Changes were made to testing requirements in New South Wales earlier this month, allowing individuals to have their COVID positive status confirmed by taking a rapid antigen test (RAT), instead of a PCR, to relieve pressure on the state’s testing clinics.
Until this morning, there was no way to register that you tested positive for COVID via a RAT, but the Service NSW app has now pushed the feature live.
Just to reiterate, most people no longer need a PCR test to confirm they have COVID-19. This means people who have been exposed or have symptoms can take a rapid antigen test – if they can find them.
If you test positive on a RAT, you are a confirmed COVID-19 case.
If you test positive for COVID-19 using a RAT, you are required to register your result in the Service NSW app as soon as possible. This is an honesty system, so please do the right thing and don’t leave your home if you are positive. But, if you run the gauntlet and refuse to add your positive result, you could face a fine of $1,000. You have until January 19 before enforcement action, however.
There’s also the part where disclosing your positive status to NSW Health will mean you receive advice on how to manage your symptoms and what to do if they get too much.
At the time of writing, there were 501,200 active cases of COVID-19 in NSW. With the delay in RAT declarations, this figure is expected to be a drastic understatement.
How to register your positive RAT through Service NSW
When opening the Service NSW app for the first time since the feature went live, you’ll be prompted with a pop-up that sort-of just lingers. Close the app and relaunch it if you can’t navigate past this. Now, you can begin.
- On the Service NSW app home page, scroll a little down to COVID-19 Resources
- Scroll past the Latest updates (after reading them) down to Register a positive test result
- The app will then open your default web browser to a page titled Register a positive rapid antigen test result
- As you’ve got to this page via the Service NSW app, you have a MyServiceNSW Account, so select this red button
- Enter your email address and confirm you are not a robot
- Then, enter your password
- A different page titled Register a positive rapid antigen test result will then appear, with the option to select who you are registering a positive result for (yourself, another adult or a child)
- You then tick the declaration box and another box confirming you haven’t made a misleading statement
- Enter the positive test result date
- Fill out the details of the person who tested positive
- Provide your phone number or email address
- Answer yes or no to the health questions about the person who tested positive
- Complete the declaration
- Then submit your info.
What if you don’t have the Service NSW app?
Although not having the Service NSW makes checking in at literally any venue in NSW an absolute punish, it isn’t a requirement to have the app. If you don’t have the app, you can still register your positive RAT result with Service NSW, just via the internet.
- First, head over here to the Register a positive rapid antigen test result website
- Click the red button that reads Register a positive result
- Follow the steps from the previous section.
Please note you cannot register your positive result at a Service NSW Centre. Do. Not. Leave. Your. Home.
What do you do now you’ve registered your RAT?
Under NSW Health orders, you must immediately self-isolate for 7 days from the day you tested positive using the RAT. NSW Health has some info on self-isolation here and how to manage COVID-19 safely at home, too.
Do you still need a PCR test?
No. However, there are a handful of people that do.
Brave the queue for a PCR test if you are: more than 20 weeks pregnant, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, unvaccinated aged 16 or over, immunosuppressed, asked by a registered medical practitioner (like your GP) or you are a worker, resident, patient or client in a high risk setting where there is no confirmed outbreak
What does Service NSW do with my RAT data?
Details submitted to Service NSW are stored securely and according to Australian and NSW government privacy legislation. Data is restricted to authorised personnel in Service NSW and NSW Health. Regulatory bodies, or your employer, do not have access to any customer or health details.
Just like with your QR code check in data, Service NSW says any information transferred to NSW Health about your RAT result may be retained for more than 28 days in accordance with public health orders.
Stay safe out there, folks.