With COVID-19 cases rising this holiday season due to the highly-contagious omicron variant, demand for testing is at a high in the commonwealth and around the country.
Wait lines have been long at some of the North Shore’s larger testing sites and appointments are becoming a commodity.
However, smaller testing sites offered by local providers continue to take appointments and walk-in patients, and cities and towns are hard at work offering drive-through, walk-in and appointment-based clinics to residents.
With the second year of the pandemic coming to a close and a third one beginning, there is ample reason to continue to be vigilant about stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and we urge our readers to help prevent infection by wearing masks and getting vaccinated.
We wish you a happy ― and safe ― 2022.
Here is a list of available testing sites around the North Shore:
Four COVID-19 testing sites are available in the city of Lynn. The “Stop the Spread” Project Beacon COVID-19 testing site is located at the ferry terminal at 398 Blossom St. Residents must schedule tests at https://app.beacontesting.com/login/. The appointment schedule will vary based on demand and capacity.
Test results are typically available the following day, but may on rare occasions take as long as three business days. For all Massachusetts residents, there is no cost for this test, no health insurance is required, and you will not be asked about your immigration status.
The “Stop the Spread” Project Beacon site will be available to residents until March 31. If you have questions about getting tested or issues regarding appointments or results at Project Beacon, please go to www.mass.gov/express-testing, call Project Beacon’s Call Center at 617-741-7310, or you can email Project Beacon at [email protected].
North Shore Community College’s Lynn Campus provides a no-cost, walk-up self-administered PCR COVID test provided by Curative Health Care, located at the campus parking lot on Washington Street. The testing trailer is open Mondays through Fridays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The trailer will close on weekends, holidays and school weather closures. COVID tests at North Shore Community College are by appointment only. Appointments can be made at https://book.curative.com/sites/34109.
Mass General Brigham offers symptomatic testing only. The location is at 480 Lynnfield St., on Route 1A inside the Mass General Brigham Healthcare Center. Hours of operation are Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Lynn center will be closing at 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, Friday, Dec. 31. Due to unusually high patient volume and necessary patient capacity limits, Urgent Care Center hours are subject to change and wait times are approximate. Please check each center’s location page for wait times and current hours.
Lynn Community Health Center (LCHC) is offering appointments for COVID-19 testing located at 50 Blake St. You do not need to be a patient at LCHC or have health insurance. LCHC does not offer rapid testing at the health center. You can schedule a test with this link: https://www.lchcnet.org/covid-19-testing-information#ochin-widget.
Monday testing hours are 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday testing hours are 1 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday testing hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday testing hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday testing will take place only on Jan. 8, 15 and 22, from the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The testing center is closed on Sundays. Those with appointments should arrive 15 minutes prior. Test results will be available after three to four days.
The best way to get tested for COVID-19 in the town of Lynnfield is to make an appointment with a local provider. CVS at 451 Main St., in Wakefield, and Walgreens at 572 Main St., in Wakefield, are two close-by options for testing by appointment. Additional locations in Peabody, Reading, Saugus and Stoneham can be accessed through the state’s online COVID information portal at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/find-a-covid-19-test.
Residents who do not wish to make an appointment were advised by the Board of Health to visit the Stop The Spread COVID testing site at the Square One Mall located at 363-365 Essex St. in Saugus. While the testing site will be closed on Jan. 1, it will resume normal operating hours, from noon to 7 p.m., Monday to Saturday, on Jan. 3.
Residents of Marblehead and Nahant can utilize testing facilities in surrounding communities such as Lynn and Swampscott.
Peabody, in partnership with Atlantic Ambulance, will be hosting a free, drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic for residents on Saturday, Jan. 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Higgins Middle School. Residents ages 5 and older are asked to bring proof of residence to the clinic, located at 85 Perkins St. For more information, contact the city’s Health Department at 978-538-5926.
Local providers of COVID tests include Carewell Urgent Care at 229 Andover St. (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Sunday), CVS at 174 Main St. (appointment only), Walgreens at 229 Andover St. (appointment only), Pediatric Health Care Associates at 10 Centennial Drive (8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday to Sunday). Additional nearby testing locations can be accessed at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/find-a-covid-19-test.
Free, drive-through testing is available in the Revere High School parking lot as part of the Stop the Spread initiative. Testing is available on Monday to Friday from 4 to 8 p.m, and Saturday from 7 to 11 a.m. Walk-up testing for Revere residents is also available. The testing site will be closed from Dec. 30 to Jan. 2 due to the holiday, but will resume normal hours starting on Monday, Jan. 3, and continue through March.
No appointment, insurance, or identification is required. The site is run by Transformative Health Care, and for further questions please call its customer service line at 617-745-9999.
Test results will be returned two to three days after testing. If you do not receive results in that time frame, please call 781-236-4440.
The city is also offering an express COVID-19-testing site at the Shops at Suffolk Downs on Tomasello Way at 31 Furlong Drive. This site can be accessed from Route 1A (William McClellan Parkway), or from the Revere Beach Parkway. It is recommended that residents access the site from Route 1A and drive directly into the queue. An appointment is required, and to book an appointment please visit www.beacontesting.com.
The site will be closed on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Due to the high demand, appointments may be fully booked through the holiday.
An additional testing site is offered at East Boston Health, located at 79 Paris St., Boston. This site is open Monday to Friday from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The site is closed on Sundays.
You must schedule the appointment day, however the time is not required.
You can book an appointment via phone or online. To make your appointment over the phone, please call 617-569-5800 and follow the prompts to register for testing. To book an appointment online visit https://mychart.ebnhc.org/mychart/openscheduling
Information on all three of these sites can be found on the City of Revere’s website at https://www.revere.org/departments/public-health-division/coronavirus.
Saugus residents have multiple options to get tested for COVID-19. The biggest site is at the Square One Mall where residents can utilize drive-through testing at the Stop the Spread facility. The site is open from 2 to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday. There is no cost for Massachusetts residents for the test, health insurance is not required, and you will not be asked about your immigration status.
Residents can also utilize the CVS at 1075 Broadway and Walgreens at 186 Walnut St, which both offer tests by appointment only. Another option is AFC Urgent Care in Saugus, which is open seven days a week.
Salem is offering free COVID-19 PCR tests for residents beginning on Saturday, Jan. 1. The testing, which is available through the Salem Coronavirus Awareness Network (SCAN) program, is by appointment only and will take place at the Mayor Jean Levesque Community Life Center at 401 Bridge St., from noon to 6 p.m. The city plans to continue the testing for several weeks on Saturdays throughout the winter.
To make an appointment, visit www.salem.com/scan. Walk-ins will not be accepted at this site and proof of residency is required when registering for your appointment time, but no proof of citizenship or insurance is necessary to register or receive a test.
Salem residents can also continue to receive free COVID-19 testing at any of the Stop the Spread testing sites in Massachusetts, including the two sites at Salem High School and St. Peter’s Church, and the Curative site at Riley Plaza.
In Swampscott, American Family Care (AFC) is offering walk-in urgent care COVID-19 testing at 450 Paradise Road. Hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. AFC offers FDA-approved rapid antibody and PCR swab testing.
You can book an appointment at https://www.clockwisemd.com/hospitals/3460/visits/new or by calling 781-691-9366. Appointments are strongly recommended to guarantee a same day provider visit. AFC is not taking walk-in appointments from 1 to 2 p.m. All walk in appointments during that period will be marked for after 2 p.m.
Walgreens is offering free drive-through testing for residents ages 3 and older at 505 Paradise Road. When arriving at the testing location, show the confirmation email for your appointment, a valid state ID or driver’s license, and insurance card or voucher. You will perform the nasal-swab test yourself under the supervision of a member of the pharmacy team. Residents under the age of 18 will need a parent or legal guardian with them while they administer the test. PCR result times may vary. You can apply for an appointment at this link: https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing. Appointments are limited.
Item writers Adam Bass, Madison Bethune, Allysha Dunnigan, Sam Minton, and Sophie Yarin contributed to this report.