What to expect at an Adelaide drive through COVID testing station

covid testing drive through victoria park

What happens at a COVID-19 pop up drive through testing station?

Getting a COVID-19 test done at one of the pop-up drive through testing stations is a good option for families for the convenience and ease. We recently had tests done at the Victoria Park one in the city for both an adult and a 12 year old. If you’re wondering what it’s like to get this done, here’s what you can expect below. Find them here

We arrived around 10am on a weekday at Victoria Park and it was quick and easy. The entrance is only via Wakefield Street, heading towards the city from the Brittania roundabout. There are officials in bright vests at the entrance and along the way to ensure you are driving the right way – just follow the path towards the large white marquees in the middle of the park. 

What happens when you get there?

Once you get to the testing station you will be given a form with info about the testing. It was not busy – there were only a couple of cars ahead of us so we were directed to drive up and wait behind the other vehicles. You remain in your car the whole time. Once it was our turn, we were asked a few simple questions about our symptoms and our contact details – name, address, phone number, date of birth. 

How is the test done?

The actual test is pretty much just like the flu test if you’ve ever had that done before. A swab (like a very long cotton bud) is taken at the back of your throat and also up your nose. It’s a bit unpleasant – especially the nose one as it’s scraped inside, quite far up your nose, but it is very quick. In fact, the whole process from the time we drove into the park to the time we finished, took less than 15 minutes altogether. It doesn’t really hurt, although your nose may still feel a little bit uncomfortable for a few hours from the little scrape. 

TIP: If you are having the test done along with your child it’s a good idea to not give the same mobile phone number for both of your results. Your result is sent as an sms to the mobile number you nominate but they can’t send both results to the same number. If the same number is given, your result will be sent by SMS but your child’s result will be given to you via a phone call from someone at SA Pathology. It will be a private number that appears on your phone and if after a couple of tries they are not able to speak with you, then the result is sent to your Doctor for you to obtain from there. It’s definitely a quicker and easier process to give different mobile numbers. We received my (negative) result by 8,30am the next morning, so about 22 hours later. My son’s result however (also negative) we didn’t receive the phone call until two days later. An actual person (not an automated message) makes the call and speaks with you (yep, the old-fashioned way).

What the results text looks like:

Result is sent as a text message to mobile

We had gone to the testing station prepared in case it was busy and there would be a long wait, taking snacks, drinks and a book. However we didn’t need any of these things. 

Summary of COVID-19 testing at the drive through station:

  • Quick and easy.
  • It’s completely free.
  • You remain in your car – you don’t need to find a car park (or pay for car parking) and walk anywhere.
  • If you have kids, it’s a really convenient option being able to all stay in the car, and not have to lug them, or any of their stuff, anywhere.
  • You do not need a referral from a Doctor.
  • You do not need to book – you simply go there when you can (and they are open 7 days per week).

Find out where the COVID-19 Testing Stations are here

For more information and all enquiries please visit the SA Gov website.

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At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

Image Source: Play & Go


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