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How to get tested for COVID-19

If you have a fever, and one other symptom of COVID-19 your GP will organise for you to be tested


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in news


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If you have a fever (high temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or above) and one other symptom of a respiratory illness (an illness that affects your breathing) such as a cough or shortness of breath, you may have COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and can be tested for it. There are three ways to be tested

  1. At a test centre
  2. At a drive-thru test centre
  3. At home.

Below you will find an instructional video from the HSE on what happens at a drive-thru test centre. 

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?

If you think you have COVID-19 (Coronavirus) you should follow these steps: 

  • Isolate yourself from other people by going into a different room (preferably one with a window or good ventilation) with a phone
  • Phone your local GP and they will assess you over the phone
  • If your GP thinks you need to be tested, they will arrange a test for you
  • Be sure to phone your GP or the emergency department instead of going there, to prevent spreading the virus further

How am I tested for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) at a drive-thru centre? 

Below is a video from the HSE, that explains how you will be tested for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) at a drive-thru centre if your GP arranges a test for you. 

How long will it take to get my COVID-19 test results back?

Because of the high demand, test results are taking much longer than expected. If you are waiting for results, continue to follow the advice of your doctor and self-isolate. 

If you have not received your test results you can stop self-isolating if both these apply:

  • you have had no fever for 5 days
  • it has been 14 days since you first developed symptoms

Patients who are most ill and in the hospital are being prioritised so that they can get their results in 12 to 24 hours. It is important to avoid contacting or visiting your GP for test results, as their phone lines need to be kept open for people who need help with symptoms.

Feeling overwhelmed or anxious around the current pandemic?

This situation is completely new to everyone involved and it is normal to feel worried or anxious about what is going on. Following the Government’s instructions on how to stay safe and help slow the spread of the virus, can help to make you feel more in control of your current situation.

If you feel overwhelmed by the current situation and need someone to talk to, our anonymous, 24 hour text line is always open. You're worth talking about and we're here to listen and support you.

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Published April 23rd2020
Last updated August 8th2020
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.
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