COVID-19 testing appointments take place at the Emerson Health Urgent Care locations in Hudson, Maynard and Littleton.
If you are experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your primary care physician’s office for testing and treatment options or book a reservation at EmersonUrgentCare.org. 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.
Call your primary care doctor to request an order for COVID testing. If you are feeling symptomatic and do not have a PCP, call Emerson Urgent Care directly at 978-287-8990 to schedule a test.
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.
Receiving Test Results
- Results for self-pay tests can be accessed via labfinder.com/emerson.
- If you are seen at Emerson Urgent Care, the office will call you with your results in 24 to 72 hours.
- Test results will not be available through Emerson Hospital’s lab.
Testing takes place at the Emerson Urgent Care Centers. Our hours are 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Appointments are required.
COVID-19 testing will be billed to your health insurance. You may also pay for the test yourself. The cost per test is $105.
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, 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
Click here for more information on patient rights and responsibilities.