Early Testing and Detection

Some people develop very mild symptoms, if suspected, please seek medical advice immediately and get testing done.

Early testing and detection is very important

As some people infected with COVID-19 only have mild symptoms, members of the public are advised to seek medical advice promptly when feeling unwell (even if having very mild symptoms only) and get tested under the instructions of a healthcare worker, so that appropriate diagnosis and management can be given at the earliest possible time.

Apart from the accident and emergency departments of public hospitals and GOPCs, you may also visit private clinics and hospitals. You can proactively make a request to your doctor for testing when there is any suspicion. The Department of Health (DH) provides free testing of COVID-19 for private doctors.

In order to assist individuals who perceive themselves as having a higher risk of exposure and who experience mild discomfort to undergo a COVID-19 test, the Hospital Authority (HA) provides specimen collection packs and collect specimens through its 47 general out-patient clinics (GOPCs). Details of the collection and submission times and clinics are provided in the attachment. The Government also extends the distribution points for specimen collection packs to the 121 post offices (except mobile post offices) starting from 28 November 2020. Please refer to this website for details.

In addition, the MTR Corporation has set up vending machines at 20 MTR stations for the public to collect COVID-19 specimen collection packs:

  • Ngau Tau Kok, Kwai Fong, North Point, Tiu Keng Leng, Wong Chuk Hang, Tai Wai, Tai Po Market, Siu Hong, Kowloon and Tsing Yi stations
  • Starting from 19 December 2020: Shau Kei Wan, Wan Chai, Sai Ying Pun, Ho Man Tin, Prince Edward, Kai Tak, Wu Kai Sha, Tsuen Wan West, Sheung Shui and Tung Chung stations

Community Testing Centres in Hong Kong provide self-paid COVID-19 testing service for general private use (such as for travelling abroad or working). They also provide free-of-charge testing services for persons under compulsory testing and persons in certain targeted groups.

Moreover, the Government may according to needs set up mobile specimen collection stations for persons under compulsory testing or in targeted groups.

What You Must Know for COVID-19: Early Testing and Detection

How to return the specimen

You may return the specimen by yourself or family members/relatives/friends to one of the designated collection clinics of the Hospital Authority, clinics of DH or government premises on the same day of specimen collection. You may also choose to use door-to-door specimen collection service at a charge. For details, please refer to the useful links at the bottom of this page.

Please note that all post offices will NOT collect specimens. Please do NOT send specimens by postal mail.

If the test result is negative

Generally speaking, if you do not receive any notification within 3 days after submitting the specimen, it means the test is negative. If there are barcodes on the specimen bottle and request form, normally speaking, you will receive an SMS notification within 3 days.
If the test is referred by private medical practitioners, you may contact them for enquiries.

If the test result is positive

If a sample tests positive, the DH will arrange for admission to a public hospital for treatment as soon as possible. Quarantine will be arranged for close contacts while medical surveillance will be arranged for other contacts. In general, household members will stay in the same unit in a quarantine centre, depending on availability of units and size and composition of the family. Quarantine centres will provide the confinees with meals and basic daily personal necessities. You can bring own personal necessities, such as clothes and daily medications.

For details, you may refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for Close Contacts under Mandatory Quarantine at Quarantine Centres.

Management of COVID-19

Many of the symptoms can be treated and supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective.

The most important thing is to seek medical advice immediately and get testing done whenever symptomatic (even if having very mild symptoms).

Useful links

Distribution/collection points

Note: If you have symptoms, seek medical advice promptly and get tested under the instructions of a healthcare worker.

Door-to-door specimen collection service

Note: Charged door-to-door specimen collection service is not applicable to persons undergoing compulsory quarantine at the Desginated Quarantine Hotel.

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