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, Wellfleet and Harwich Port Health Centers.
The following procedures and protocols are in place:
1. If an OCHS patient 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.
2. Symptoms for COVID-19 can include a cough, fever of 99.6 or greater, difficulty breathing/shortness of breath. Risk factors for contraction of the coronavirus include close contact with a person known to have COVID-19.
3. Nasal swab samples will only be taken for testing from OCHS patients 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 at our respective health center ambulance bay areas to discuss symptoms and obtain samples.
5. If a nasal swab sample is taken for COVID-19 testing, OCHS will also concurrently test patients for influenza (flu virus).
6. Outer Cape Health Services is currently packaging and sending all swabs for testing via our site partners Quest Diagnostics.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Presently, it is taking three to four days to obtain test results.
10. 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.
- When you call, we will ask you a few questions about recent travel and if you have had close contact with anyone who has traveled or is suspected of having 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. Education is key is stopping the spread of COVID-19.
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.