit but should stay away from your sick child as much as possible. If their test result is positive, they may be assessed as a close contact and then need to be in quarantine. The public health unit will contact you.

Read more frequently asked questions about getting tested for COVID-19.