How to Get Tested for COVID-19 at Nantucket Cottage Hospital

Last updated January 9, 2021

We are currently experiencing significant demand for testing. Please be aware that the line for vehicles will be closed when it reaches a volume that we estimate would allow staff to test all those who are waiting and still close the testing site at the scheduled time. Severe weather events will impact our ability to operate the drive-through testing site. Please check this website and our social media pages for updates on closures due to weather.


COVID-19 Testing for Symptomatic Patients and Close Contacts

Patients of any age with one or more symptoms of COVID-19, as well as close contacts* of confirmed positive cases, should arrive without an appointment at the Nantucket Cottage Hospital drive-through evaluation site, Lane 1, at the main entrance portico. 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)

*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).

IMPORTANT: 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 hours for those with symptoms & close contacts
Location: Drive-through evaluation site at 57 Prospect Street

  • Monday – Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
  • Sundays: Closed
  • Location: Nantucket Cottage Hospital main entrance portico, 57 Prospect Street

Print COVID-19 Discharge Instructions for symptomatic or exposure testing


COVID-19 Testing for Asymptomatic Patients (no symptoms)

Stop the Spread COVID-19 Testing 

Free COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic individuals is available at Nantucket Cottage Hospital through the state’s “Stop the Spread” strategic testing program. The program supports the testing of asymptomatic individuals to stop the spread of COVID-19 by providing low barrier, free, and easy-to-access testing for those with no symptoms. The testing site is the Nantucket VFW at 22 New South Road. No appointment is necessary. The state will fund up to 75 free asymptomatic COVID-19 tests per day when the testing site is open. 

Eligibility:

  • 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 sing-up here.
  3. Minors: Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who can give consent to be tested. 

Stop the Spread asymptomatic testing hours for those with no symptoms:
Location: Nantucket VFW, 22 New South Road

Print COVID-19 Discharge Instructions for Asymptomatic Testing


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. Please contact your care team. For those who are required to be tested for a surgery, procedure or other medical appointment at another facility, please proceed without an appointment to Lane 1 of the Nantucket Cottage Hospital drive-through at the main entrance portico for testing during the following hours for the December holiday weeks:

  • Monday – Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
  • Sundays: Closed
  • Location: Nantucket Cottage Hospital main entrance portico, 57 Prospect Street

Antibody Testing

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.

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