GLOUCESTER — President and Owner John Morris is pleased to announce that Beauport Ambulance Services will provide at-home testing for residents in eight communities starting next week.
As of Monday, Dec. 7, residents will be able to request and schedule appointments to receive a COVID-19 PCR swab test at their home. Testing will be available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is only available for residents in the eight communities Beauport Ambulance covers: Rockport, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Essex, Rowley, Ipswich, Hamilton and Wenham.
There are no limits to who can request a test, though Morris envisions that it will primarily be used by students who are returning home from school; those who are immuno-compromised; individuals without reliable transportation; those with small children who are unable to find childcare; and those who need to be tested for travel or for work.
“The purpose of this is to allow people to stay home, not expose themselves to sick individuals and give them an additional testing choice,” Morris said. “This program will also help to support efforts to reduce long wait times and lines at other testing sites in the area. We are happy to be able to offer this service to the communities that we serve, and provide additional help in keeping them safe and healthy throughout the pandemic.”
In order to set up an appointment, please call the main office at 978-281-6955. Those wishing to set up an appointment are asked to give at least 24 hours notice and will be asked to provide personal information such as their date of birth and the address they wish to get tested at.
Tests will cost $175 per person, and can only be paid for by credit or debit card. This information will be taken down when scheduling the appointment. Those who are showing COVID-19-related symptoms may be able to have the cost of their test covered by insurance, but will need to go through their primary care doctor in order to do so.
On average, the entire testing process is expected to take about 15 minutes. Beauport Ambulance Services staff will be wearing all appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) — such as a face mask, face shield, gloves and gowns — when administering the test, and both the patient and members of the household where the testing is taking place will be asked to wear a mask while the testing is being conducted.
Prior to the test, patients will also be asked a series of questions, including if anyone else in the household has tested positive for COVID-19 and currently experiencing symptoms. Results will be available after approximately two to three days, and will be given to the patient by email or over the phone. Hard copies of the results will be available as well.
Testing will be available until further notice. The Beauport team is exploring the option of providing testing for residents outside of these eight communities, but specifics have not yet been determined.