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COVID-19 Testing Guidance

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing guidance for laboratories, on-site testing locations, and employers.

Table of Contents

Testing guidelines

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.

Testing sites

Testing options for employers

Employees who have a COVID-19 symptom or are a close contact of an individual who is COVID-19 positive should be tested. This testing should be covered by insurance. Please visit our interactive testing map to find a convenient testing site.

Some employers may wish to make testing available in the workplace for asymptomatic individuals with no known exposure. This type of testing is unlikely to be covered by insurance and will need to be paid for privately. The entities below have indicated that they provide this type of testing service.

If you are a testing provider and would like to be added to this list of testing options for employers, please complete the COVID-19 Testing Resource Submission Form.This list will be updated regularly.

Options for Employer Sponsored testing of asymptomatic individuals with no known exposure

Options for on-site testing
Provider Contact information Type(s) of specimen collection Who collects the specimen
Fallon EMS 617-745-9999
www.fallonambulance.com/covidtesting
Nasopharyngeal Staff provided by Fallon
Brewster Ambulance  617-983-1000 (ask for Kelly Magyar)
kmagyar@brewsterambulance.com
Nasopharyngeal Staff provided by Brewster Ambulance
Quest www.questdiagnostics.com/home/Covid-19/HCP Nasopharyngeal and blood (antibody testing) Employer must provide/identify medical staff
LabCorp www.labcorp.com/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/provider-information Nasopharyngeal and blood (antibody testing) Employer must provide/identify medical staff
Orig3n orig3n.com/covid19 Nasopharyngeal and anterior nasal swabs Staff provided by Orig3n or employer-provided medical staff
PhysicianOne Urgent Care Allison Egan
617-610-4286
aegan@p1uc.com
Nasopharyngeal and blood (antibody testing) Staff provided by PhysicianOne Urgent Care
Options for at-home testing
Provider Contact information Type(s) of specimen collection Who collects the specimen
Vault www.vaulthealth.com/covid/corporate Saliva Self-collection with telehealth supervision
1Health 1health.io Saliva Self-collection
LabCorp www.pixel.labcorp.com/covid-19 Nasal swab Self-collection

Mobile testing at long term care and assisted living residences

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 31st, the Massachusetts National Guard was activated through MEMA to temporarily support COVID-19 testing in nursing homes, assisted living residences and rest homes. The National Guard testing mission is supported by Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University. This program has allowed for safe, onsite, sample collection by trained personnel from the Massachusetts National Guard or a state-contracted EMS provider.

The Massachusetts National Guard will conclude testing in nursing homes, assisted living residences and rest homes on June 15. Facilities are eligible and encouraged to schedule testing for:

  • All symptomatic residents AND staff, as well individuals who are close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases. You can find the more detail on the definition of symptomatic individuals and close contacts here: COVID-19 Testing Guidance 
  • One-time facility-wide testing of residents and staff. If your facility has already completed facility-wide baseline testing through the state’s mobile testing program, the National Guard is available to  re-test all staff only.

To schedule National Guard testing, facilities must call the mobile testing hotline at 617-366-2350 before June 10. The hotline will be staffed 6 days a week from 8AM-4PM ET Monday to Saturday until June 12.

For testing after this date, facilities may choose to use any of the following options to arrange their own testing for residents and staff. The below is a non-exhaustive list of facility-organized testing options, though facilities are encouraged to make arrangements with other qualified entities as well. Facilities are responsible for arranging payment with these testing providers.

If you are a testing provider and would like to be added to this list of testing options for employers, please complete the COVID-19 Testing Resource Submission Form.This list will be updated regularly.

Options for LTC testing:

  • See section above, which outlines testing options for Employers
  • Facilities may coordinate with entities including but not limited to local hospitals and community health centers (CHC) to arrange for employee testing.
Options for on-site testing
Provider Contact information Type(s) of specimen collection Who collects the specimen
Fallon EMS 617-745-9999
www.fallonambulance.com/covidtesting
Nasopharyngeal Staff provided by Fallon
Brewster Ambulance  617-983-1000 (ask for Kelly Magyar)
kmagyar@brewsterambulance.com
Nasopharyngeal Staff provided by Brewster Ambulance
Quest www.questdiagnostics.com/home/Covid-19/HCP Nasopharyngeal and blood (antibody testing) Employer must provide/identify medical staff
LabCorp www.labcorp.com/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/provider-information Nasopharyngeal and blood (antibody testing) Employer must provide/identify medical staff
Orig3n orig3n.com/covid19 Nasopharyngeal and anterior nasal swabs Staff provided by Orig3n or employer-provided medical staff
PhysicianOne Urgent Care Allison Egan
617-610-4286
aegan@p1uc.com
Nasopharyngeal and blood (antibody testing) Staff provided by PhysicianOne Urgent Care

When choosing a testing provider, you should inquire about the sample collection method offered (e.g., anterior nasal swabs may be more comfortable than nasopharyngeal swabs, elderly residents may not be able to produce necessary saliva volumes for saliva-based testing, etc.).  Please discuss options with the potential testing provider.

Testing at independent senior housing

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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