COVID-19 Testing Procedure with Outer Cape Health Services:
Outer Cape Health Services (OCHS) continues to provide nasal swab sampling options for COVID-19 at our Provincetown and Wellfleet Health Centers.
The following procedures and protocols are in place:
1. OCHS requires a physician’s order for testing, whether from an OCHS physician or a non-OCHS referring physician. Individuals requesting testing, will first be screened for symptoms to make a testing determination. Symptoms for COVID-19 can include fever, chills, shaking chills, coughing and signs of a lower respiratory illness, as well as fatigue, sore throat, headache, body aches or new loss of a sense of taste or smell. Risk factors for contraction of the coronavirus include close contact with a person known to have COVID-19.
2. If an individual believes that they meet the criteria for testing, please call Outer Cape Health Services first at 508-905-2888. Please DO NOT come into any of our health centers. If an individual is asymptomatic but is requesting testing related to contact tracing purposes, we will assist per state guidelines.
3. Nasal swab samples will be taken for testing after all clinical information is considered and a risk assessment is done by an Outer Cape Health Services clinician.
4. If we confirm that testing is required, an OCHS provider wearing full protective gear will meet patients for swabbing outside our Wellfleet or Provincetown health centers to obtain samples.
5. Outer Cape Health Services is currently packaging and sending all swabs for testing via our site partners Quest Diagnostics.
6. Quest Diagnostics is not swabbing or testing on site at any Outer Cape Health Services locations. Quest is sending swab samples to their own off-Cape labs for testing. Quest Diagnostics also offers COVID-19 anitbody testing independently of Outer Cape Health Services.
7. While we are able to collect swab specimens for testing, Outer Cape Health Services is not able to perform the actual test. Only the swabs to collect a test specimen are available at OCHS.
8. Presently, test results can take up to 7 days or longer to obtain due to nationwide demands straining Quest Diagnostics’ lab capacity.
9. Once test results are received, an OCHS staff member will contact the tested patient by telephone with their respective results and provide further medical counseling.
What should I do if I feel symptoms?
- We ask that our patients call 508-905-2888 BEFORE COMING INTO ANY OF OUR HEALTH CENTERS, if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, difficulty breathing, or cough. For an immediate medical emergency, individuals should call 9-1-1
- When you call, we will ask you a few questions including whether you have had close contact with anyone suspected or confirmed of contracting the novel coronavirus/COVID-19.
- We will help you get the care and assistance you need based on our screening.
Where can I find more information about COVID-19?
The CDC graphic shown below includes important facts about the Coronavirus to keep in mind and share with your family and friends today.
How do I keep myself and others from getting sick?
As always, each of us can take steps to reduce the spread of germs including:
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.