All About Self-Swab COVID-19 Testing at South Shore Medical Center

In an effort to provide convenient access to COVID-19 testing to as many patients as possible, South Shore Medical Center now offers self-swab testing.

This post will help answer common questions about the self-swab process and will have you as prepared as possible for your appointment.

Where is self-swab testing located?

Self-swab COVID-19 testing will be conducted at our Norwell practice, located at 143 Longwater Drive, Norwell, MA.

The testing area is located closest to the practice's South Entrance, and patients arriving for testing should park in the South Parking Lot (closest to High Street in Norwell/Main Street in Hanover).

If you’re unfamiliar with the layout of our Norwell practice, don’t worry – when you arrive for testing, you’ll see plenty of signs guiding you in the right direction.

Are appointments required?

Yes – appointments are required for all self-swab COVID-19 tests.

Walk-ins will not be accepted. Please do not arrive at the testing site without an appointment.

When is testing available?

Testing hours are 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM Monday through Friday and 8 AM to noon on Sunday.

The testing site is closed on Saturday.

What kind of test is administered?

All self-swab tests are PCR tests – rapid antigen tests are not available as part of this testing process.

Who is eligible for an appointment?

Testing appointments are available for South Shore Medical Center patients (both adults and children) and members of the public who are experiencing mild symptoms and are a close contact to an individual who has tested positive.

Testing is not available for travel purposes.

If you require testing prior to a surgical procedure at South Shore Health, please do not schedule your own appointment — a member of your care team will reach out to you to schedule your test.

In addition, South Shore Health colleagues who require testing should not self-schedule, but should instead contact Employee Health.

How can I schedule an appointment?

Patients can conveniently schedule an appointment online using South Shore MyChart.

Patients with an existing MyChart account can also schedule an appointment by logging in, clicking the "Menu" button, then clicking "Schedule an Appointment" and following the on-screen prompts.

How will I get my results?

In most cases, results will be available within 24 hours and will only be posted in South Shore MyChart - we will not contact patients with results.

In order to receive your results, you must complete the registration process and create a MyChart account.

If you're an existing South Shore MyChart user, you don't need to take any action after scheduling your appointment; you'll receive an email when your results are available, similar to the existing process for test results.

If you're a new user, you'll receive instructions on how to finish signing up for an account via email after scheduling your appointment.

Failure to complete the new account registration process will result in the inability to receive your results.

Is this a drive-thru test?

No – patients will be required to exit their vehicles.

Please dress accordingly and bring a mask.

How does the self-swab process work?

Patients will arrive at the medical center and park in the South Parking Lot.

Patients will then put on a mask and walk up to the South Entrance, check in with a member of our staff, and receive a swab kit.

Patients should then return to their vehicles to conduct the swab; each kit will contain instructions on how to properly conduct the swab test, or you can view the instructions below.

Once the sample has been collected, patients will return to the South Entrance to drop off the sample and check out with a member of our staff. 

The whole process should take just a few minutes to complete.

Do I have to do the swab in my car?

For the safety of patients and staff, we ask that you please return to your vehicle to conduct the swab test – please do not self-swab in the area around the South Entrance.

What if I need help with the test?

Patients who require assistance with the test can go inside the South Entrance to use one of our self-swab bays, which are cleaned after each use.

Members of our staff will be on hand to provide assistance as needed.

In order to maximize resources, we ask that you please consider self-swabbing in your car whenever possible so that staff are available to assist those who need help.

Can I collect the swab kit and return it later?

No – in order to efficiently return results, we ask that patients collect their kit, conduct their swab, and return their sample at the allotted appointment time.

Do I have to do a self-swab test, or can I see my doctor?

We encourage patients to choose our self-swab option whenever possible. 

However, if you’d prefer to be evaluated by a physician, please contact the medical center to schedule an appointment. 

What do I do if my test is negative?

Per the CDC, a negative PCR test result suggests there is “no current evidence of infection.”

Patients should continue to follow the CDC’s guidance for exposure, based on their vaccination status:

  • Recently vaccinated and boosted individuals should continue to wear a mask in public for ten days from the date of exposure.
  • Unvaccinated or individuals who haven’t received a booster should quarantine for five days after the exposure then wear a mask around others for five additional days.

What do I do if my test is positive?

If you test positive, you should begin isolating immediately. For adults and older children, this means remaining in your bedroom with the door closed, even for meals.

If your household has a shared bathroom, wear a mask when leaving the bedroom to use the bathroom. The bathroom should be wiped down with one part bleach to nine parts water after each use.

For more information on what to do if your symptoms become concerning or when you can leave isolation, read our COVID-19 FAQ.

What else do I need to know?

Patients should wear a mask and maintain social distance while collecting and dropping off their swab kit. 

In order to help maintain social distance, we ask that patients please arrive alone whenever possible.

When you’re finished with your test, please exit by driving around the east side of the building to help with traffic flow at the entrance.

Get the latest information on COVID-19.