Researching COVID in Mitchells Plain

We hired a talented local photographer to follow one of our top teams to give you a day in the life of a COVID researcher working in Mitchells Plain. We work directly with our community to keep our teams safe, get an inside peek at what an average day looks like.

What Is HUTS 2?

HUTS 2 or the Healthcare UTilisation and Seroprevalence Repeat Survey is a study that returned to communities in Edendale (Pietermaritzburg) and Mitchells Plain (Cape Town) to find out more about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa.

A Day In the Life

7:30 am

Our teams arrive at our Rondebosch Office. They pack what they need for the day and gear up to protect themselves in the field. Sanitiser, an anti-viral mask and gown sit alongside their gloves and nurse kit.


They are in the car and ready to go. Looking at the GPS, our team keys in the houses they have been assigned for that day.

HUTS 2 is a bit easier than the HUTS 1 which took place during the peak of the 2nd wave of COVID-19 in South Africa, a time when many people were scared and uncertain. So our experienced team feels confident as they drive off to their first household.

8:30 am

Our team arrives at the home of an elderly lady on a peaceful Friday morning in Mitchells Plain.

They tell her a bit about the study. This is always a tense moment, as many residents are wary of talking to strangers.

But with patience, experience and a good reputation in this community (one of the most underrated factors), our team is able to explain the importance of our study and are allowed to come into her home.

8:35 am

Once inside, our team sanitises, helps the participant learn more about the study and gives them the option to opt out or sign a written consent on our electronic tablets if they would like to continue.

Epicentre has done many studies in Mitchells Plain and surrounding areas, so many people trust us and the studies we do. But we will leave her with a printed consent with all our information if she needs to contact us or wants to ask any further questions.

To protect our participants’ privacy, we never use people’s names or anything that could be used to contact or find them. She will have a barcode number that will connect all her forms and lab results that only our most senior management will be able to link to her actual name.

8:45 am

They then do a short questionnaire, so we can see how COVID really impacted her and other South Africans like her. The aim of this study was to better understand how COVID affected people economically, did they lose their jobs, have they had enough food? These questions are important.

We also examined how people used healthcare during the pandemic. We asked a lot of questions around how clinics and hospitals were used and about peoples experiences when they visited these healthcare facilities.

Our aim is to inform government on what went wrong and right, and what people feel they need from healthcare to get better. We want to help South Africa’s health system be prepared for the next wave of COVID and for the next pandemic.

8:50 am

After doing the questionnaire, she was asked for a sample of her blood to test for COVID antibodies. This is so important as, like many people, she didn’t experience any symptoms so didn’t go to hospital or get tested but had an asymptomatic COVID-19 infection. This kind of infection is a crucial missing data that needs to be better understood. And that’s it!

The process takes all of 20 to 30 mins, and we are off again to the next chosen participant and repeat.

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Book with Epicentre

For 20 years Epicentre has been fighting South African’s infectious diseases, and now we’re taking on COVID-19! We are a company founded on a vision, ending disease in South Africa! So we believe in making an IMPACT.

We are an independent organization that is committed to creating a positive impact on health & wellness for all in South Africa. We want to close the gap between unscreened, undiagnosed, and uncontrolled HIV & COVID-19 infections as well as other chronic diseases for all South Africans.

By booking your tests with Epicentre, you are supporting a real local company that has worked for 20 years in all 9 provinces, from Pollsmoor prison to Constantia; & you’re getting a gold standard service that experts trust!

Epicentre Special Deals

We offer free and heavily discounted tests as they are subsidized by research organizations that are looking to use this anonymous information to investigate various research questions, like can people test themselves for COVID?

10% Off All Walk-In Lab Tests

Only for pensioners at all branches.

Free Blood Pressure Tests

With all Walk-In Lab tests

Rapid COVID-19 Antigen/infection testing

R50 pensioners discount!

Epicentre offers

Walk-In Lab

Please note that our packages are just a guide, you can pick any of these tests in these packages, add extra tests or take out any tests. Choose what suits your needs!

Women’s Wellness Package (Foundation)

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HIV Screening Package

Iron Deficiency & Anaemia Package

Menopause Package

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Men’s Fertility Test Package

STI Screening Package

Thyroid Screening Package

Laboratory Typhoid Test


Measles Test Package

Drive Through

Drive-Thru COVID Tests

Rapid COVID-19 Antigen/infection testing

(R250 with a R50 pensioners discount!)

Drive-Thru COVID-19 PCR Testing


Home based COVID-19 PCR Testing

(R1150 + travel over 50kms)

Rapid COVID-19 Antibody Tests

On Sale! (R150)

Express International Flight Testing

(PCR Flight certificate in 12hrs)


Cape Town Only

Extra Express International Flight Testing

(PCR Flight certificate in 4-5hrs)


Cape Town Only

International Flight Testing Package

(PCR + Antiviral Mask)


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