Safe, effective and accessible COVID-19 testing is available at Cape Cod Healthcare through community and rapid testing options.
COVID-19 community testing is available for Cape Cod residents by appointment only at our drive-through testing site:
Please note: If you are a patient requiring pre-admission testing for a procedure, your testing will be coordinated with the pre-admissions team and may be conducted at Cape Cod Hospital or Falmouth Hospital.
The testing method utilized at this site is a type of nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) which employs an RT-PCR (reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction) that can detect even the smallest quantities of viral particles. It is considered the gold-standard for accurately detecting active COVID-19 viral RNA (genetic material) in a collected specimen and is accepted by all governments and agencies.
Test results are currently available within 24 hours.
Rapid testing is available without an appointment at all Cape Cod Healthcare Urgent Care centers and is conducted using the Abott ID Now molecular test, which is also a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). This system uses a different type of PCR technology than RT-PCR which allows for more rapid turnaround and results are available in 15 minutes.
See below for additional testing details including cost.
How to get tested
If you are EXPERIENCING SYMPTOMS of COVID-19 or have been EXPOSED to a person confirmed positive for COVID-19:
- Call your primary care physician. Your doctor will screen you for COVID-19 if symptomatic and submit an order for testing. You will then be contacted by Cape Cod Healthcare to schedule an appointment for drive-through testing on the Cape Cod Hospital campus.
- If you do not have a primary care physician, call our Community Testing Line at 508-534-7103 to be screened by a Cape Cod Healthcare clinical provider by phone. Cape Cod Healthcare scheduling will then contact you to schedule an appointment for drive-through testing.
- If your primary care physician is not affiliated with Cape Cod Healthcare, your doctor can call our Community Testing Line at 508-534-7103 for further direction to submit an order for testing. Cape Cod Healthcare scheduling will then contact you to schedule an appointment for drive-through testing.
Payment will be processed through insurance for symptomatic or exposed individuals. If uninsured, the out-of-pocket cost is $75. Accommodations will be made if unable to pay, as no one seeking testing will be turned away.
Upon arrival at a Cape Cod Healthcare Urgent Care center, you will be triaged accordingly by telemedicine and a specimen will be collected from your car. Please note: an Urgent Care provider will determine upon triaging your symptoms which type of COVID-19 testing is right for you and may utilize a standard RT-PCR test with results available in 24 hours due to its lab processing method.
Payment for rapid testing at Urgent Care will be processed through insurance for symptomatic or exposed individuals and services will be billed if uninsured.
If you DO NOT HAVE SYMPTOMS and HAVE NOT BEEN EXPOSED to an individual confirmed positive for COVID-19:
Call our Community Testing Line at 508-534-7103 to be scheduled for an appointment for drive-through testing on the Cape Cod Hospital campus.
For individuals seeking community testing due to travel, the out-of-pocket cost is $110. For asymptomatic individuals seeking community testing to monitor their health, the out-of-pocket cost is $75. Accommodations will be made for those unable to pay, as no one seeking testing will be turned away.
Walk-in rapid testing is available at all Cape Cod Healthcare Urgent Care centers for asymptomatic individuals seeking testing due to travel or to monitor their health.
For individuals seeking rapid testing at Urgent Care due to travel or to monitor their health, the out-of-pocket cost is $125.
Please note: Individuals seeking rapid testing for travel cannot have any COVID-19 symptoms or have had known exposure to a person confirmed positive for COVID-19. Most governments and agencies accept Abbott Now tests for travel purposes, but we suggest that if seeking testing for international travel, that you check with your destination’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health, or with the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, County Information page for details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travelers.
Please refer to the frequently asked questions below for more information on COVID-19 testing.
How long does it take to receive results?
Results for testing are currently available within approximately 24 hours. All results will be communicated through the MyChart patient portal if the patient has a Cape Cod Healthcare MyChart account and patients with positive results will be called.
Results for rapid testing are available in 15 minutes.
How is my sample for testing collected?
Drive-through testing on the campus of Cape Cod Hospital utilizes a self-administered nasal swab to collect a specimen. Please see the CDC instructions for this method in:
For rapid testing at Urgent Care, a nurse conducts a nasal swab to collect a specimen.
Does Cape Cod Healthcare offer antibody and antigen testing?
Cape Cod Healthcare does not utilize either of these methods for COVID-19 testing, as the PCR test is considered the gold standard for accurately detecting active virus.
Although antibody testing is available through Cape Cod Healthcare Lab Services, an antibody blood test can only detect if you likely had COVID-19 at some point in the past - it won’t tell you when, so it does not help in determining if you are infectious or not. At this time, we do not know if antibodies detected in this test are specific to COVID-19 or to another virus, nor if testing positive for antibodies means a person is immune and how long immunity may last. This type of test cannot be used for clearance from travel restrictions.
An antigen test detects certain proteins in the COVID-19 virus. Although a positive antigen test is considered accurate, this test is not considered “sensitive” and results in an increased chance of false-negative results, meaning it’s possible to be infected with the virus but have a negative test result. This test is also not accepted by the state for clearance from travel restrictions.