As the omicron strain of Covid-19 continues to spread across Australia, the government has largely chartered a course of action that sees Australia remaining open, with the mentality of “keep calm and carry on.” For many, it’s been a strange time. Having spent so many months in lockdown where we were repeatedly told to avoid contracting Covid-19 at all costs, now the inevitability of getting Covid-19 seems hard to shake and grappling with that reality has been challenging. With health-care workers overworked and the burden on hospitals at an all-time high, the government has said that for those who test positive at home with a rapid antigen test (RAT), you don’t need to then get a PCR test. However, the NSW government has now announced it will issue $1,000 fines to those who do not log their positive RAT online.
According to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, individuals who test positive on their RAT will need to log the test results on the Service NSW app to avoid the hefty $1,000 fine. The new ruling affects anyone who tested positive on a RAT from January 1 onwards, as you now have until January 19 to log your Covid positive result. Following that grace period, those that fail to log the result will be fined. According to NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, “There has been much discussion regarding the possibility of mandatory enforcement and the health lawyers are consulting with Crown Solicitor’s to look at what may be possible.”
Hazzard added, “It comes with the added benefit that it might also open the door to federal assistance if you’re off work for the week. The bottom line is it is a must-do, even if there is no fine. At the end of the day, it’s an obligation on all of us to make sure that we log in to the Service NSW app, particularly as it will give a clear picture of how the virus is moving through the community.”
With that in mind, here’s how you do it.
How can I log my positive RAT on the Service NSW app?
A positive RAT result can be recorded in the “Covid-19 Resources” section of the Service NSW app. Once the resources tab opens, click on it, scroll down past the daily update, and then click on the link that says “register a positive test result.” When you click on it, you’ll be directed to a webpage where you can then report your results, either through your MyServiceNSW account or as a guest.
According to the Minister for Customer Service, Victor Dominello, “For those people that don’t have a Service NSW app, you can also go to the Service NSW website, and access the form there. Alternatively, you can go and call Service NSW and they will provide assistance.”
For those who are in NSW as a guest and not a permanent resident, positive results should still be registered. The app will ask respondents certain questions to determine if they are “high risk” or “low risk” patients. As Dominello explains, “Over 99.99 per cent of people, they will be in that low-risk setting, and will be able to resolve Covid at home simply by resting and going through the requisite isolation.”
The minister added, “Those at higher risk, you will get a call or be contacted by NSW Health within 48 hours, and with a further survey, to make sure that you are okay.”
For those in Victoria, the relevant online form can be accessed here.