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COVID-19 Testing

 

Where to Get a Test

When to Get Tested

What are the different types of COVID-19 tests?

Test Results

 

Where to Get a Test 

NEW: The federal government has launched a new website, COVIDTests.gov, where you can learn how to:

UMass Memorial Health offers free testing in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Stop the Spread initiative:

  • Worcester (100 Front Street, next to CVS)​​

UMass Memorial Health – Harrington Hospital operates two locations for drive-thru COVID-19 testing. No doctor’s order is required for testing. Appointments must be scheduled in advance (check website for availability). 

UMass Memorial Health – HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital offers call-ahead COVID-19 testing and is following the guidance issued on March 13, 2020, by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to determine whether or not testing is indicated. If it is determined that a patient meets the testing criteria, orders need to be placed with the HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital Lab. View days and hours.

Physician-Ordered Testing Information: If your physician orders COVID-19 testing at the UMass Memorial Health’s 350 Plantation St. location (near 306  Belmont St.), check this webpage for current hours of operation. For results, call your primary care provider or ordering physician, or check your myChart patient portal.

State Testing Sites: Find a COVID-19 testing location near you.   

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When to Get Tested 

Here’s when the CDC says you should consider getting a COVID-19 test:

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19. 
  • If you have close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Close contact means you were within six feet of them for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before they began noticing symptoms. Fully vaccinated people with no COVID-19 symptoms do not need to be tested following an exposure to someone with COVID-19.
  • If you participated in activities that increase your risk of COVID-19 — for example, if you traveled, attended a large gathering or were in a crowded indoor setting. 
  • If you have been asked to get or referred for testing by your doctor or your local or state department of health. 
  • It’s best to ask your doctor to recommend a specific type of COVID-19 testing for you. 

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What are the different types of COVID-19 tests?

There are three types of COVID-19 testing at locations across the state.

  • Diagnostics lab tests can show if you have an active coronavirus infection by detecting genetic materials (or mRNA) of the virus from a DNA sample, usually by nasal or throat swab, or a saliva sample. The sample gets sent to a laboratory to determine results, which may take a few days to get to you. 
  • A rapid diagnostic test checks for active coronavirus infection (mRNA), but this test is performed on-site with results available in 24 hours. 
  • A rapid antigen test can quickly detect the presence of a specific viral antigen. This helps determine if someone is actively infected with COVID-19. This type of test may be purchased at your local pharmacy

Testing done at a health care facility or state/local testing site should be provided at no cost with most commercial or government-sponsored health insurance plans. Some rapid tests can be purchased from local pharmacies and retail store. Commercial insurers are now required to pay or reimburse members for the cost of eight over-the-counter, at-home tests per covered member per month.

Your health care provider can help you make a decision about which test is best for you.

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Test Results

 

How can I access my digital COVID-19 test results?

You can access your digital COVID-19 test results through the MyChart patient portal or on the MyChart app or contact your ordering provider.

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What if I tested positive for COVID-19?

Keep track of your symptoms. Symptoms can vary.

  • If you are asymptotic or experiencing mild symptoms: Stay home to slow the spread, and self-isolate at home to protect your family. Be sure everyone is following CDC prevention practices like mask-wearing, cough covering and hand washing. Be sure to get plenty of fluids, stay hydrated, and get lots of rest.
  • If you have moderate symptoms: Self-isolate at home, and call your doctor (or an urgent care center) to discuss treatment options.
  • If you have severe symptoms and are experiencing a medical emergency: Call 9-1-1.

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What does it mean if I have a negative COVID-19 test result?

A negative test result means that you probably were not infected with COVID-19 at the time your sample was collected. You should continue taking steps to protect yourself from COVID-19, including wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing and getting vaccinated.

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