Going for a coronavirus test

This document shows what to expect when getting a coronavirus test.

Publication date:
27 March 2020
Date range:
March 2020 - ongoing

What to expect

What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus is sometimes called covid-19.

It can affect your lungs and your airways. Most people who get the virus will not be very ill. 

Some older people or people who already have health problems may become more ill. 

If you get this virus

  • You might have a cough
  • a sore throat
  • a high temperature

If you have symptoms

If you have symptoms you might need to get a test. The test will tell doctors if you have the virus. 

Travelling to get the test

You might have to travel to get the test. You might have to wait for your turn. 

Getting the test

The test is quick. It's OK to be worried about the test. 

Part 1 of the test

The test has two parts. 

The first part is the nose test. 

  1. The staff will take a cotton swab. 
  2. They will tell you to tip your head back
  3. They will put the cotton swab in your nose

It has to go up your nose. It may feel strange but does not hurt. Try to stay still. It is over quickly. 

Remember this will help you to stay safe. 

Part 2 of the test

The second part is the throat test. The nurse will take a different cotton swab. 

  1. She will tell you to open your mouth wide
  2. She will put they swab in your throat and move it around

It does not hurt but can feel strange. Try to stay still. It is over quickly. 

Tell the nurse if you feel like you are going to be sick. 

After the test

After the test you can relax. You can be proud that you have been brave. 

Getting the results

You have to wait to find out if you have the virus. This is OK. 

The staff will tell you what is going to happen next. 

If you are worried

If you are worried you can speak to your family, carers or staff that support you. 

It is OK to be worried but the staff can help.