Watch this video from Nantucket Magazine and Yellow Productions featuring portraits of NCH staff members. Read the full story from the July issue of Nantucket Magazine by clicking here.
The summer has arrived on Nantucket. As President and CEO of Nantucket Cottage Hospital, I want to take this opportunity to praise the shared sacrifices the community has made since March to keep the coronavirus at bay, but also urge everyone on the island to stay vigilant in the weeks and months ahead.
On Monday, June 22, Nantucket Cottage Hospital reported the first new confirmed case of COVID-19 on the island in more than month, and we have had three more additional people test positive since then. I think this should be a reminder that as much as we want to be done with this virus, it is not yet done with us.
Now is the riskiest time for Nantucket, as we have not had a surge or significant caseload as other parts of the country have, and the island population is increasing. After the months of stay-at-home orders and restrictions on activity, we all want to enjoy the summer, socialize, and have our local businesses recover. We can do all of this, but on behalf of my team at Nantucket Cottage Hospital, I urge you to do it safely and responsibly. We should expect that there will be more cases this summer, but there are things we all can do to prevent them from spreading more widely in the community.
Governor Charlie Baker has ordered everyone in Massachusetts over the age of two to wear a face covering or mask in public places where maintaining proper physical distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are not possible. Locally, the Nantucket Board of Health this week approved an emergency order requiring masks or face coverings in the downtown historic district and in Sconset at all times, indoors or outside, regardless of distancing. These are sensible orders, backed-up by scientific studies, and something we all can do.
Recognizing that providing compassionate care is a key hospital goal, Nantucket Cottage Hospital established an annual prize honoring a staff member for extraordinarily compassionate care.
The Seinfeld/Hartmann Prize for Compassionate Medical Care will pay lasting tribute to a physician, nurse or any other hospital staff member who throughout his or her professional career demonstrates an outstanding level of compassion and care in their role at NCH.
The Seinfeld/Hartmann Prize for Compassionate Medical Care, a $2,000 cash award, will be given each year at the NCH Annual Meeting in August, and the winner will be announced to the hospital and the island community at-large.
Nominations can be initiated by any patient or staff member who witnessed an act of compassion by an NCH employee. Learn more and nominate a caregiver by clicking here or call 508-825-8250. Nominations are due by July 31, 2020.
How to Get Tested for COVID-19 on Nantucket
Last updated January 3, 2022
COVID-19 Testing for Symptomatic Patients and Close Contacts*
Patients of any age or vaccination status with one or more symptoms of COVID-19, as well as close contacts of confirmed positive cases, can schedule a COVID-19 test by calling (508) 825-1000 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., tests on Saturday should be scheduled during the Monday – Friday business hours, and the testing center is closed on Sundays. The costs of these medically-necessary COVID-19 tests are completely covered whether you have insurance or not. The criteria to be tested include at least one of the following signs or symptoms consistent with a viral respiratory syndrome:
- Subjective/documented fever
- New sore throat
- New cough
- New runny nose/nasal congestion
- New shortness of breath
- New muscle aches or
- Anosmia (new loss of sense of smell or taste)
- Atypical symptoms concerning for COVID-19 (e.g. COVID toes)
*The CDC recommends that vaccinated individuals who have been in contact with a positive COVID-19 individual should seek testing regardless of if they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. A close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g. three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes).
Before you can be tested you must be registered with Mass General Brigham (formerly Partners HealthCare) by calling (866) 211-6588. If you have received care at Nantucket Cottage Hospital in the past you are already registered, however, it is a good idea to confirm and update your information by calling the number above. Hours of operation to call and register: 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mon-Thurs; and 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fridays.
Patients who meet criteria will receive a PCR COVID-19 test which may determine if an individual has the virus at the time of the test. A swab is obtained from the individual to test for the presence of the virus. The test does not determine whether the individual may have had the virus in the past or has contracted it in the days immediately preceding the test. This is not an antibody test. Results can be expected within 24 to 48 hours.
COVID-19 Testing for Asymptomatic Patients (no symptoms)
- Testing for asymptomatic patients (no symptoms) is by appointment only. Appointments are available Monday through Saturday. Appointments must be scheduled 1 day in advance and are available up to 6 days in advance. View and schedule an appointment for elective testing by clicking here.
- Open to all asymptomatic individuals seeking COVID-19 testing
- Testing is not restricted to residents of the cities and towns where sites are located
- You don’t need to have any symptom(s)
- No cost to you
- You do not need to have had close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual
- Up to 75 free tests per day
Requirements for Stop the Spread testing:
- Must be registered with Mass General Brigham. Before you can be tested for COVID-19 through the Stop the Spread program at NCH, you must be registered with Mass General Brigham (formerly Partners Healthcare) by calling (866) 211-6588. If you have received care at Nantucket Cottage Hospital in the past you are already registered, however, it is a good idea to confirm and update your information by calling the number above. Hours of operation to call and register: 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mon-Thurs; and 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Fridays.
- Must sign-up for the Patient Gateway. To receive your testing results, you must be signed-up for the Mass General Brigham Patient Gateway. To sign up, click the link sent to your personal email address after registering with Mass General Brigham or download the Mass General Brigham Patient Gateway APP at the Apple App Store or Google Play. Also see step-by-step instructions to sign-up here.
- Minors: Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who can give consent to be tested.
- Testing for Families: Every member of a family who needs to be tested must have their own appointment scheduled.
COVID-19 Testing for Pre-Procedural Patients
Patients who are required to be tested for COVID-19 prior to a surgery, procedure, or other medical appointment at Nantucket Cottage Hospital will have their COVID-19 test scheduled by our pre-operative department. Please contact your care team.
Nantucket Cottage Hospital is offering COVID-19 antibody testing with a physician order if there is a medical need. Antibody testing is not being offered on-demand. We know patients are curious about whether they may have previously been exposed to the virus, however, antibody testing does not give patients any definitive information regarding immunity or the potential for reinfection. In the absence of symptoms, antibody testing has no role in clinical management at this time. Additionally, the CDC states that in populations with low prevalence, antibody testing can be inaccurate up to 50% of the time. So at this point, outpatient antibody testing is being done elsewhere, in most cases, for the sake of curiosity with little or no medical value. Because in most cases it is not considered medically necessary, it’s also not clear whether insurance carriers will cover the cost of testing.