COVID-19 information for patients
Click here for the latest on coronavirus from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
Please note: we cannot accept patients with a referral for suspected COVID-19 at our standard collection centres. Patients will need to visit one of our dedicated COVID-19 collection sites below or one of the Melbourne Pathology shopping centre testing sites.
COVID-19 dedicated collection sites
We have set up dedicated COVID-19 collection sites for your convenience. Patients must present with a pathology referral from their doctor for COVID-19 testing.
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.
|70 Alfred St, North Melbourne||M- F 8:30am – 4:30pm|
|159 Jasper Rd, Bentleigh||M-F 8:30am – 4:30pm|
|28 Station St, Ferntree Gully||M-F 8:30am – 4:30pm|
|28 Cranbourne Rd, Frankston||M-F 8:30am – 4:30pm|
To book, patients can call 9287 7700 and select option 4, or email email@example.com.
Upon arrival, patients must remain in their car and call the mobile number on the signage. The collector will come out to see you.
Getting tested at a drive-thru or dedicated COVID site: what should I do?
Please confirm your mobile number is correct when it is recorded to ensure you receive your results.
After having your COVID test, return home and self-isolate until given further medical advice.
If symptomatic or a COVID contact, keep away from household members, maintain good hygiene and wear a mask.
Results may take up to 48 hours from the time it is received in the laboratory. Please do not ring the laboratory.
If your COVID-19 test is negative your result will be sent by SMS. Consult your doctor about release from isolation.
If your COVID-19 test is positive you will be contacted by a doctor and the Health Department. Stay in isolation, keep away from household members and follow DHHS advice.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) results SMS for 'not detected'
All results where COVID-19 is not detected will be sent to patients via SMS where a mobile number has been provided.
Please be aware that SMS is not considered completely secure and is subject to abuse, typographical error, misdirection or non-delivery.
We will make every effort to SMS the result, but can take no responsibility should you fail to receive the SMS or your privacy is breached.
Please note, only COVID-19 ‘not detected’ results will be sent as an SMS.
Results may take up to 48 hours from the time the sample is received in our laboratory.
If you have not received your result after this time, please call our Results Department on 9287 7777.
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 a Melbourne Pathology dedicated COVID-19 collection site. 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 dedicated COVID collection sites.
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.
Testing for COVID-19
DHHS guidelines as of 14/4/20 recommend coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for anyone with fever or respiratory symptoms.
Increased measures for health and safety in our collection centres
The health and safety of our staff and patients is of paramount importance. The link below details 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. However, where this is not possible, in limited circumstances, saliva can be used for COVID testing however, it is a less sensitive, has a risk of a false negative results and is currently not performed at Melbourne Pathology.
Nasopharyngeal swabs collected by trained healthcare workers remains the gold standard test.