SafeWork Laboratories offers COVID-19 testing accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA).

The most reliable method of COVID-19 testing currently available in Australia is laboratory-based PCR analysis. We offer PRC analysis for both nasopharyngeal swab and wastewater testing services.

As your workers begin to return to your office or worksites, we offer comprehensive COVID-19 testing services for employers to ensure
the ongoing health and safety of your staff.

Thermo Scientific KingFisher Flex Purification System
Thermo Scientific™ KingFisher™ Flex Purification System

Why PCR Test?

The industry considers PCR the gold standard for diagnosing COVID-19 infection. The laboratory test detects RNA, which contains the genetic information of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. If a donor’s swab sample shows evidence of virus RNA, then that means they are actively infected.

Compared to rapid antibody tests, PCR identifies Coronavirus RNA rather than the presence of the body’s immune response. Viral RNA being a part of virus is detected soon after acquiring infection, well before antibodies or symptoms of the disease appear.

By looking for coronavirus RNAs, doctors can tell whether a person has contracted the virus early on. This is something that an antibody test will not be able to determine for at least a week post infection.

PCR vs Rapid Antibody Test

Antibody tests are unhelpful in the acute diagnosing COVID-19 infections. These tests often miss the early stages of the disease when the donor will be infectious to other people.

SafeWork Labs pipette rack
Pipette rack in front of extraction hood

For elderly or immunocompromised donors, rapid antibody testing may not be an effective option. These individuals often don’t develop an immune response to the COVID-19 virus as quickly as others. In some cases, they might not even produce antibodies to the infection at all.

In comparison, PCR testing doesn’t have these kinds of issues. It identifies gene sequences of the SARS-CoV-2 virus early in the disease, when a donor is infectious.This makes PCR an excellent choice for confirming COVID-19 infections.

Who should be tested?

A majority of people infected with COVID-19 only experience mild symptoms. In many cases, they don’t even show any symptoms at all. They are called asymptomatic patients.

However, some coronavirus carriers can develop signs of the disease. These could go from moderate symptoms to severe and even to critical in a short span of time.

If you’ve contracted the COVID-19 virus, you may develop symptoms within 2-14 days. Some of the most common signs include:

COVID 19 signs symptoms
COVID-19 symptoms include headache, fever and difficulty in breathing.
  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose (congestion)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

If your staff experience symptoms of the coronavirus, contact your healthcare provider and have them scheduled for COVID-19 testing.

Meanwhile, asymptomatic patients with known or suspected exposure should also be tested for the coronavirus.

Getting Tested for COVID-19

Coronavirus nasal swab test
Nasal swab collection

SW Labs has its own COVID-19 testing laboratory that handles specimen collection. We collect swab samples taken from a donor’s nose (nasopharyngeal) for PCR testing. We service adults and older teenagers in need of confirmatory test results.

Nasopharyngeal swabbing

To collect nasopharyngeal specimen, the collector will insert a flexible wire shaft swab through the donor’s nostrils parallel to the palate (not upwards). The distance of the insertion should be equivalent to that from the donor’s ear to the nostril indicating contact with the nasopharnyx.

Next, the collector will gently rub and roll the swab inside the donor’s nostrils. They will then leave the swab in place for a few seconds to let it absorb secretions before removing it.

After collecting swab samples, the collector will secure the specimen inside sterile vials containing 2 ml of viral transport media. Next, they will send the samples to our COVID-19 testing laboratory to screen for possible coronavirus infection.

5 Facts You Need to Know About COVID-19

1.) COVID-19 is one of three novel coronavirus strains that developed over the last two decades

SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) is the third respiratory syndrome coronavirus to infect humans over the past 20 years. The first two were the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) in 2003 and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) in 2012. Scientists believe all three coronaviruses originated from infected wild animals before passing it on to humans. SARS-CoV likely came from bats and civet cats, MERS-CoV from dromedary camels, and SARS-CoV2 from bats and pangolins.

2.) Young adults are most likely to contract COVID-19

Young adult Australians are the ones most susceptible to COVID-19 according to the Department of Health. Of the more than 27,000 infection cases in the country, 6,235 (23.1%) were people between the ages of 20 and 29. Meanwhile, 4,788 (17.7%) of COVID-19 patients were between 30 and 39, and 3,499 (13%) are between 40 and 49.

For employers, these figures are crucial because these age groups make up a large portion of the Australian labour force. It would be catastrophic for any business if a majority of the workers get infected by the coronavirus.

You can find out more about current COVID-19 statistics in Australia from the Department of Heath here.

3.) COVID-19 is much deadlier to older people than younger people

The elderly are more likely to die from the coronavirus than young or middle aged adults, according to the CDC. The death rate for people who are below 50 years old is less than 1 in 5,000 individuals. Meanwhile, those between 50 and 60 years old have a death rate of 1 in 200.

The situation becomes bleaker for older people, especially for those beyond 70 years old. They have a death rate of about 1 in 20 individuals. Age plays a major role in determining the susceptibility of a person to COVID-19. Older people are more likely to have underlying health conditions compared to younger individuals.

4.) 2 in 5 COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic

Even if a person doesn’t show any symptoms of COVID-19, it doesn’t mean that they are not infected. About 40% of coronavirus patients have been shown to be asymptomatic. In fact, these individuals are three-quarters as infectious as a person who shows COVID-19 symptoms. This means an symptomatic patient can infect an average 2 other people around them. That’s nearly as many as the 2.5 people that symptomatic individuals can infect on average.

What’s worse is that half of people who are presymptomatic can pass the coronavirus to other people around them. This can occur even before they show any symptoms of COVID-19.

5.) A second wave of COVID-19 infections is a real possibility

NSW Health has found COVID-19 virus traces in wastewater samples from Hawkesbury and South Western Sydney.

Because of a drop in COVID-19 infection rates around the world, some government officials have started to the need for mass testing. However, recent reports have shown that coronavirus cases are starting to rise again in Italy, Spain and the UK. This suggests that a second COVID-19 outbreak is very much a possibility.

In Australia, public health officials have detected the SARS-CoV2 virus in the wastewater of several areas in New South Wales. Fragments of the coronavirus were reportedly found in sewage treatment plants in Hawkesbury, and in South Western Sydney. NSW Health is now monitoring communities near the two locations for potential COVID-19 cases.

A similar case also occurred in Rockhampton, Queensland.

Victoria has the most number of COVID-19 patients in Australia with more than 20,000 confirmed cases, as of November 2020. NSW comes in at second with more than 4,400 cases, and Queensland comes in at third with over 1,100.

SW Labs COVID-19 Testing Laboratories

SW Labs’ new COVID-19 testing facilities are located in Brisbane, Queensland and Perth, Western Australia. However, our lab-based COVID-19 testing services for employers are available throughout the country.

COVID-19 testing ISO

ISO-Accredited Coronavirus Screening

When testing for highly infectious diseases like COVID-19, accuracy could very well be a matter of life and death. That’s why our coronavirus screening service follows strict guidelines set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA).

We are fully compliant with all ISO 15189 provisions and the CDNA National guidelines (Coronavirus disease 2019 – COVID-19; including both Section 7 and Appendix A: SARS-CoV-2 Laboratory testing). We also comply with National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council (NPAAC) guidelines, and employ clinical microbiologist supervising COVID testing

COVID-19 testing NATA

Highly Efficient Specimen Collection and Testing

We understand how important it is to have safe and efficient COVID-19 specimen collection and testing. Our Perth testing laboratory has full accreditation from NATA and The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA). We also train our staff well when it comes to safely collecting and transporting nasal swabs.

COVID-19 testing 24 hour turnaround

Super-Fast Results

At SW Labs, we make sure that all of our test results come out as quickly as possible. We can have your PCR-based COVID-19 test results in as fast as 24 hours after we receive your specimen sample. That’s a guarantee.

Testimonials

The highest standard

We have worked with SW Labs over many years across Australia, we have absolute faith in their ability to deliver the highest standard of services for our company and our clients. We look forward to seeing our COVID-19 service partnership grow over the coming year.

Steven Harvey
Managing Director at Fullerton Health Australia

fullerton health australia

Exceptional turnaround times

SW Labs has provided exceptional service and turn-around-times for PCR test results to date (under 24 hours), to support WSL’s compliancy with COVID Safe plan implemented for the first of the 4 World Championship Tour events in Australia, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bern Page
World Surf League Global Safety Senior Manager

world surf league

Unbelievable help

You guys there have been UNBELIEVABLE with the help you have given us, it has been so valued.

Dee Leggat
VBSW Team Manager

vantage black sticks hockey new zealand

Results in record time – 14 days to set up a COVID-19 Testing Lab

Safework Laboratories was approached by Mineral Resources Ltd to work together and set up a COVID-19 testing laboratory on site within a week.

Normally setting up a new lab takes about 3 months.  But the goal was to protect workers and their families as quickly as humanly possible.

The extraordinary dedication of all parties involved resulted in the lab being completely operational from scratch within fourteen days. From an empty building on the 1st April to fully functioning COVID-19 testing lab on the 14th April.

Mineral Resources produced the adjacent video, telling the story. You can also read about it in our blog post here.

Contact Us

Don’t let yourself get caught up in the dangers of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Schedule your COVID-19 test with SafeWork Laboratories today.

1300 795 227