You are using an older version of Internet Explorer that is not supported on this site. Please upgrade for the best experience.

Baystate Health COVID-19 Testing Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to common questions about testing for COVID-19 at Baystate Health.

What is the average turnaround time for results?

You will receive your test results through the MyBaystate patient portal 1-2 days after your test. If you do not have a portal account, sign up now to prepare ahead of time.

You may also contact the provider who ordered the test for you. 

Why get tested for coronavirus?

  • If you were around someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 recently and you are worried that you got it from them (please wait 5-7 days before getting tested)
  • If you are starting a job that requires a test before you begin
  • If you will be traveling out of state
  • If you have any of the symptoms that may indicate a COVID-19 infection

What is antibody testing, and are we offering this testing to patients?

Antibody testing (also called serology testing) checks your blood by looking for antibodies, which may tell you if you had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.

Antibody testing available with a referral

We currently are offering this testing to patients with a referral from their provider. 

However, it is important to note that we, as well as many healthcare organizations including the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, do not recommend the diagnostic use of antibody testing for COVID-19 at this time.

Cost: $78 (billing code 86769)

Please check with your insurance company to find out if testing will be covered. 

Antibodies indicate exposure but not immunity.

The Centers for Disease Control, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the American Medical Association recommend against using antibody testing to determine immunity – warning patients against changing behavior in response to a positive antibody test.

What kinds of diagnostic COVID-19 tests do we offer?

Diagnostic Testing

A diagnostic test can show if you have an active coronavirus infection. We offer the most clinically proven testing: nasal swab testing.

PCR (Nasal Swab) Testing

If you currently have symptoms that could be COVID-19, you will need a PCR test. For a PCR test, a provider will collect a sample through a nasal swab. The PCR test will detect the virus's genetic material to tell if you have a current COVID-19 infection. These tests are known as the most clinically proven and effective for detecting COVID-19.

Test price: $130 (billing code U0003) or$25 (U0005)

See our testing locations. 

Rapid PCR Testing

Rapid PCR tests are used more often if you have symptoms, and they produce results within 15 minutes.

Test price: $175 (billing code U0004)

Antigen Testing

Antigen tests detect certain proteins in the COVID-19 virus. You will receive results within 15 minutes.

Antigen testing is offered at Baystate Health Urgent Care sites if you:

  • Do not have COVID-19 symptoms but were exposed to someone with COVID-19
  • Need a faster test for work or travel

All patients must have an initial virtual care visit with one of our urgent care providers before testing. Positive test results are highly accurate with rapid testing. However, there is a higher change of false negatives than with PCR testing.

Location: Baystate Health Urgent Care in Longmeadow, Feeding Hills, and Westfield, as testing supplies allow.

The cost for antigen testing is $160 (billing code 87426). Please check with your insurance company to find out if you will need to pay out of pocket for antigen testing.

How is my testing sample collected?

When you come for testing, you will remain seated in your car. A staff member will come out to you.

A member of our clinical staff will collect your testing sample through a nasal swab. Here's what to expect:

  1. The staff member taking your sample will instruct you to tilt your head back.
  2. They will carefully insert the swab into your nostril until meeting resistance (less than one inch into the nostril). They will then rotate the swab for 10-15 seconds against the nasal wall before removing from your nostril.
  3. Using the same swab, they will carefully insert the swab into your other nostril and repeat the same process.
  4. After swabbing, the specimen is placed in a container for testing.
  5. You will receive your results within 1-2 days.

How can I get tested for COVID-19?

We are operating specimen collection sites around the region. Find those locations here.

Do I need an order?

Yes, an order from a referring provider is required.Your referring provider will help determine if you need a test, and will communicate the test results to you and handle the follow up as needed.

Do I have to schedule an appointment or can I walk in?

Yes, you do need an appointment to get tested. So that we can keep everyone safe with appropriate social distancing, ensure the most efficient experience for patient and staff, and maintain available testing for the most urgent patient needs, an appointment is required.

To schedule an appointment, please call 413-795-TEST.

How will I receive my results and in what timeframe?

You can receive your results in two ways:

  1. From your ordering provider, and/or
  2. Via the MyBaystate patient portal, your results will be available within 1-2 days.

Sign Up for MyBaystate

How is Baystate helping to support the testing needs of members of our local/regional community?

Baystate is operating testing sites throughout the region, making testing more accessible for members of local communities.

Baystate also continues to partner with state officials, city officials, as well as local organizations to coordinate special testing events to help bring testing and education (via our WOW Bus) to neighborhoods most challenged with accessing testing.

Can I get tested if I'm uninsured?

Yes. We bill the federal government for uninsured patients.

How much does testing cost?

PCR (Nasal Swab) Testing 

Test price: $130 (billing code U0003)

Antigen Testing

Test price: The cost for antigen testing is $160 (billing code 87426). Please check with your insurance company to find out if you will need to pay out of pocket for antigen testing.

Antibody Testing 

Test Price: $78 (billing code 86769)
Please check with your insurance company to find out if testing will be covered. 

What information can testing provide?

In general, getting a test for COVID-19 will only give you information about a single point in time. Any one of us can be exposed and become infected at any point during this pandemic.

If you receive a negative test today, we can only know that you are not infected right now.

What is the most accurate test for COVID-19?

A molecular, or PCR, test using a nasal swab tends to be the most accurate way of showing if you have an active coronavirus infection. This test is usually highly accurate.

See more information about the different types of coronavirus tests, and how they compare to each other, on the FDA website