Early Testing and Detection
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.
Other virus testing routes
Please also refer to the press releases on "Government updates risk-based testing strategy".
1a. Individuals subject to compulsory testing / in targeted groups
- They should pay attention to the relevant details and instructions; please refer to relevant announcements and the following webpages:
- Community Testing Centres (CTCs) / community testing stations (CTSs) in Hong Kong provide free-of-charge testing services for persons under compulsory testing and persons in certain targeted groups (refer to list of eligible persons), relevant persons who wish to undergo a free test merely need to make online booking or use the Testing Registration QR code in the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile application for registration.
- The Government may also according to needs set up mobile specimen collection stations to provide free-of-charge testing for persons under compulsory testing or in targeted groups
- Or they can self-arrange testing provided by private laboratories (see the list of recognised local institutions / private testing laboratories)
- (Note: for individual persons who are incapable of receiving professional swab sampling due to health reasons, if a medical certificate is issued by a registered medical practitioner to prove that he or she is unfit to undergo such testing, he or she may obtain a DTS specimen collection kit and return the specimen to one of the designated collection points; for children who cannot undergo professional swab sampling, please refer to the section on stool specimen)
1b. Persons arriving at Hong Kong and subject to compulsory testing
- Regarding the boarding, quarantine and testing arrangements for persons arriving at Hong Kong, refer to the following webpages and relevant instructions
2. Individuals who experiences symptoms of COVID-19 (even if having mild symptoms only)
- They should seek medical advice promptly when feeling unwell (even if having very mild symptoms only) and get tested under the instructions of a healthcare worker. They can proactively make a request to your doctor for testing when there is any suspicion
- Apart from the accident and emergency departments of public hospitals and GOPCs, you may also visit private clinics and hospitals. The Government provides free testing of COVID-19 for private doctors (free medical consultation service not included), whose compulsory testing will continue to be conducted using DTS specimen.
- They should not attend the mobile specimen collection stations or Community Testing Centres (CTCs)
3. Other individuals
- They can obtain a deep throat saliva (DTS) specimen collection pack from any of the designated distribution points, and return the specimen to one of the designated collection points
- Or they can undergo self-paid testing in Community Testing Centres (CTCs) / community testing stations (CTSs)
- Or they can self-arrange testing provided by private laboratories
Distribution points of DTS specimen collection packs
- Distribution Points at General Out-patient Clinics (GOPCs) of Hospital Authority (updated)
- Distribution Points at Post Offices (except mobile post offices)
- Vending machines at MTR stations
- Ngau Tau Kok, Kwai Fong, North Point, Tiu Keng Leng, Wong Chuk Hang, Tai Wai, Tai Po Market, Siu Hong, Kowloon, Tsing Yi, 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
Stool bottle collection points
Collection points for submitting specimens
- COVID-19 specimen collection points (updated)
- Special arrangement under inclement weather conditions
In general, respiratory specimens such as deep throat saliva, combined throat and nasal swab and nasopharyngeal specimens are the specimen types of choice for diagnosing COVID-19 infection. Stool specimen may be used as an alternative for testing when collecting respiratory specimen is not feasible for children under 3 years old and those who are not suitable for respiratory specimen collection.
If a residential building is put under compulsory testing notice, parents who need the stool bottle for their kids shall call 6275 6901 for prior arrangement to collect the stool bottle from the assigned clinics.
How to self-collect and return the specimen
- Information Sheet on Deep Throat Saliva (DTS) Collection
- Deep Throat Saliva Collection - Demonstration Video (Chinese version only)
- Information Sheet on Stool Specimen Collection (without collection spoon)
- Information Sheet on Stool Specimen Collection (with collection spoon)
- Stool Specimen Collection - Video
Returning the specimen
You may return the specimen by yourself (except persons who are under quarantine) or family members/relatives/friends to one of the specimen collection points on the same day of specimen collection. You may also choose to use door-to-door specimen collection service at a charge.
For door-to-door specimen collection service, advanced booking is required (including online payment requirements). Due to service capacity and other reasons, service providers may have limited service on specified dates, you are advised to contact them as early as possible to avoid late submission. You may visit their websites by clicking the names of the companies below or contact them directly.
Door-to-door specimen collection service
- GOGOVAN (enquiry phone number: 5681 4989)
- Pickupp (enquiry email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Toby (enquiry phone number: 3703 3250)
Note: Charged door-to-door specimen collection service is not applicable to persons undergoing compulsory quarantine at the Desginated Quarantine Hotel. Please note that all post offices will NOT collect specimens. Please do NOT send specimens by postal mail.
If the test result is negative
CTCs and mobile specimen collection stations
For individuals undergoing self-paid testing service in CTCs, if the test result is negative, they will generally receive a test result notification from the institution within 24 hours.
For individuals undergoing free-of-charge testing service in CTCs or mobile specimen collection stations (for example those subject to compulsory testing or in targeted groups) will also receive SMS notification of their test results.
Self-collection of DTS specimens
Generally speaking, submitted specimens will be tested within 3 days. If there are barcodes on the specimen bottle and request form, you will also receive an SMS notification of your negative test result within 3 days.
If the test is referred by private medical practitioners, you may contact them for enquiries.
If the test result is positive
Please refer to Points to Note for Persons who Tested Positive.
About rapid antigen test
Please refer to the press release on "Selecting and using rapid antigen tests" and concise guide on "Do the Rapid Antigen Test Properly". For more information on rapid antigen tests, please refer to the FAQs and relevant infographics.
Primary Care Directory