As of Thursday 2 April, the testing criteria for COVID-19 has been expanded significantly at all COVID-19 clinics.
All members of the community with documented fever (≥380C) AND acute respiratory infection may be tested for COVID-19 (where another diagnosis is not more likely).
Healthcare workers, aged care workers and police officers with fever OR acute respiratory infection with or without fever should be tested for COVID-19.
Public Health approval is NOT required for patients that meet the criteria.
All people: Consider testing*
- Person with documented fever (≥380C) AND acute respiratory infection (e.g. shortness of breath, cough, sore throat).
*where an alternative diagnosis is not more likely.
High-risk people: Test
Clinical criteria: Fever or history of fever (e.g. night sweats, chills) OR acute respiratory infection (e.g. shortness of breath, cough, sore throat) with or without fever, AND
- international or domestic travel (including cruise ships) in the 14 days before illness onset, OR
- close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in 14 days before illness onset, OR
- healthcare workers, aged or residential care workers, disability support workers, and police officers (proof is required e.g. badge, workplace ID or AHPRA card).
Testing for the above patients ONLY to be done at COVID clinics in metropolitan Perth; young children can be tested in Perth Children’s Hospital and/or EDs.
In country areas testing can only be undertaken by hospitals, COVID clinics, health centres and remote health clinics operated by the WA Country Health Service, Silver Chain, Aboriginal Medical Services or RFDS. All hospitalised patients to be tested in hospital.
High risk settings: Test
Where there are two or more people with plausibly linked, clinically compatible illness (as defined above for ‘High risk people’), in aged care and other residential care facilities, military operational settings, boarding schools, correctional facilities, detention centres, Aboriginal rural and remote communities, and settings where COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred.
Testing for this category in Metro Perth can be conducted either at a COVID clinic, a GP in an aged care facility if they have correct equipment/PPE, or by domiciliary collection via the patient’s usual pathology provider. For regional patients, discuss the decision to test with the local Public Health Unit, who can assist to arrange testing. All hospitalised patients to be tested in hospital.
- Test using a single swab for oropharyngeal then either nasal (if using rigid shaft swab) or nasopharyngeal (if using flexible shaft) sampling. Self-collection is NOT advised. Instructions for specimen collection are on the PathWest website.
- The reason for testing must be documented on the pathology request form.
- Do not test asymptomatic patients or undertake testing for ‘clearance’ or return to work purposes.
- Patients tested for COVID-19 need to remain isolated until instructed otherwise.
Notify suspected COVID-19 cases by completing the notification form either online or by printing out the notification form. Notifying by phone is not necessary.