What You Need to Know about Rapid COVID-19 Testing at South Shore Health

As August begins, demand for COVID-19 testing is on the rise in Massachusetts. 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is now under a new travel order that requires visitors and Massachusetts residents returning from most states to either self-quarantine for 14 days, or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts.

At the same time, parents of college students are dealing with tough decisions around heading back to campus during a pandemic. Many students and universities plan to return to some version of in-person instruction, with some colleges and universities requiring students to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within a certain time frame, usually 2-5 days, before returning to campus. 

And there is ongoing demand for tests from patients with symptoms of COVID-19.

Due to nationwide shortages in testing supplies and backlogs in testing labs, finding a COVID-19 test site that provides fast results can be tough.

South Shore Health is not immune to these challenges. Kristopher Young, Chief Pharmacy Officer and Executive Director Laboratory Services at South Shore Health, recently spoke to The Patriot Ledger about these testing shortages and how tests are prioritized at South Shore Health.

Here’s some advice on how to get a COVID-19 test that meets your needs.

Drive-thru testing at South Shore Medical Center

South Shore Health offers drive-thru PCR testing at South Shore Medical Center in Norwell. However, the turnaround time for these tests has been more than 7 days due to vendor delays. 

Learn more about drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Norwell.

Unfortunately, we cannot prioritize testing for asymptomatic patients, even those who need tests to return to work, school, or emerge from travel order quarantine due to priority needs for our symptomatic and surgical patients.

Rapid COVID-19 Testing at Health Express

This information was updated on August 11, 2020.

South Shore Health’s urgent care, Health Express, is working tirelessly to find supplies of COVID-19 tests that provide timely results for our patients.

We are waiting for a shipment of 15-minute tests from our vendor. In the meantime, Health Express now offers a send out COVID-19 PCR test that provides results via to Quest Diagnostics' secure portal within an estimated 72 hours. Symptomatic healthcare workers, with identification, can receive results as soon as 24 hours.

There are a few things to keep in mind. 

  • These tests are available only at the Health Express locations in Abington and Weymouth.
  • Due to nationwide shortages, Health Express has a limited number of tests, so patients must schedule an appointment on the Health Express website.
  • You can also like Health Express on Facebook for updates on availability.
  • 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; if you 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.

Click the button at the top of the Health Express homepage to schedule test.

We are working to support as many patients as possible as the demand for testing grows, and we’re grateful to our community for their patience.

Learn more about South Shore Health’s response to COVID-19.