COVID-19 Testing

Coronavirus Testing policies & FAQ


Cooley Dickinson’s COVID-19 testing has been streamlined over the past year to make sure it is safe and convenient for everyone.

Our Drive-thru Testing Center is open Mon-Fri, 9 am – 2:15 pm, Sat-Sun 9 am – 1:15 pm. Patients who need to come on foot or on bicycle may do so, but this should be noted on the referring provider’s order so that the staff will know to expect them. Testing can often now be scheduled within 24 hrs. Patients must have an appointment scheduled before coming to the testing center.

We have also relaxed our testing criteria to include testing for travel purposes and also by “provider discretion,” though we will continue to prioritize tests for those who are symptomatic for COVID-19, people who require surgery or outpatient procedures, and health care workers.

We continue to require patients to have a referral from a primary care or other provider for COVID-19 testing. If you do not have a primary care provider, we can help you find one; call our Community Call Center at 888-554-4234.

If you need Interpreter Services, please CLICK HERE, or call 413-582-2203.

For Community Providers:

If you are not on the EPIC system or do not have the updated COVID-19 Test order form, please CLICK HERE to request it. Fill out the form completely, and fax the completed order to 413-582-2638. Be sure your patient’s preferred phone number is included, as they will receive a call from the testing center to schedule their test.

For statewide resources including an interactive map showing a complete list of COVID-19 testing locations near you, visit

Thank you for your patience and your willingness to work with us as we continue to refine, expand and expedite our COVID-19 testing process.

COVID-19 Testing

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

COVID-19 Testing: What To Expect (PDF)


Getting a COVID-19 Test

Do I need a referral for COVID testing?
Yes. Cooley Dickinson requires a referral from a primary care or other provider.

What if I don’t have a Primary Care Provider (PCP)?
If you do not have a PCP, we can help you find one, or you can contact one of the many providers listed HERE.

Where should I go to get the test?
After your referring provider submits a COVID-19 test order, a Cooley Dickinson employee will call you within 24-72 hours to arrange a time for your testing.

What hours is the testing facility open?
Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 8, our testing facility will be open seven days a week, 9 am-5 pm. Referral is required and appointments are necessary.

Are there other testing sites in western Mass. other than Cooley Dickinson?
Yes. A complete list of COVID-19 testing sites in Massachusetts is available HERE, with an interactive map of current testing locations.

Who can/should get tested?

Does Cooley Dickinson test children?
Yes. Cooley Dickinson medical assistants are trained to test children over the age of 2 years old.  Children 12 and over can be tested through the Respiratory Clinic, and for special cases involving pre-procedure test requirements for pediatric surgery and other procedures, exceptions may be made. Speak with your child’s pediatric provider for guidance.

Do I need a pre-procedure test if I have a scheduled surgery, endoscopy or other procedure?
Most procedures require a COVID-19 test prior to your scheduled surgery or procedure. The provider performing the procedure can order the test for you.

Do I need a test if I have a radiology/imaging, orthopedic or rehabilitation appointment?
Most of these types of appointments do not require a COVID-19 test. If one is required, the scheduler will notify you.

Can a hospital inpatient get a COVID-19 test?
Yes. All hospital inpatients are tested for COVID-19.


What should I do if I am traveling to Massachusetts from out-of-state?

View the Mass Travel Order.

From the Mass DPH:  Effective August 1, 2020, all visitors and returning residents entering Massachusetts must follow new travel orders. The Commonwealth has made great progress to slow the spread of COVID-19 and gradually re-open the economy, and all visitors have a responsibility to help us keep transmission levels as low as possible. Travelers need to fill out the form on the website and arrive in Massachusetts with a negative test result no older than 72 hours. Travelers cannot come here and take the test; If they come here with no test, they need to plan to quarantine for 14 days. The exception is for those coming from states with low COVID-19 infection rates, which are listed on the state’s website.

What if I need to travel out of state?
Due to the limits of available testing personnel, chemical reagents and other supply/demand factors, Cooley Dickinson now prioritizes tests for symptomatic patients, hospital inpatients, pre-procedure patients and health care/emergency workers/first responders, and does not provide testing to those whose only need is to satisfy travel restrictions. Find other testing locations HERE.

About the test

How long does it take to collect the specimen/perform the test?
The test is very quick, and usually only takes about 5-10 minutes to perform.

Does Cooley Dickinson do antibody testing?
Cooley Dickinson Hospital can perform antibody testing. Your primary care physician would need to write an order for an antibody test. Once you have an order, visit one of Cooley Dickinson’s Lab/Patient Service Centers to get your blood drawn.

How long does it take to get my test results?
In most cases, a patient will be called within 24-72 hours of receiving the COVID-19 test order from the referring provider and scheduled for a test. Once a patient has been tested, results are usually available (via the referring provider) within an additional 24-48 hours. Patients who have or would like to set up an account through our Patient Gateway Portal can use this additional avenue to retrieve their test results directly once they are available. The Patient Gateway is the recommended way to get your results.

What Does Testing Cost?

Does insurance cover COVID-19 testing?
Check with your insurance company as this varies based on insurance carrier.

Community COVID-19 Testing in Amherst: 

As part of the state’s expansion of testing, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst is providing free COVID-19 tests for local community members starting Monday, Dec. 14. Tests will be offered by appointment only at the Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC) at the Mullins Center.