Hi, I’m Dr Mark Wenitong, and I want to show all you Mob the right way to use a Rapid Antigen Test – or RAT Test – to check to see if you have COVID-19.
If you’ve been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, or you have symptoms like fever or cough, it’s good to test to see if you have COVID.
A RAT can be an easy way to see whether or not you have COVID. And you can do the test yourself without a doctor, in the comfort of your own home, and get the results in just 10 to 20 minutes.
You can buy RATs from your local pharmacy, supermarket and lots of other retail stores, as well as online. You can also check on your state or territory health department website.
If you have a valid Commonwealth concession card you may be eligible to receive up to 10 free RATs, over 3 months from a participating community pharmacy.
There are a few different types of RAT kits available – but the three most common are one that tests the spit from your mouth, one that you suck like a lollipop, and one that takes a sample from your nose.
Remember, no matter what test you have, before you start, wash your hands and make sure you have a watch or timer handy.
If you’re using a RAT that you suck like a lollipop you’ll find a strip that will show you if you have COVID-19 or not, a lollipop saliva swab, a bag to use to throw your used test away.
First, take the lollipop out of the packet. Place the sponge end in your mouth, but don’t bite it. Move the swab back and forth in the front and sides of your mouth for 90 seconds.
Take the lollipop swab out of your mouth after 90 seconds, once the sponge is soft and the circle on the back turns blue. Get the strip that will show you if you have COVID-19.
It has a spot in the bottom where you put your test. Insert the swab at the end of the lollipop into the strip and push down until it clicks into place. Set your timer for 10 minutes.
Then, you wait. No matter what type of test you use, once your timer is up, check the strip to see what it says.
Make sure you do it straight away, as it can be inaccurate if you leave it too long. One RAT even has a torch to help you read the strip.
If you see a line next to the C, you don’t have COVID-19. If you see a line next to the C and the T, you are positive for COVID-19.
If you only see one line next to the letter T, or no lines at all, your test didn’t work and you’ll need to do another test.
If you do test positive remember to isolate, tell everyone you’ve been in touch with in the past few days that you’ve tested positive, and let your state or territory know your results.
If you’re worried about your symptoms, or if you have other health conditions call the National Coronavirus Helpline or speak to your healthcare worker.
So remember, if you need to test yourself for COVID-19, get a RAT. It’s easy and will help keep all us Mob safe.
If you need to know more, have a yarn with your local healthcare worker or visit health.gov.au.