COVID-19 dedicated collection sites

Please note: 

  • All high-risk patients (clinically significantly unwell including high fever, symptoms or signs of pneumonia) must be referred to a hospital-associated COVID testing site and not the Melbourne Pathology sites.
  • Some of our dedicated collection sites require the patient to book an appointment PRIOR to attending (see booking instructions below).

Melbourne Pathology's dedicated COVID-19 collection sites (listed below) accept COVID-19 testing for the following:

  • Pre-paid International travel testing
  • Pre-operative patients (patients must have a referral or QR code)
  • Pregnant patients
  • Patients requiring hospital admission or entry
  • Corporate patients
  • Symptomatic patients
  • Asymptomatic patients 
  • Close contact/exposure patients
  • Returned travellers

 

Melbourne Pathology COVID-19 testing locations

LocationOpen

70 Alfred St, North Melbourne
WALK-IN: No appointment needed
DRIVE-THRU: Booking needed

Walk-in open 7 days
8:30am – 4:30pm
Drive-thru open Mon-Fri only

548 Mt Alexander Rd, Ascot Vale
WALK-IN: No appointment needed

Walk-in open 7 days
8:30am – 4:30pm

283B Carlisle St, Balaclava
WALK-IN: No appointment needed

Walk-in open 7 days
8:30am – 4:30pm

159 Jasper Rd, Bentleigh
DRIVE-THRU: Booking needed

M-F 8:30am – 4:30pm
(closed for lunch 12:15-1pm) 

28 Cranbourne Rd, Frankston
WALK-IN: Booking needed

M-F 8:30am - 4:30pm
(closed for lunch 1 - 1:30pm)

Please note: These five COVID collection sites are CLOSED on weekends and public holidays unless specified.


Bookings

To book, patients can call 9287 7700 and select option 4, or email covidbookings@mps.com.au.

Upon arrival, patients must remain in their car and call the mobile number on the signage. The collector will come out to them.

 IMPORTANT:

  • All high-risk patients (clinically significantly unwell including high fever, symptoms or signs of pneumonia) must be referred to a hospital-associated COVID testing site and not the Melbourne Pathology sites.

 Travelling overseas or interstate and need a COVID test?

If you are travelling overseas or interstate and need a COVID test, please visit the pages below:

 Overseas travel testing

 Interstate travel testing

Understanding your SMS and COVID-19 swab result

Receiving COVID-19 test results by SMS has become accepted practice for more than 12 months, but you may not always understand what the message means. Listed below are the possible results and explanations.

POSITIVE: PCR (the test) has detected more than one gene target from the virus at sufficient level to confirm infection.

NEGATIVE: PCR (the test) has not detected any gene targets from the virus, implying no virus present on the swab. Every test has a slightly different level of sensitivity, but they are all very sensitive and more sensitive than Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs). A negative test assumes a well collected specimen.

INVALID: PCR (the test) has not detected more than one gene target, or has only detected two targets but at insufficient levels to confirm infection.  Recollection of a nose/throat swab or performance of a RAT test is advised depending on what is accessible, if still clinically required.

UNSUITABLE: the swab is compromised by factors such as age of the sample, wrong collection tube type, minimal sample left due to leakage, absence of patient identification, or presence of interfering substances (such as mucus). A valid result cannot be produced. Recollection of a nose/throat swab or performance of a RAT test is advised depending on what is accessible, if still clinically required.

NOT REQUIRED: the collection does not meet any agreed indication for testing (Medicare, Health Department directive or corporate agreement). No testing will be performed and no result issued.

 

 Patients with a referral for both COVID-19 testing and other pathology tests

If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms, fever or have recently returned from overseas travel, please do not attend our standard collection centres. These sites are not equipped for COVID-19 collections or managing suspected COVID-19 patients and will not take the sample.

For COVID-19 swab collection, you can attend any one of our COVID-19 dedicated collection sites listed above. If you have a referral for other pathology tests in addition to the COVID-19 testing, these will need to be performed after you have tested negative for COVID-19 or once given clearance from DHHS if your test is positive.


Respiratory PCR collections

As the symptoms will be similar between COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses and the outcome of the testing cannot be assumed at presentation, we have also moved to decline all respiratory PCR swab collections at our standard collection centres.

 Patients with COVID-like symptoms needing a blood test

Melbourne Pathology recognises that not all patients with respiratory symptoms or fever have COVID-19 and understand routine medical care of these patients is necessary and appropriate.

Not all collection centres are suitable for patients with symptoms to attend. Click here for more information and for a list of collection centres to attend.

Patients with symptoms needing a COVID test, should attend one of our COVID-19 dedicated collection sites listed above. 


Note for clinicians: All referrals for symptomatic patients needing a blood test or pathology collection other than a COVID test, should clearly state what is being investigated in the clinical notes.

 COVID-19 serology testing

SARS-CoV-2 serology testing is available at Melbourne Pathology

Currently, the main role of COVID-19 serology is in the retrospective diagnosis of disease. Testing is not advised until at least 14 days after a suspected illness. This test does NOT diagnose acute infection in the patient. COVID-19 serology assesses if the person has an immune response to the virus, which takes at least two weeks to develop. It may be useful when symptomatic individuals with suspected COVID-19 have not been tested by PCR for SARS-CoV-2 at the time of their illness, or when their result was negative or inconclusive. It can also identify those whose previous infection was asymptomatic.

While most infected individuals will have detectable antibody by the third week after symptom onset, the duration of the antibody response remains uncertain and whether it results in protective immunity, has not been established. It is important that all patients who have had infection with SARS-CoV-2, whether diagnosed by PCR or serology, should still have a COVID-19 vaccine when eligible.


Immigration/pre-travel testing

Our initial test is with the Roche Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Total antibody test, which detects both IgG and IgM. If testing for COVID-19 by IgM is required for immigration purposes, along with PCR, this will be covered by this assay. All samples which are reactive by this assay are reflexed to a second assay, the Diasorin Liaison IgG Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG test. These tests have been accredited by NATA for use in our laboratory.

For those requiring a COVID RT-PCR + IgM serology test for travel purposes, these patients must attend one of our asymptomatic COVID testing branches. Click here to view the list of available branches to attend. Please check the hours of COVID testing prior to presenting. Patients cannot attend one of these branches for a COVID test if they have COVID symptoms.


COVID serology for immunity testing

COVID-19 serology is a blood test that may detect previous COVID-19 infection.

There is no available data on the utility of current serology testing to determine the immunity gained from COVID-19 vaccination, so it is not generally recommended for this purpose.

 Increased measures for health and safety in our collection centres

The health and safety of our staff and patients is of paramount importance.

 Click here to see our increased health and safety measures in collection centres during this period.

 COVID-19 saliva testing

In a pandemic situation, where we want the best chance of finding a positive patient, we should use the most sensitive method wherever possible. A combined throat and nasal swab is the recommended sample. Saliva testing is not recommended for individual patients unless discussed prior to collection with our microbiologists.


Nasopharyngeal swabs collected by trained healthcare workers remains the gold standard test.

UPDATED 30/12/2020

 Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

Please also continue to stay up-to-date with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website.

 Click here for the latest on coronavirus from DHHS