Vulnerable Victorians can get tested at home to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Key points

The Call-to-Test service is for people who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms and cannot leave home due to injury, mobility or other eligible reasons. 

The Call-to-Test service is available to:  

  • people with an injury, chronic health issue, or frailty affecting mobility 
  • people with moderate to severe physical or psychosocial disability 
  • people with moderate to severe mental health or behavioural issues not otherwise classified as a psychosocial disability 
  • carers for a person with moderate to severe disability. 

You must be over five years of age to access this service. 

Close contacts without symptoms can use the Call-to-Test service if they have been told by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to get tested and meet any of the criteria listed above. 

Call the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398  and select option 9 to find out if you are eligible for this service.

Read about the Call-to-Test service in Easy English.

Your questions answered

Why are we making this change?

The Call-to-Test service allows our most vulnerable members of society, who are unable to leave home to get tested, to get tested for coronavirus (COVID-19).

How do I access this service?

Call the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398 and select option 9. to see if you are eligible for this service. If you need an interpreter, please press 0 when you call the hotline. 

When you call the hotline, they will ask you if you have a referral from a general practitioner. If you have a regular GP, you can get a referral from them by calling them.  

If you don’t have a regular GP, a telehealth consultation can be arranged for you when you call the coronavirus hotline.  

The service will ask you questions to see if you are eligible.  

How long will it take for someone to come out to my home?

A nurse will visit your home within 48 hours of the service receiving the GP referral. The nurse will call you before coming, so you will have enough time to be ready for the visit. They will show identification on arrival.  

For people living in metropolitan Melbourne, visits take place between 9:00am and 3:00pm, 7 days a week.  

For people living in Mornington Peninsula and regional Victoria, visits take place between 9.00am and 4.00pm, Monday to Friday.  

What does testing involve? 

The test takes around a minute and involves taking a sample swab from the back of your throat and nose. 

Once the test is complete, the nurse will take your sample to a laboratory for testing to see if you have coronavirus (COVID-19).  

Saliva testing is not available through the Call-to-Test service. Please talk to your GP or doctor about other testing options available to you.  

How long will it take to get my results? 

It usually takes 1 to 3 days to get your results after being tested. Sometimes there are delays and it can take longer. You will get a text message or phone call about your results.   

If you haven’t received your result after 3 days, call the GP you got your referral from.   

If you have been waiting for your results for more than 5 days, call the dedicated Coronavirus Test Results Hotline on 1800 573 222 from Monday to Friday between 8.00am and 8.00pm.  

Regardless of whether your symptoms persist, you must remain in self-isolation at home until you find out your test result.  

Can an interpreter service be arranged for the visit?

Yes. If you need an interpreter, please tell the operator when you are organising the in-home test. 

I live in a remote/regional part of Victoria. Can someone come out and test me in my home?

Yes, Call-to-Test is now available across Victoria. 

Do I need a General Practitioner (GP) referral?

Yes, you need A GP referral for a coronavirus (COVID-19) test to access the Call-to-Test service, unless the department tells you to get a test because you are a close contact. If you do not have a regular GP, our service can arrange a telehealth consultation for you.  

Having A GP referral means the test result can be incorporated in appropriate treatment plans. The operator will talk to you about how you can get a GP referral and support you through the process. 

How do I demonstrate that I can’t access existing testing sites?

When you call the service, you will speak with a trained nurse who will ask questions to understand your unique circumstances. This conversation will explore current injury, health, mobility or other issues that impede your ability to travel to a testing site.

Can you just send me a test in the mail to do myself?

No. All tests must be completed by a trained healthcare worker.

I live alone and do not drive. Does this qualify me for the Call-to-Test service?

No, the Call-to-Test service is to assist vulnerable Victorians who are experiencing injury, health, mobility or other issues that impede their ability to leave home.

There are testing sites throughout Victoria. Find your closest testing site

If you do not have a testing site near your home, you can contact your GP, local community health service or local hospital for help and to discuss how you can get tested.

Can someone come over to test me if I don’t have symptoms?

No. The Call-to-Test service is limited to people who are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), such as:

  • Fever
  • Chills or sweats
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Loss or change in sense of smell or taste

In certain circumstances, headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may also be considered.

The only exception is if you have been asked by DHHS to get tested and are unable to leave home to go to an existing testing site. 

Do I have to pay for this service?

No, the Call-to-Test service is free.

Can my carer request this service for me on my behalf?

Yes. A carer can request the service on behalf of the person they are caring for. A GP referral will still be required.