Winter Planning Toolkit modules

Module 3: Testing

Polymerase Chain Reaction test (PCR)

Polymerase Chain Reaction test (PCR)

COVID-19 is a notifiable disease in all states and territories. Pathology providers who process the SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal testing are responsible for notifying the local public health unit (or relevant authority) of a positive result.

The methods of notification of a positive result to a patient and their GP vary significantly across states and local services:

  Information for confirmed cases Information for contacts
Australia Capital Territory Here Here
New South Wales Here Here
Northern Territory Here Here
Queensland Here Here
South Australia Here Here
Tasmania Here Here
Victoria Here Here
Western Australia Here Here

Testing for Respiratory Pathogens

In addition to increased rates of the flu this year, other respiratory pathogens such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are also being detected more frequently.

The AHPPC recommends that state and territory private and public testing arrangements support the targeted testing of multiple respiratory pathogens simultaneously where clinically indicated. Some Australian jurisdictions are advising clinicians to request a respiratory virus PCR panel, which includes the flu and RSV in addition to COVID-19 for patients with respiratory symptoms and who are at high-risk of severe illness:

  • Victorian Department of Health information on testing for respiratory pathogens
  • NSW Health Winter Strategy

We will endeavor to keep this page updated with advice as it changes. If you would like to provide feedback, please email

This event attracts CPD points and can be self recorded

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