Almost half of households test for COVID-19 in February

Media Release
Released
16/03/2022

In February 2022, nearly one in two (47 per cent) Australians reported that a household member completed a COVID-19 test in the past four weeks, according to survey results released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Head of Household Surveys, David Zago, said: “The latest Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, conducted between 9 and 18 February 2022, asked Australians about their household experiences with COVID-19 symptoms, tests and positive cases in the past four weeks.

“Of Australians living in households where someone had performed a COVID-19 test in February, 17 per cent reported that someone in their household had tested positive.” 

The survey showed Australians were more likely to take precautions because of the spread of COVID-19 in February 2022, than in June 2021, before the Omicron COVID-19 variant arrived in Australia.

“More than twice as many Australians (98 per cent) reported wearing a face mask in February 2022 compared with June 2021 (44 per cent), while in February, washing hands or using hand sanitiser regularly had increased to 95 per cent, from 85 per cent in June 2021,” Mr Zago said.

The survey also asked Australians about the impact of COVID-19 on their households.

“Around a quarter (26 per cent) of Australians reported that the job situation of someone in their household had changed in one or more ways due to COVID-19 in the last four weeks.”  

Over a quarter (28 per cent) of Australian households with children aged under 18 years reported that their children’s school, preschool or childcare attendance was impacted by COVID-19 in the last four weeks (impacts included closures, close contacts and positive cases of COVID-19).

The ABS would like to thank the Australian households that contributed to these survey results.

Media notes

  • COVID-19 tests refer to both Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests.
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via media@abs.gov.au (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
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  • Information on ABS products being produced to measure the impact of COVID-19 on Australia can be found on the ABS website.