How to Get Tested for COVID-19 on Nantucket
Last updated August 1, 2021
Nantucket Cottage Hospital – NCH is offering COVID-19 testing by appointment only at the Anderson Building, across the parking lot from the main NCH building. Appointments can be made Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., tests on Saturday should be scheduled during the Monday – Friday business hours, and the testing center is closed on Sundays. Call (508) 825-1000.
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, 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 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.