Where To Get Free COVID PCR Tests In Cape Town

If you are over 18 and have COVID like symptoms or have been exposed and are unsure of your status, you can get free testing in Cape Town near you!

What Is The Cough Check Study?

Cough Check is a Self-swabbing Pilot Study, which aims to come to patient’s homes and give them the chance to test themselves.

Take charge of your COVID-19 test. Epicentre believes you should have control of your health. When you feel sick, your body is sensitive. With self-swabbing, you can control how fast or slow your swab is inserted during your COVID-19. This complete control ensures a less painful and invasive test and has evidence of equal effectiveness of tests by trained professionals.

What Is The Cough Check Test Procedure?

To book a Cough Check test with Epicentre, you will need to either book a test online or message our WhatsApp number at 072 843 7564

✔ The Cough Check team will ask you some questions they read on their tablet. These questions are multiple choice and very easy.

✔ The Cough Check team will ask you to test yourself and give you instructions on how to do it. This involves taking a long thin cotton Q-tip known as a swab and sticking it up your nose and slowly turning it, taking it out and placing it in a protective plastic container

✔ The Cough Check team will then send your ‘swab’ to our lab at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases to test for COVID-19, the common cold and the flu.

What Are We Hoping To Achieve?

COVID-19 is a new disease that has affected the lives of all South Africans. There is still a lot to learn about COVID-19 and how it has affected communities. Our primary aim is to:

1. Assess if testing yourself is effective for picking up these viruses

2. Describe the symptoms of patients with undiagnosed acute respiratory tract illness and compare them to those that are diagnosed.

3. Improve the detection of these viruses

4. This information is important to guide in planning and decision-making for preventing future waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, as well as to pick up what the new strains of flu are for the next flu season.

Our secondary aims are to:

1. Estimate the VE of the influenza vaccine against laboratory-confirmed influenza illness in 2021 if the detection rate of influenza and sample size allows for the analysis.

2. Estimate the VE of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine against laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 illness in 2021 if the detection rate of SARS-CoV-2 and sample size allow for the analysis

3. Document logistic constraints, costs and acceptability of home self-swabbing for identification of influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and RSV as a supplement to existing VE platforms.

4. Assess the logistics of samples refrigeration, timely processing for culture and isolate identification using self-swabbing.

5. Compare timing and extent of influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and RSV virus circulation as detected in facility-based surveillance to that documented by home-based self-swabbing

6. Describe the timing between illness onset, collection kit arrival to household, collection and delivery to the laboratory for self-swabbing

Who Should Sign Up For Cough Check?

The Cough Check team can visit your home if:

✔ You are experience any of these symptoms:

shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, loss of taste or small, fatigue, myalgia or chest pain

✔ You contact the Epicentre Team on WhatsApp at 072 843 7564 and ask to take part

✔ You organize a time to meet at your home with our team

✔ You live within 30km of one of our Drive-Through branches

Want to Get Tested For Free But Don’t Want To Be Part Of A Study?

❌ Unfortunately, it is a requirement of our free testing that you take part in our study

✔ You are welcome to make use of our Walk-in lab.

How Is Cough Chck Study Anonymous?

✔ The Cough Check Study has gone through a very strict ‘ethical review’ with several independent ethical comities for every part of the study. We have to protect every participant and follow a very strict plan about what happens to each person’s information (in terms of where it goes & who sees it). Which are explained in detail to every person who participates.

✔ & each team member, in the Cough Check study team, is required to sign a confidentiality agreement when they begin working on the project.

So they may not discuss this information or disclose it to any outside parties.

Will I Find Out My Results Of My Test?

✔ Yes, we will send you your results.

Why Is It Important For People To Participate?

✔ Every person who participates gives us more information on COVID-19, the flu and the common cold is impacting South Africans like you around the country.

✔ By testing yourself, you help us show scientists that patients should be given the power to control their own health

✔ You help South Africa make testing easier and safer.

When Should You Get A RAKE PCR Test?

The Cough Check Study is a COVID-19, Influenza and RSV PCR test or a polymerase chain reaction test. The PCR test is a test that is done to find genetic material from the COVD-19, Influenza and RSV virus. This kind of molecular tests detects the RNA of the coronavirus and are sensitive enough to only need a very tiny amount of it in order to pick up an infection.

The benefit of this test is its ability to pick up very small amounts of viral RNA very early in an infection, so there is a low chance for false negatives, including among pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19, Influenza and RSV cases.

How Can A Cough Check Test Help You?

We provide free COVID-19 PCR certificates with every PCR test. You can use this certificate (if it is positive) for entry into hospital for treatment.

A PCR test can also give you certainty on your COVID-19 status as it is the most accurate COVID test on the market.

What Laboratory Does Cough Check Use?

We use the Indalo Bio labs to process all our tests.

Learn More About Our Walk-In Lab

Epicentre has an extensive walk-in testing centre for both rapid and lab tests. Learn more here.

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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)

Women’s Wellness Package (+40yrs)

Men’s Wellness Package (Foundation)

Men’s Wellness Package (+40yrs)

Arthritis Package

Athletes Total Wellness Package

Diabetes Monitoring Package

Diabetes Screening Package

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel Package

Comprehensive Weight Loss Package

Kidney Package

Liver & Pancreas Package

Long COVID Package

HIV Monitoring Package

HIV Screening Package

Iron Deficiency & Anaemia Package

Menopause Package

Women’s Fertility Test Package

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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