COVID-19 Testing


Where to Get At-Home Tests

You can get tested for COVID-19 from the comfort of your home. Both molecular (such as PCR) and antigen at-home tests are available.

Purchase an at-home test kit:

  • Self-tests can be purchased online or in pharmacies and retail stores. Kits may be available for free or at a reduced cost through your health insurance.. Contact your health insurance company to verify their policy. Look for test kits that are currently approved by the FDA:
  • Starting January 15, if you have health insurance, your provider is required to cover the costs of eight at-home antigen tests per person each month, at up to $12 per test. Find out from your insurance company if it will offer direct coverage or whether you will need to submit a claim for reimbursement. Learn more from these FAQs.   

Request an at-home test kit:

  • PCR COVID-19 Tests provided by the State: Eligible people in Massachusetts can also have an at-home PCR test sent to them for free. These tests are available to people who have symptoms of COVID-19, have been exposed to COVID-19, have been advised to get tested by a health professional, or who live or work in a congregate setting. Request a free, at-home PCR test here. If you need assistance requesting a kit, please contact 3-1-1 (617-666-3311).
  • Free Rapid At-Home Tests provided by the U.S. Federal Government: All households in the U.S. can request up to three orders of eight free COVID-19 rapid at-home tests (a total of 24 tests). Each order of eight free tests must be made separately. The tests will be mailed to your address via USPS at no charge to you. You can order the tests at covidtests.gov.


Where to Get In-Person Testing

NOTE: Starting Thursday, June 2, Somerville Health and Human Services will transition its COVID-19 testing program from PCR testing to rapid antigen testing. 

PCR Testing Available Through Tuesday, May 31

Somerville City Hall Annex, 50 Evergreen Ave.

Walk-ins accepted as supply allows.

  • PCR testing is available for Somerville residents who are symptomatic or have a known exposure to COVID-19, regardless of insurance or immigration status. 
  • Free for Somerville residents, regardless of health insurance or immigration status.
  • Residents seeking a test for travel or reasons other than suspected infection or known exposure should visit an alternative location.
  • Testing is available by appointment on Tuesday, 2-4 p.m., and Thursdays 4-6 p.m. Make an appointment here or call 311 (617-666-3311) for assistance in any language. Walk-ins accepted as supply allows.
  • Appointment scheduling closes 2 hours prior to the start of the clinic.
  • Test results are provided via e-mail within 24 to 48 hours
     

Rapid Antigen Testing Starts Thursday, June 2

  • Somerville City Hall Annex, 50 Evergreen Ave.
    • Tuesdays, 2-3:30 p.m.
       
  • East Somerville Community School (outside the Glen St. entrance)
    • Thursdays, 4-5:30 p.m.
       
  • Please note:
    • Tests are available on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointment is needed, but pre-registration is recommended to save time at the test site. Pre-register here or call 311 (617-666-3311) for assistance in any language. 
    • Available to Somerville residents who are symptomatic or have a known exposure to COVID-19. Residents seeking a test for travel or reasons other than suspected infection or known exposure should visit an alternative location.
    • Testing is provided at no cost, regardless of health insurance or immigration status.
    • Tests are approved for ages 2+. If you have a child under the age of 2 who needs testing, please contact their pediatrician. 
    • Results will be provided by text and/or email within 30 minutes of testing. 

Nearby “Stop the Spread” Sites


Please contact a site before visiting in case operations have changed.

Cataldo Ambulance - Rivergreen Park, 1 Rivergreen Drive, Everett

  • Free for all people, regardless of insurance or immigration status 
  • No appointment necessary
  • 7:00am-7:00pm Mon-Fri
  • 12:00pm-6:00pm Sat

East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, 79 Paris St, Boston

  • Free for all people, regardless of insurance or immigration status. 
  • Make an appointment by calling 617-568-4500 or online
  • This site is accessible via the Maverick MBTA on the Blue Line 
  • 8:30am-11:30am & 1:00pm-4:30pm Mon-Fri

Other COVID-19 Testing Sites 


Search for COVID-19 testing locations by zip code at mass.gov/GetTested. Note that not all sites listed are free.


How Do COVID-19 Tests Work?


Two types of tests can detect if you have an active Covid-19 infection:

  • Molecular tests (such as PCR tests) detect the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes it can take longer to get your results with a molecular/PCR test than with antigen tests because samples must be sent to a lab.
  • Antigen tests detect specific proteins made by the virus. These tests can usually deliver results in 15 to 30 minutes.

Other tests can detect if you have had COVID-19 in the past:

  • Antibody or serology tests detect whether you previously had COVID-19 at some point in the past.
  • They do not detect whether you have an active COVID-19 infection.

For more information about the different types of test and how they work, see these resources: