Victorian COVID-19 testing criteria
Generally, only people with symptoms should be tested. However, people without symptoms can be tested in special circumstances as directed by DHHS. Refer to the guidelines for health services and general practitioners for more information on asymptomatic testing.
Patients who meet the following clinical criteria should be tested:
Fever OR chills in the absence of an alternative diagnosis that explains the clinical presentation*.
Acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss or change in sense of smell or taste).**
*Clinical discretion applies; consider potential for co-infection (e.g. SARS-CoV-2 and influenza).
** Older people may present with other atypical symptoms including functional decline, delirium, exacerbation of underlying chronic condition, falls, loss of appetite, malaise, nausea, diarrhoea and myalgia.
Additional testing note:
People who are at higher risk of infection due to their environmental exposure or higher risk of severe illness should also be tested if they have new onset of other clinical symptoms associated with coronavirus (COVID-19) (e.g. headache, myalgia, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea) AND meet the following epidemiological criteria:
- Close contacts of a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Returned overseas travel in the past 14 days.
- Health care or aged care workers.
- Residents of an aged care facility or older people in the community
A person who tests positive to a validated SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test
has the virus isolated in cell culture, with PCR confirmation using a validated method
undergoes a seroconversion to or has a significant rise in SARS-CoV-2 neutralising or IgG antibody level (i.e. four-fold or greater rise in titre)
- A person who has detection of SARS-CoV-2 neutralising or IgG antibody AND has had a compatible clinical illness AND meets one or more of the epidemiological criteria outlined in the additional testing note above.
Only confirmed and probable cases need to be notified to the department.
You should notify the department of confirmed and probable cases as soon as practicable by either: