Getting tested

Important update

Due to declining COVID-19 numbers, high rates of COVID-19 vaccination and the availability of Rapid Antigen Testing (RATs), our fever clinics will be winding down their operations in coming weeks.

As of Monday 23 May 2022, we are no longer providing weekend testing services at 43 Aumuller Street, Portsmith; Atherton and Mossman hospitals.

All fever clinics (Portsmith, Atherton, Mossman, Innisfail, Mareeba, Tully hospitals) will cease operations by Friday 17 June 2022.

You do not need to get a PCR test if you test positive to a RAT. You must immediately isolate and report your positive test result online or phone 134COVID (134268).

COVID-19 testing for the purpose of outgoing international travel clearance is only available at private pathology collection centres and fees apply. Please contact your local Private Pathology Provider.

You can also contact your local GP for a referral to one of many private testing laboratories in our region.

Find your nearest local COVID-19 testing centre

Rapid Antigen Test (RATs)?

Cairns and Hinterland have a ready supply of saliva RATs available across all our sites. Until Friday 17 June 2022 you can attend one of our many testing sites and collect one RAT test per person that presents and undertake your COVID testing in the comfort of your own home.

Eligibility criteria for RATs at Queensland Health testing sites:

  • Member of the public  with COVID-19 symptoms
  • Critical essential workers (must be able to present ID) with symptoms of COVID-19; OR who require a RAT to return to work
  • Immediate household members of Queensland Health staff (proof of staff ID required)
  • If you hold a concession card, you can access up to 10 free RATs over a 3-month period with a maximum of 5 in a month from your local pharmacy - visit the Australian Department of Health for more information.

RATs are available at:

  • Cairns: Cairns Hospital COVID-19 drive-through clinic at 43 Aumuller Street, Portsmith
  • Rural Drive-through Fever Clinics: at Atherton, Innisfail, Tully, Mareeba and Mossman
  • Remote facilities: Georgetown, Croydon, Forsayth and Cow Bay Primary Health Centres

See the full list of eligible critical essential workers on the Queensland Government COVID-19 website.

Leaving isolation

You do not need a RAT to leave isolation if you tested positive to COVID-19.

You may leave isolation if you have finished 7 full days of isolation from the COVID-19 test date, and have no fever or acute respiratory symptoms.

See Queensland Health's Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) for COVID-19 in Queensland page for more information.

COVID-19 Virtual Ward

If you have tested positive to COVID-19, you may be cared for in Cairns Hospital’s Virtual Ward.

Read more about the COVID-19 Virtual Ward.

Last updated: May 2022