Be informed, keep safe & stay well

The world is now facing one of the biggest immediate threats in history with the spread of the novel corona virus (Covid-19).

It is important to stay informed, and to get the correct facts. There are many rumours and misinformation which are causing additional distress and unnecessary worry.

More dangerously, some of this misinformation is causing people to believe in fake ways to deal with the virus (including blowing a hairdryer up one’s nostril).

Please follow only the advisory issued by your local health authority.

Rapid antigen tests – your questions answered

rapid antigen test

What are Rapid antigen tests and how are they best used?

Rapid antigen tests, or RATs, have become an important tool in Australia’s fight against COVID-19. While PCR tests are still available and are accurate, generally we are relying on RAT tests at home and in the workplace.

RATs can provide results within minutes, they don’t require a healthcare worker or lab to process, and help to catch COVID-19 cases that otherwise would have gone undetected.

But they also have their limitations: they’re less accurate, cost money (unlike PCRs, which are free), and can provide false negative or false positive results. Remember you can get free rapid antigen tests (RATs) if you hold a concession card. 

RATs are most accurate when people have symptoms, and are generally best used within the first seven days from when symptoms appear.

You should test two to three days in a row after you start testing — to improve the chance of picking up the virus.

If you are a household contact it is best to do a RAT test every day.

What type of rapid antigen tests should I use?

The Australian Government’s regulatory agency, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), oversees the conditions of supply for rapid antigen test kits.

For your own safety you should only use a self-test kit that has been approved by the TGA. The TGA website has a list of all home use tests approved by the TGA, along with a copy of the manufacturer’s instructions for each test.

How do I do a RAT test?

The NSW Government has created a video “Doing a 15 minute rapid antigen test” – in your language.

There are different self-test kits available. Follow the instructions provided within the test. Watch a quick video from NSW Health on how to use a basic nasal rapid antigen test.

All tests are for single use only. This means you can only use each test once. Do not use a test more than once or try to use one test on multiple people.

Can I eat or drink before using a saliva sample rapid antigen test?

No. NSW Health recommends you do not eat, drink or brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes before doing a saliva rapid antigen test. This will ensure a clean sample is taken.

More Covid-19 Information

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The ABC’s podcast on Covid-19 is informative and contains useful information.

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Can eating garlic protect you from Covid-19? Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection from Covid-19? Read more to find out if what we know is just a myth.

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We are all responsible for doing our part to stop the spread of Covid-19. Find out what you can do to minimise your own risk of exposure.

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Information and advice for older Australians. Outlining the COVID-19 facts and the measures you, your family and friends can take to protect older Australians.
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Your safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Information and resources to support victims and their families. As people cooperate with social distancing directions, self-isolation and quarantine, there is an associated risk that domestic and family violence will increase. Resources for you and your family.
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All information in the Australian Government Coronavirus app is sourced from Australia’s leading health organisations and has undergone a quality assurance process so people can know it is safe, appropriate and relevant for Australians.
Download on your phone or device.

Important issues affecting older women during Covid-19

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Information and advice for women considering accessing superannuation during Covid-19.

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Open Letter for Effective Bills Relief during COVID-19 from the Sydney Alliance Council.

Feeling Anxious?

It is normal to feel anxious, uncertain and even depressed when faced with what is happening as a result of Covid-19.

Do not hesitate to reach out to get help, and to tap into the resources which are available in the community.

Get tips from Beyond Blue and the number to call.

The MindSpot Wellbeing Plus Course helps adults aged 60 years and over learn to manage mild, moderate and severe symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Self-isolating? NO problem. We have it covered!


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