Your COVID-19 test has come back positive. What happens next?

A person arrived for testing at drive-through clinic at Western Sydney University Parramatta south campus.

More than 188,000 people in Western Sydney have had a COVID-19 test this year. For over 480 of these people, their result was positive.

What happens next?

If your test result returns negative, you will receive an SMS text message with the good news.

You’ll receive a phone call if your test result is positive, either from the GP who referred you to a COVID-19 testing centre, or the Public Health Unit.

Western Sydney’s Public Health Unit is informed of all positive COVID-19 cases and a public health officer will contact you about your positive result.

What will the Public Health Unit ask me?

When the public health officer phones you, they will ask several questions. Your information is private and confidential. Questions may include:

  • The symptoms you experienced and when you first started to feel unwell
  • Your travel history 14 days before you became unwell
  • If you’ve been in contact with people or places known to have COVID-19
  • Any pre-existing medical conditions
  • Your detailed movements and recent contact with other people in the last few days, including family members, friends, or work colleagues (this is called contact tracing).

This information is needed to help understand virus spread in the community, and how to stop it from spreading to other people.

This phone call will also cover how to isolate yourself, including how to do this if you are living with other people, and whether you need support with things like groceries. A follow-up email will provide more advice and tips on what to do or avoid.

How will my health be monitored?

If you are very unwell the public health officer will arrange medical assistance.

People diagnosed with COVID-19 who are not hospitalised receive a daily phone call from a ‘Hospital in the Home’ nurse to monitor your symptoms and any changes to your health. They will help determine when you are clear of the virus.

What about the people I have been in contact with?

Many people diagnosed with COVID-19 worry about their family and friends.

After your call with the public health officer, they will have identified all the people considered to be your close contacts while you were infectious. Being infectious means that you are at risk of spreading the virus to other people.

A close contact is somebody who:

  • Has had 15 minutes of face-to-face time with a confirmed positive COVID-19 case during their infectious period, or
  • Has been in a closed space for over 2 hours with a confirmed positive COVID-19 case during their infectious period.

The infectious period for a positive COVID-19 case is 48 hours before they first experienced symptoms.  

A public health officer will telephone your close contacts to discuss the situation with them. This is part of the contact tracing process.

Close contacts will be advised to self-isolate at home for the next 14 days and to get a COVID-19 test if they experience any symptoms. They will also receive a phone call every 1-3 days from NSW Health who monitor their symptoms during their isolation period.

For more information

Get tested if you experience any symptoms of COVID-19. Western Sydney testing centre locations:

Get tested for COVID-19 if you have the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore/scratchy throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

Stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 news and case locations:

For FREE Western Sydney COVID-19 Community Resources:

For health information and questions about COVID-19, call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 (24-hour helpline).

Click on the links to download the free COVIDSafe app through the Google Play store or the App Store. For more information: