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COVID-19 testing criteria loosened at Nantucket Cottage Hospital

Infection Control experts have been collaborating with colleagues across our system to continually evaluate and update our COVID-19 testing criteria based on an assessment of clinical priorities and our testing capacity. Please note the ambulatory testing criteria at our drive-through evaluation site at the main entrance of Nantucket Cottage Hospital have been loosened to include all patients with active COVID-19 symptoms.

The new criteria 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)
  • Atypical symptoms concerning for COVID-19 (e.g. COVID toes) 

As testing was implemented in the early phases of our coronavirus response, the criteria was extremely focused on high-risk patients and capacity was more limited, so some patients who were evaluated did not meet that earlier criteria and were not tested. With the criteria loosened as noted above, we are encouraging anyone with one or more of these symptoms to come to our drive-through for an evaluation by our clinical team.


General News

4 / 29 / 2020 by


I’m traveling to my home on Nantucket from VT on5/27/20 where I also live and plan on quarantining for 14 days.
VT now has a plan that I was wondering if it is also possible on Nantucket where one can get tested after arrival and if outcome is neg., the quarantine is cut short from 14 to to 7 days?

Hi Penny – right now the state and the town do not have any testing plan in place like that. At NCH, we are testing anyone with one or more COVID-19 symptoms. We are working on expanding our capacity for testing as well as an antibody research study, but right now there is nothing like you have described on Nantucket.

Hello, can we schedule an appointment to get tested and how long will the results take? Thank you.

Hi Caroline – at this time we are testing only patients who are symptomatic for COVID-19 (one or more symptoms listed on our web site). If you are experiencing one or more symptoms of COVID-19, please come to our drive-through testing site at the main entrance of the hospital. There is no need to call ahead. We are just beginning to test those who are asymptomatic and those people are being prioritized by the Town of Nantucket Health Department based on risk and potential to acquire/transmit the virus.

Monday to Friday: 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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