COVID-19 testing in Massachusetts impacted due to snow

Coronavirus Local Impact

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – COVID-19 testing in Massachusetts may be impacted due to the snow Friday morning.

The state is urging residents to call your testing location to ensure it is open as closures are expected.

The drive-through testing site at the Eastfield Mall in Springfield will continue Friday despite snow in the forecast. Testing will be conducted from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Testing lines have been long so you’re advised to register in advance.

Molecular and antigen tests (not PCR) are available at the Holyoke Medical Center Auxiliary Conference Center located on 20 Hospital Drive in Holyoke, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Holyoke Community College and the War Memorial testing sites are closed Friday due to the inclement weather. HCC COVID-19 testing will reopen on Saturday from 7 to 11 a.m.

The Easthampton drive-through testing site is by appointment only. As of Friday morning, appointments were book through Tuesday, January 11.

COVID-19 Tests in Massachusetts

To find a testing location near you visit Mass.gov.

22News called the following locations to verify COVID-19 testing Friday:

Should I be tested?

You should get a test for COVID-19 if:

  • You develop any symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild
  • You are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

Testing may also be advised if you are unvaccinated and have recently traveled out of Massachusetts, and you may consider using a self-test before joining indoor gatherings with others who are not in your household.

For detailed information, visit the CDC’s webpage: Testing for COVID-19

You can also call 2-1-1, a 24-hour state-supported telephone hotline.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild, please contact your healthcare provider and a test site near you to schedule a test. You can also check your symptoms online.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and may include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • In elderly, chronically ill, or debilitated individuals such as residents of a long-term care facility, symptoms of COVID-19 may be subtle such as alterations in mental status or in blood glucose control

How do I know if I am a close contact of someone with COVID-19?

  • You are a close contact of a COVID-19 positive person if you were within 6 feet of them while indoors, for at least 15 minutes, while they were symptomatic or within 2 days before symptom onset.
  • You are also a close contact if you were indoors and within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes of someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and your exposure happened in the 2 days before their test was taken to anytime in the 10 days after the test.
  • A close contact can also be someone who had direct contact with the droplets of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on) while not wearing a mask or face covering.

Where can I get a test?

Visit Find a COVID-19 Test to search for a testing site near you.

Many sites may require pre-screening, a referral and/or an appointment.

Please contact the site prior to arrival.

Is there a cost?

COVID-19 testing for symptomatic individuals and close contacts is usually covered by insurance and available at no cost to you.

Additionally, many test sites in the Commonwealth test uninsured individuals for free. If you are uninsured, please call your local test site to confirm before making an appointment.

What do I do if my test is positive?

It can take a few days to get your test results and while you are waiting, you should stay home and limit your contact with anyone else. If you test positive for COVID-19, you should self-isolate until you are no longer infectious, and notify your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Stay home except to get medical care

  • Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
  • Self-isolation means separating yourself from others to keep your germs from spreading.
    • How to Self-isolate 
    • CDC Isolation Guidance
    • If you have questions about isolation or quarantine, you can call your Local Board of Health or the Department of Public Health’s On-call Epidemiologists at 617-983-6800.

Monitor your symptoms

  • If you feel like you need medical care, call ahead before visiting your doctor.
  • Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, call 9-1-1 to seek emergency medical care immediately:
    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion
    • Inability to wake or stay awake
    • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Notify your close contacts

  • Call your close contacts to notify them of your positive result
  • Unvaccinated close contacts should self-quarantine (stay home and limit contact with anyone else).
  • Encourage them to get tested at a COVID-19 Testing Site

close contact is someone you have been inside with and were within 6 feet of for at least 10-15 minutes while symptomatic or in the 2 days before symptom onset. You can be a close contact of someone who didn’t have symptoms if you were inside with them or and were within 6 feet of for at least 10-15 minutes in the 10 days after they tested positive or in the 2 days before their positive test was taken. A close contact can also be someone who had direct contact with the droplets of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on) while not wearing a mask or face covering.

If you need help getting resources to self-isolate or self-quarantine

  • Call your local board of health. They can link you to resources to help you be able to stay home. 

What are the different types of COVID-19 testing?

There are 2 types of COVID-19 testing: Virus Testing and Antibody Testing.

Virus testing is the type that tells you if you currently have COVID-19. These tests are typically done using a nasal swab, oral swab, or saliva sample, and then sent to a lab. There are two types of this testing:

  • Molecular tests (also often called PCR tests) detect the presence of viral genetic materials and are considered the gold standard test.
  • Antigen tests are rapid tests which detect the presence of certain proteins on the surface of the virus. These tests can be performed at point-of-care or at home and are available over-the-counter. BinaxNOW Antigen Test Abstract | Graph

Antibody testing detects the presence of antibodies to COVID-19 in your blood. Antibodies are produced during an infection with COVID-19 or by vaccination.

  • Important to know: At this time, most people don’t need antibody tests and they should not be used to guide decisions on whether to stop isolation or return to work. Currently, we do not know what level of antibodies in your blood means that you are immune from further infection with COVID-19.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Only on WWLP.com | Digital First

More Digital First

Trending Stories

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases

Coronavirus News

More Coronavirus