How to Get a COVID-19 Test


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South Shore Health

This post was updated on October 28, 2020.

Proper testing for COVID-19 is essential to slowing the spread of the virus, keeping our community healthy, and offering peace of mind to patients.

In an effort to provide access to COVID-19 testing to as many members of the community as possible, South Shore Health has set up drive-thru testing at South Shore Medical Center Norwell and is also offering COVID-19 testing at Health Express locations in Abington and Kingston.

The purpose of these testing sites is to provide convenient access to testing for patients while also reducing exposure to COVID-19 at South Shore Hospital, our Emergency Department, our ambulatory centers, and other provider locations.

Please note that the recommendations below are subject to change based on the availability of test kits.

Health Express

How can I get a COVID-19 test?

COVID-19 testing is available at Health Express Abington and Health Express Braintree.

Each location has a limited supply of rapid, 15-minute tests, as well as a supply of send-out PCR tests. The send-out tests typically return results to Quest Diagnostics' secure portal within an estimated 72 hours. Symptomatic healthcare workers, with identification, can receive results as soon as 24 hours.

Appointments are required for all COVID-19 tests. Walk-ins are not permitted.

To schedule an appointment, please visit and follow the instructions for COVID-19 testing.

Medical insurance will cover the test if you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, fatigue, loss of taste/smell, difficulty breathing, or nausea, have a known exposure to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, or if you are testing with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for contact tracing purposes.

If you do not have symptoms and need the test for only for screening purposes, such as returning to school or related to the travel order, insurance will not cover the visit. Health Express's send-out test costs $180.00, which includes the exam by the provider and the test.

Testing hours are Monday through Friday 9 AM- 6 PM, and from 9 AM - 4 PM on Saturday and Sunday.

South Shore Medical Center

How can I get a COVID-19 test?

Testing at the South Shore Medical Center drive-thru site in Norwell is open to:

  • Patients with a primary care provider at South Shore Medical Center’s Quincy, Norwell, or Kingston practices.
  • Patients with scheduled surgeries or procedures at South Shore Hospital or the Ambulatory Surgical Center, located at 2 Pond Park Road in Hingham.
  • Patients with scheduled C-sections or labor inductions at South Shore Hospital.
  • South Shore Health colleagues.


Patients with a primary care provider at South Shore Medical Center should speak to their care team in order to schedule a test.

Pre-surgery or pre-procedure patients will have a test scheduled for them by their care team.

How much does a COVID-19 test cost?

By seeking treatment and entering the testing facility, you are agreeing that South Shore Health may notify and, where appropriate, bill your insurance company.

However, there is no cost to you for any services related to your COVID-19 testing.

Are appointments required for drive-thru testing?

Yes. All patients, including drive-thru testing at South Shore Medical Center and testing at Health Express, must have an appointment in order to be tested.

How long does the sample collection process take?

The entire process, from arrival through the sample collection, should take no more than a few minutes. Patients will be able to remain inside their vehicles at all times.

What is a COVID-19 sample collection like?

Sample collection for COVID-19 testing will vary, and will be done either by nasal or oral swab. The collection process itself is brief, with a swab inserted either into a patient’s nose or throat, and then placed into a sterilized container for laboratory testing.

Where is the South Shore Medical Center drive-thru testing site located?

Drive-thru testing is conducted at South Shore Medical Center Norwell, 143 Longwater Drive, Norwell, MA.

The testing site is located at the South Entrance, which is in the rear of the building. Upon arrival, please follow the signs to be directed to the testing site

For a detailed location, please click here.

When will I get my test results back?

The turnaround time on test results varies, and can be up to 7 to 10 days.

A nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant will contact you by phone for a telehealth visit to discuss your results and advise you on any next steps.

If you have further questions, you can go to your MyChart account if you have one, or go to MyQuest, a service of Quest Diagnostics, to look up your results.

Patients who are experiencing severe symptoms, such as respiratory distress, should seek emergency care. Please refer to the CDC website for detailed information on COVID-19 symptoms.