Online Tools to Help You with COVID19 Testing Queue Times, RATS and Booster Shots

In The Cove has been inundated with requests about information on the closest places to get a PCR test (many of the people asking have symptoms or someone in their household has testest positive).    We are also being asked about where to find RAT tests so people can travel interstate.  Locals are also following the health advice to get their booster jabs, but local pharmacies and doctors are booked out until February.

Trying to find where to test for PCR, find RATS or get your booster jab is stressing people out.

The Australian Medical Association’s Vice President was interviewed on breakfast TV and stated:

“The AMA and other groups asked the government about the testing strategy several months was put to us that the government would not intervene when the private market could take over. ”

“the problem at the moment is the lack of [RATs] is completely hampering personal responsibility, and it is a frustration that is a glaring hole in the current management of COVID.”

Several tech-savvy individuals have taken it upon themselves to set up websites to help people to find information on testing, RATs and booster Shots.

The advice from NSW Health at the 5th Jan press conference was as follows:

“The pragmatic advice that I would give people is that if you have symptoms if you have a positive RAT test, and you are unable to get a PCR test or if you’re waiting for the result of your PCR test, assume you are positive and stay at home for seven days.

“That is the pragmatic advice.”

Here are some of the online Covid tools which may be of use to you.

COVID Testing and Turnaround Times  (this site is updated by an Instagram account called Bondi Lines, which provides information on Covid testing centres and RATS).  Like all online trackers that rely on information by followers, there will be some incorrect or out of date information.  For example, a few days ago, there was a post that the Willougby testing centre had closed permanently.  It had not.  The only one we know that has closed for the foreseeable future is Boronia Park/Hunters Hill testing centre.

Testing centres will close early if they have run out of testing kits or they know their labs have reached daily capacity testing. (info on testing times turnaround and queue times developed by a person in Newcastle, so not much information on Sydney yet).

RATS – where to find RATs in Sydney – there were some verification issues with this site, to begin with (for example, people were trying to be funny and listing RATS as being available at McDonalds).  The information seems more accurate now – ITC is updating this site when we get information (we also update information on our Facebook page and Lane Cove Chat by ITC (our closed Facebook group for Lane Cove locals).

The ABC has reported the following:

“While many people are driving around on the hunt for a RAT kit, some retailers have turned to food delivery apps to sell the tests, sometimes at inflated prices.

The ABC has seen several vendors on food delivery apps selling the tests online for up to $39.90 for a pack of two, meaning desperate people can purchase the tests to be delivered to their door.

Other COVID-19 essentials such as face masks and hand sanitiser are also available to purchase via some vendors on the apps.”

You can purchase RATS online – last week, orders were being processed quickly and taking only a few days to arrive – delivery times are now longer.

Websites include:

Prices have increased in the last few weeks, and the ACCC has announced it will name and shame suppliers and retailers who are price gouging – read more here.

Vaccination Availability – This site searches online booking systems like hotdocs and community pharmacies and details the earliest vaccination appointments.

The official Commonwealth vaccine availability and booking link is here.  However, the feedback we have been getting the data can be misleading.  For example, the availability checker will show appointments on the day or week you are searching; however, they are not available when you go to book.  BUT sometimes there are cancellations, so if you’re prepared to keep checking RNSH and other hub sites, you might get a cancellation. – This site aims to find the nearest vaccination appointment for you.

We have updated our article on Booster Jabs here.

If you have any information that can assist locals, please email us at [email protected] or DM us on one of our social platforms.

Local Info on Testing Centers Near Lane Cove – 5 January 2022

Royal North Shore Hospital 

North Shore Hospital COVID19 testing centre – their Facebook page still has a post saying closed until further notice.

They issued the following statement:

“Update from Royal North Shore Hospital COVID testing centre 30 December at 4.00pm

CLINIC CLOSING | We are very sorry that our COVID-19 testing clinic is temporarily closed from today until further notice. This decision was made to ease pressure on pathology labs and allow them to clear a backlog of swabs. Since the start of the holiday period, Northern Sydney Local Health District has been collecting 6000 swabs a day from across its clinics and hospital operations. In the weeks preceding this, around 1000 specimens a day were collected. Healthcare workers from the district remain a priority and will continue to be able to be swabbed at all clinics upon presentation of their staff ID. We apologise for the inconvenience and thank the community for their understanding. To find the location and operating hours of an alternative clinic, please visit the NSW Health website at:…/covi…/Pages/clinics.aspx”

If you have been tested at RNSH and need results information

There are two ways you can check on your RNSH results:

2. Type “ready” into the text message you got at the time of testing. It will then ask for your special number. If results are ready, you’ll get them

Boronia Park – closed permanently

Laverty (North Ryde and Willoughby) –click here

Info from an ITC reader:

” Arrived at Willougby drive-through at 7.20 – there were cars waiting and about 20 cars overflowing onto Little Street.  They are supposed to open at 8.00 but was moving steadily from the moment I go there.  At 8.47 am only three cars in front of me”

4Cyte (North Ryde)
Further information – click here

Monday 8:00am to 12:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am to 12:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am to 12:00pm
Thursday 8:00am to 12:00pm
Friday 8:00am to 12:00pm
Saturday 8:00am to 12:00pm
Sunday 8:00am to 12:00pm
Hours above do include 01/01/2022 and Monday 03/01/2022. Please note these hours are subject to change.


Histopath – click here

“An ITC reader went to Histopath Millers Point (in the rocks but not far to drive over the bridge at 10.00 am on New Year’s Eve and had their results back by 7 pm”

Douglas Hanley Moir – click here

Details for other testing centres can be found here

Information on Rapid Antigen Tests

Rapid Antigen Tests are approved by the TGA.  The TGA on its website states the following:

“The TGA has approved the following COVID-19 self-tests (home use tests) for supply in Australia from 1 November 2021.

Please refer to the instructions on how to use each test (that are provided in the table below) for further information on what sample types the test can be used with (e.g. nasal swab or saliva).

The TGA’s performance requirements for COVID rapid antigen self-tests are internationally aligned with technical specifications published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Commission. This includes a minimum clinical sensitivity of at least 80% (for specimens collected within 7 days of symptom onset) and a minimum clinical specificity of at least 98%.

To provide an indication of the performance of COVID-19 rapid antigen self-tests, the table below includes information on the clinical sensitivity of each test. This is based on the studies performed by the manufacturer which show a positive percent agreement (PPA). PPA is the proportion of individuals that produced a positive test result using a COVID-19 rapid antigen self-test, in comparison with a positive result that was obtained using a more sensitive laboratory PCR test.

The inclusion of this information does not represent TGA endorsement of a particular test as all approved tests meet the performance requirements. The manufacturer’s sensitivity information is also included in the instructions provided with each test and can be viewed by clicking on the link below.

For each test the TGA comments on clinical sensitivity as follows:

Acceptable sensitivity – clinical sensitivity greater than 80% PPA

High sensitivity – clinical sensitivity greater than 90% PPA

Very high sensitivity – clinical sensitivity greater than 95% PPA”

Click here for the list of approved TGA RATS and sensitivity

COVID Stats by LGA

If you are interested in COVID 19 Stats here are the ones that we use regularly (gives you information per postcode and LGA – however not hospitalisation rate or ICU stats)

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