- How Testing Works at Reliant
- Testing Locations
- Testing for Patients Without Symptoms of COVID-19
- Antibody Testing
Learn How COVID-19 Testing Works at Reliant
Testing at Reliant is by appointment and is only available for Reliant patients. If you have concerning symptoms or have a travel, work-related or other need for testing, please call your Reliant provider. See below to learn how our testing process works.
1. Contact your primary care provider’s office to discuss symptoms or testing needs.
2. If testing is recommended, an order is placed by a Reliant Medical Group provider and a testing appointment is scheduled, generally on the same day or next day, in one of our drive-thru testing locations in Auburn or Marlboro. We do not offer “walk-in” testing.
3. When you arrive at the testing site, you will stay in your car. You will need to show a photo ID and check in.
4. A clinician will come to your car to collect a sample from your nose to test for COVID-19. Your test will be sent to Quest Diagnostics. If your provider also ordered a flu test, a sample may also be taken to test for the flu virus.
5. Your test results will come back to the Reliant provider who ordered your test. We expect that you will be notified of your test results within 2 days, but the exact timeframe will depend on the lab’s volume (Quest Diagnostics). You will receive an automated call from Reliant with your test result. If your result is positive, you will also be contacted by your primary care provider’s office within one business day. All results will also be available in MyChart. Please know that if you have not heard from us, your results are not available yet. We will communicate with you promptly when we receive your results from the lab.
Our testing locations in Auburn and Southborough have moved from the parking lots outside of our offices to nearby, former Sears Automotive locations. These moves allow us to still safely perform open-air, drive-thru testing, but provide the ability to better control the climate and shield our staff and patients from winter weather.
The new testing locations are:
The former Sears Automotive building, which is located at the Auburn Mall, but on the opposite side of where Reliant’s main entrance is.
Street address: 387 Southbridge Street, Auburn
Testing at our Southborough office moved to the former Sears Automotive building, which is located at the parking lot at Solomon Pond Mall.
Stress Address: 521 Donald Lynch Blvd., Marlborough
Testing for Patients Without Symptoms of COVID-19
Reliant will test asymptomatic patients (those not showing symptoms of COVID-19) who express a “requirement” reason (including but not limited to requirements by employers, vacation rentals, camps, schools, travel requirements, etc.). Patients should contact their primary care office to request a test.
What is a COVID-19 Antibody Test and Should I Get It?
Antibody tests check the blood for antibodies that indicate if a person has been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies are proteins that help to fight off infection. Antibody testing is not used to diagnose COVID-19.
It is generally believed that the presence of antibodies for a specific virus confers some degree of immunity against getting the infection again; however, for COVID-19 we do not yet know how long immunity may last. Therefore, determining if someone once had COVID-19 doesn’t tell us with certainty if or for how long someone is protected. In short, more data is needed to understand the body’s immunity response after a COVID-19 infection.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is using antibody testing selectively to understand how widespread COVID-19 infection is in different communities to guide broad decisions about public health. The test is not used to develop treatment or management plans for an individual patient.
Reliant’s Position on Antibody Testing
Because of the uncertainty around COVID-19 immunity testing, Reliant Medical Group providers are not currently ordering antibody testing. This is because the results – either positive or negative – would not change our medical advice:
- If a person is positive for the antibodies (meaning it appears he/she has likely had the infection), we cannot ensure that person has substantial immunity from catching COVID-19 again. In this case, we would still advise taking protective measures, such as wearing a mask and social distancing, to avoid contracting the infection again.
- If a person is negative for the antibodies (meaning that he/she does not appear to have had the COVID-19 infection), our advice would be the same: practice recommended safety guidelines to avoid contracting the infection.
Of course, the COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing. We will continue to monitor guidelines for antibody testing, and respond appropriately.