Should I be tested?

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild, please contact your healthcare provider and a test site near you to schedule a test. You can also check your symptoms online.

Symptoms may include:

  • Fever, chills or shaking chills
  • Signs of a lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, lowered oxygen saturation)
  • Fatigue, sore throat, headache, body aches/myalgia, or new loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Other less common symptoms can include gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), rash, and inflammatory conditions such as “COVID toes”.
  • In elderly, chronically ill, or debilitated individuals such as residents of a long-term care facility, symptoms of COVID-19 may be subtle such as alterations in mental status or in blood glucose control

 Additionally, if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact a test site near you to schedule a test. You are a close contact of a COVID-19 positive person if you were within 6 feet of them, for at least 10-15 minutes, while they were symptomatic or within the 48 hours before symptom onset.

COVID-19 testing for symptomatic individuals and their close contacts is free and covered by your insurance.

For more information on testing guidelines, see DPH Guidance: 

Testing sites

Please visit our interactive testing map to find a testing site near you.

You can also download a full list of sites: MA COVID-19 Testing Sites PDF | Doc

Information continues to evolve quickly, so we encourage all those looking to be tested to contact the site prior to arrival. Many sites may also require pre-screening, a referral and/or an appointment.

Testing sites for public safety personnel

Mobile testing sites are operating to serve eligible public safety personnel, including police officers, firefighters, EMS and PSAP personnel, correction officers, mortuary service providers, grocery store workers, and state active duty National Guard personnel who perform critical public safety functions.

The mobile testing sites in Foxborough and West Springfield will each perform up to 200 tests per day, seven days per week, with appointments scheduled in advance through a call center at the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. Testing is performed at no charge.

Learn more details from the testing site announcements in these press releases:

Mobile Testing at Long Term Care and Assisted Living Residences

The Department of Public Health, in partnership with the Massachusetts National Guard, and the State Public Health Laboratory in conjunction with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is operating a program for Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Residences and Rest Homes (Facilities) to allow for in-facility testing of residents and staff.

Prior to this program, if a resident in a Facility was exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, they needed to leave their facility to get tested. This exposes them to even greater risk and can overwhelm emergency rooms and clinics.

The Mobile Testing Program allows for safe, onsite, sample collection by trained personnel from the Massachusetts National Guard or a state-contracted EMS provider. Samples collected from residents are transported directly to State Public Health Laboratory, which works with the Broad Institute to prioritize these samples for testing.

It is recommended that if there is suspicion of COVID-19 in the building, facilities order tests for their entire building, both residents and employees. Testing of all asymptomatic and symptomatic residents and staff can only occur once to set a baseline. However, the facility may request further testing for symptomatic individuals on an ongoing basis.

For more information, see the Mobile Testing Program Overview. Specimens submitted for testing require the COVID-19 Specimen Submission Form.

Guidance for laboratories

DPH has outlined guidance for clinical laboratories regarding COVID-19, specimen collection, testing, and submission to the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory: COVID-19 Guidance: Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory FAQ PDF | Doc

Guidance for on-site testing locations

To all healthcare sites or facilities that are currently performing or planning to perform COVID-19 testing on-site: please be aware that this is a notifiable disease and results must be reported to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health within 24 hours. Contact ISIS-ImmediateDiseaseReporting@mass.gov  at the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences for assistance.

What to report:

  • Isolation of coronavirus from a clinical specimen; or
  • Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in a clinical specimen using a molecular amplification detection test; or
  • Detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen in a clinical specimen; or
  • Detection of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in serum, plasma, or whole blood.
  • All results (positive, negative, equivocal) should be reported.

DPH Guidance: 

 

Testing supplies

If your lab partner or existing supplier is not able to provide you with sufficient test kits to maximize daily capacity, you can request kits (swabs and transport media) from the Department of Public Health by filling out this form: Resource Request Form for Testing Supplies and submitting it via email to your Regional HMCC. Regional HMCC contact info can be found on Learn about HMCC. Please consult with your lab before requesting kits to ensure you request the proper supplies.

Contact

Phone

Informational and referral hotline 211

24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are free and confidential. Interpreter services are available in multiple languages.

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