COVID-19 Testing at Emerson Hospital

As of Sunday, March 27, our drive-through COVID-19 testing site in Concord is now located next to the emergency department entrance on the Emerson Hospital campus. Our urgent care locations in Hudson and Littleton continue to offer testing.

If you are experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your primary care physician’s office for testing and treatment options. Please do not use our emergency department for routine testing for COVID-19 if you have only been exposed or have mild symptoms. This allows us to focus our resources on patients with more severe injuries or illness. Learn more about when to visit the Emergency Department for COVID-19.

Getting Tested

COVID-19 testing with a doctor’s order is covered by insurance, and there is no out-of-pocket expense.

  • Call your primary care doctor to request an order for COVID testing. Once we receive your order, Emerson central COVID scheduling will call you to schedule a test.
  • If you are feeling symptomatic and do not have a PCP, call Emerson Urgent Care directly to schedule a test at 978-287-8990.
  • If you have symptoms or were exposed to COVID-19, you will be called within 24 hours or the next business day.
  • If you have no symptoms or need testing for travel purposes, you will receive a call within 72 hours of receiving your order.
  • If you need to be tested in preparation for a surgery or procedure, you will be scheduled for testing 48-72 hours prior to your procedure.

Self-Pay Testing

If you do not have a doctor’s order and wish to get tested, you may self-pay for your COVID-19 test at Emerson Urgent Care Center in Littleton . Self-pay tests are scheduled through our online scheduling portal. The cost to self-pay is $105. Visit labfinder.com/emerson to schedule.

You can also visit www.mass.gov to find a testing site near you.

For Providers

Emerson providers can order directly by using the COVID ordering template. All other providers must fax orders as outlined below:

  • Symptomatic/Exposed Testing Fax: (978) 371-5379
  • Asymptomatic Testing Fax: (978) 287-7382

Receiving Test Results

  • Results for self-pay tests can be accessed via labfinder.com/emerson.
  • Results for tests billed to your insurance provider are faxed to the ordering doctor within approximately 72 hours. Contact the ordering doctor for results or access them through Emerson's Patient Portal. When you schedule your test you will be given more information on how to access the portal.
  • Test results will not be available through Emerson Hospital’s central scheduling or lab.

Testing Hours/Locations

(Appointments Required)

Emerson Hospital Drive-Through Testing Site, 133 Old Road to Nine Acre Corner, Concord, Mass.
Located next to the emergency department on the main hospital campus.

  • Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday – Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Littleton Urgent Care, 830 Constitution Ave, Littleton, Mass.

  • Monday – Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hudson Urgent Care, 38 Highland Common East, Hudson, Mass.

  • Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Weekend hours are subject to change. Check EmersonUrgentCare.org for up-to-date information.)

Cost

COVID-19 testing is covered by health insurance with a doctor's order. You may also pay for the test yourself. The cost per test is $105.

Additional Details

If you are experiencing symptoms, please call your primary care physician. If needed, you can search for a primary care physician here.

WHAT TYPE OF COVID-19 TEST DOES EMERSON PERFORM?

Viral tests, also referred to as PCR tests, are used to diagnose COVID-19. At the Emerson laboratory we have three different PCR test systems in use. Tests are collected by a nasal swab and the results are usually back within two days. Because demand is so high, we also send tests to the Broad Institute of Harvard/MIT, and we strive to get the results back within approximately 72 hours.

If your test is positive, it is more than 99 percent accurate in diagnosing a COVID-19 infection. However, up to 30 percent of people who have COVID-19 will test negative by the viral test. The test is less likely to be positive the longer it has been since the start of your symptoms. The viral test becomes negative over time so it is not used to show if you have had a past infection.

Emerson also has the capacity to perform COVID-19 total antibody tests. Speak with your provider if you feel you may be a candidate for this test, as they must order it.

ANTIBODY TESTING

Antibody testing, also referred to as serology testing, checks a sample of a person’s blood to determine if your body has produced proteins that fight COVID-19. It typically takes between one and three weeks to develop these proteins, known as antibodies. Some people may take even longer to develop antibodies and some people may not develop antibodies. Antibody tests are generally not used to diagnose acute COVID-19. PCR (viral) tests are used to diagnose COVID-19.

A positive antibody test may mean that you may have been infected with the COVID-19 virus. The antibody test has a significant rate of false positives (people getting a positive antibody test who were not actually infected). A positive test does not mean that you are immune to COVID-19. It is not known yet if having antibodies to COVID-19 can protect you from getting infected again. Even if they do protect you, it is unknown how long that protection will last.

Antibody testing can be offered as a method to support the diagnosis of COVID-19 illness for those who present late (and who therefore may have a false-negative COVID-19 PCR test result).

The Massachusetts Department of Health does not recommend antibody testing at this time. Antibody tests are not indicated for diagnostic purposes. In order to be appropriately interpreted, more data is needed on the performance characteristics of these tests, the immune response to COVID-19, the timing and duration of antibody response, and how antibodies correlate to protective immunity.

KEY POINTS ABOUT THE USE OF SEROLOGIC/ANTIBODY TEST RESULTS

Serologic tests should:

  • NOT be used to determine a person’s immunity to COVID-19
  • NOT be used to make decisions about relaxing or not following social distancing guidelines
  • NOT change the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by health care workers and first responders
  • NOT be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace

Patient Rights

Click here for more information on patient rights and responsibilities.