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Government extends operation period of 18 community testing centres
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     The Food and Health Bureau (FHB) announced today (June 11) that after reviewing the usage of the community testing centres (CTCs) and public's demand for the testing service, the Government has decided to extend the operation period of 18 CTCs.
 
     As 12 CTCs for extending the operation period will switch service providers, these CTCs will suspend service temporarily on the following dates. Apart from these dates, other dates and time slots of the relevant CTCs will be open for the public for booking on the online booking system. The remaining six CTCs, including Leighton Hill Community Hall in Wan Chai, Quarry Bay Community Hall in Eastern District, Lei Tung Community Hall in Southern District, To Kwa Wan Sports Centre in Kowloon City, Yau Tong Community Hall and Hang Hau Community Hall, will operate as usual daily.
 
CTCs Dates of temporary service suspension
Ngau Tau Kok Road Sports Centre in Kwun Tong
Siu Lun Community Hall in Tuen Mun
June 16 (Wednesday) to June 18 (Friday)
Lek Yuen Community Hall in Sha Tin June 18 (Friday) to June 20 (Sunday)
Pak Tin Community Hall in Sham Shui Po
Wo Hing Community Hall in Fanling
Lai King Community Hall
June 18 (Friday) to June 23 (Wednesday)
Yuen Long Town East Community Hall June 21 (Monday) to June 23 (Wednesday)
Henry G Leong Yaumatei Community Centre June 21 (Monday) to June 24 (Thursday)
Shek Tong Tsui Sports Centre in Central and Western June 21 (Monday) to June 25 (Friday)
Morse Park Sports Centre in Wong Tai Sin
Tai Wo Sports Centre in Tai Po
Wai Tsuen Sports Centre in Tsuen Wan
June 25 (Friday) to June 29 (Tuesday)

     Meanwhile, the CTCs at Ma On Shan Sports Centre in Sha Tin and Tsing Yi Sports Centre will cease operation after June 15 (Tuesday), and that at Tin Ching Community Hall in Tin Shui Wai will cease operation after June 30 (Wednesday).

     CTCs provide self-paid testing services for the public at a more affordable price to serve general community or private purposes such as certification for travelling or work. The price of concerned testing services is capped at $240. The Government will also, as and when necessary, such as in situations with higher risks of community transmission, conduct necessary testing for targeted groups, specified persons or other citizens at the testing centres for public health reasons on a need basis.

     CTCs in various districts have come into service in phases since November 15 last year. As at June 10, these centres had conducted tests for a total of over 4.68 million service visits, of which about 1 130 samples were tested preliminarily positive (about 0.02 per cent) and had been referred to the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health (DH) for confirmatory tests and follow-up.

     A spokesman for the FHB said, "The Government has been refining its anti-epidemic strategies in accordance with the development of the epidemic, including conducting large-scale COVID-19 testing for groups of different risks under the three key principles of 'compulsory testing on a mandatory basis, targeted testing on an obligatory basis and testing on a voluntary basis' with a view to achieving 'early identification, early isolation and early treatment', and cutting the transmission chains in the community as far as possible."
 
‚Äč     "CTCs provide services not only for those who undergo testing voluntarily at a more affordable price, but also for persons who are subject to compulsory testing and targeted groups, thus enabling the Government to meet unexpected testing demand in a more efficient and flexible manner and to strengthen disease prevention and control in Hong Kong."

     CTCs provide specimen collection services (using combined nasal and throat swabs) and COVID-19 testing services for all asymptomatic individuals holding valid Hong Kong identity cards, Hong Kong birth certificates or other valid identity documents (including Hong Kong residents and non-Hong Kong residents). The centres are open daily from 8am to 1.30pm and from 2.30pm to 8pm. Deep cleaning and disinfection would be conducted when they close in the afternoon and at night.

     Booking and walk-in services are available. Members of the public only need to provide simple personal information (including their name, number of valid identity document and phone number) on the 24-hour booking system (www.communitytest.gov.hk/en) to select the testing centre and time slot. The booking system will show the booking status of centres for the coming one to two weeks, and members of the public can choose suitable time slots for testing. The testing centres would accord priority to provide service for individuals with advance bookings. Members of the public may also call the testing centres for enquiries on the availability of bookings or walk-in quotas before visiting the centres.

     At present, persons of certain targeted groups (including employees of scheduled premises and catering businesses, construction site personnel etc.), persons subject to compulsory testing, as well as persons with "LeaveHomeSafe" COVID-19 exposure notification may receive free testing at CTCs. They must register through the booking system (www.communitytest.gov.hk/en) for free testing service. Those without bookings will need to pay the testing fee. Certain targeted groups are required to present medical certificate or vaccination record to staff of the CTCs for free testing service, and the Government does not preclude extending this requirement to other targeted groups later. The Government will regularly review the coverage and frequency of targeted group testing with reference to the latest epidemic risk assessment.

    "To reduce the risk of virus transmission, testing agencies provide various means of contactless payment. The Government encourages citizens using self-paid service to reduce or avoid using cash as a means of payment as far as possible," the spokesman added.
 
     Participants, upon receiving self-paid testing service, with a negative result will receive a test report for a COVID-19 nucleic acid test within 24 hours. Persons subject to compulsory testing and persons of targeted groups who are users of free testing service will be informed of test results by SMS notifications through their mobile phones. Those who are tested positive as confirmed by the DH will receive calls from the DH to arrange for isolation and treatment in public hospitals in accordance with established procedures.

     Please refer to the webpage for information of the CTCs: www.communitytest.gov.hk/en. The Government reminds the public that they can undergo COVID-19 testing through various means. For details on other testing means than CTCs, please refer to the webpage at www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/early-testing.html. Person who has symptoms should seek medical attention immediately and should not attend the CTCs.
 
Ends/Friday, June 11, 2021
Issued at HKT 23:44
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