Community COVID-19 Testing

Community COVID-19 Testing

Updated Feb. 12, 2021

Jump to Community Testing FAQs

UMass Amherst has established one of the largest asymptomatic testing centers for COVID-19 in Massachusetts. As part of the state’s expansion of testing, the university is providing free COVID-19 tests for local community members. Tests are available by appointment only at the Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC) at the Mullins Center.

Mullins Center
The Mullins Center is located at
200 Massachusetts Avenue
on the UMass Amherst campus.

Community COVID-19 testing at the Mullins Center is available by appointment:

Tuesdays: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesdays: 8:30 a.m. to  5 p.m.
Thursdays: 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Adults and children ages 10 and older without symptoms of COVID-19 are eligible for testing.  If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, DO NOT schedule an appointment or come to the testing center. Instead, contact your medical provider. Only individuals who have made an appointment will receive a test. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to  testing@umass.edu

HOW TO GET TESTED

Step 1: Schedule Your Test

  • Go to uma.force.com/covidtesting and select available appointments. To schedule the appointment:
  • 'Enter your contact information
  • Select if you also need to test dependent children
  • Confirm your email address by entering the code emailed to you
  • Consent to the testing agreement
  • Choose a time slot
  • Save the email you receive or have the QR code contained in the email on your phone or mobile device. You will need this with you to check in at the testing center

The testing process will take approximately ten minutes (registration and test).

Step 2: Go to the Testing Location

Make sure you have an appointment scheduled before arriving at the testing location at the front entrance of the Mullins Center, 200 Commonwealth Avenue, Amherst MA, 01003.

If you do not have an appointment, you cannot be tested. Masks, hand hygiene, and social distancing are required at all times while in the testing center.

Bring the confirmation email that you received with you to the testing center, or have your phone or other mobile device handy with the QR code you received in the email. You will need this to check in at the testing center.

Step 3: Get Your Test Results

Test results will be ready in 24 to 36 hours after you are tested.

If you test negative you will get a notification email from umalab@umass.edu. To access your results, log in to umalab.netsmartcloud.com. You will need to register and log in to a secure portal to get your results.

If you test positive you will receive a call about your positive test and your local Board of Health will explain further steps. Individuals who test positive will be required to isolate in accordance with the guidelines of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health authorities.

FAQs

Can you provide details about the type of community testing that is being conducted at the Mullins Center?

Your SARS-CoV-2 testing will be provided by the IALS Clinical Testing Center, and the Clinical Laboratory at University Health Services. (Together, “Testing Laboratories”)

The test that you will receive is designed to detect if you have SARS-CoV-2, also known as the “novel coronavirus”. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes the disease known as COVID-19. Your testing specimen will be collected by nasal swab. This method of swabbing involves inserting the swab into a nostril, rotating the swab for 10 seconds, and then repeating the process in your other nostril. The subsequent COVID-19 test performed is a Real-time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR Diagnostic Assay (SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR). 

The results of this test will not tell you if you had the virus in the past or if you have immunity to getting the virus in the future. It only tests for the presence of the virus in your specimen at the time of the test.

The results of your test will be shared with you through a web portal or mobile software application. Your results will also be shared with the health care provider who ordered your test, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Local Board of Health, and may be shared with certain federal, state, or local government agencies as required by law.

If your results are positive, please contact a doctor immediately. Only a doctor can diagnose you with COVID-19 and give you information about what you should do next. Negative results mean that viral particles were not detected by the specific assay performed on your specimen within the limits of detection of the assay. It is possible for the test to produce an incorrect negative result in some people who are harboring the SARS-CoV-2 virus (sometimes called a “false negative”). If you test negative but have symptoms of COVID-19 or concerns about exposure to SARS-CoV-2, contact a doctor to determine if you should be retested or take other actions. 

The Testing Laboratories are clinical laboratories. Testing Laboratories do not give medical advice or provide medical care. You should talk to a doctor about any health care needs you may have, including any related to receiving this test. Testing Laboratories, the University of Massachusetts and its Board of Trustees, officers, employees, and agents are not responsible for any medical care you receive. If you have questions about the test or your testing results, please email testing@umass.edu.

If there is leftover specimen after your test is performed, Testing Laboratories may remove information that identifies you from the specimen and use it for quality assurance, validation and laboratory testing development. 

By signing a consent form for testing, an individual agrees: (i) that you have read and understand the information in this consent form; (ii) to provide a nasal swab specimen for testing; (iii) to have your specimen tested by Testing Laboratories for SARS-CoV-2; (iv) that Testing Laboratories may disclose your test results as outlined in this form; and (v) that your leftover specimen and/or information about you may be used without information that identifies you after the testing is over for further research and analysis. You voluntarily agree to this testing for SARS-CoV-2.

Can I just show up or do I need to register in advance?

You must schedule your appointment in advance online at uma.force.com/covidtesting in order to get tested. If you do not have an appointment, you will not be allowed to get tested.

Who can get tested?

Adult residents of Massachusetts and children ages 10 and older without symptoms are eligible for testing. For children, their parent or guardian must accompany them both to give consent and to conduct or assist in conducting the self-administered test. This service is generally designed for people who work or live in the general Amherst area, including Hampshire and Franklin counties.

Will I have to pay for testing?

Testing is free for everyone. You will not have to pay or use insurance. 

How do I get to the testing center and where can I park?

Testing is taking place at the Mullins Center located at 200 Massachusetts Avenue on the UMass Amherst campus. Free parking is available in Lot 25 with overflow parking available in Lot 12, should it be necessary. For information about bus service, visit UMass Transit.

Can I bring my children with me?

Yes. Children not being tested can accompany their parent or guardian in the testing facility, even those under 10. They are required to remain supervised by their parent or guardian, and must follow all public health prevention measures, such as appropriate face coverings and social distancing.

I want to get my child tested, but not me. How I do this?

Go to uma.force.com/covidtesting, enter your name and birthdate, and check the box that says, "I would like to register up to two dependent children." and the box indicating you do not need to be tested, and choose an appointment time for your child. You must accompany your child to the center for testing, even if you are not being tested at that time.

I am a UMass faculty or staff member or student and want to get my dependent child tested. What do I do?

Go to uma.force.com/covidtesting, enter your name and birthdate, and check the box that says, "I would like to register up to two dependent children." and the box indicating you do not need to be tested, and choose an appointment time for your child. You must accompany your child to the center for testing, even if you are not being tested at that time.

Can I be tested at the testing center if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

No. The testing center at UMass Amherst is only for people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19. This is known as asymptomatic testing. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, DO NOT schedule an appointment or come to the testing center. Instead, contact your medical provider or your nearest urgent care testing center.

What type of asymptomatic test is being used?

SARS-CoV-2 Real-time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR Diagnostic Assay is a real-time RT-PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test intended for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 in nasal swabs collected from individuals who may have contracted the virus.

How long does it take to get my results?

It takes 24 to 36 hours to receive the results of your test.

Who do I contact if I have a question about asymptomatic COVID-19 testing?

Email testing@umass.edu with questions.

What happens if I am late for my appointment?

Each appointment is a 30-minute time slot. If, for instance, your appointment is from 2 to 2:30 p.m., you may show up at any point during that period and be tested. If you arrive after the times slot ends, we will be unable to accommodate you.

What if I don’t have an email account?

An email accounts is required to register. Many email accounts are free and can be obtained through services such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

What if I forget my confirmation email?

You must have your confirmation email to check in. You can either print it and bring it with you, or we can scan the QR code from a phone or other mobile device. We cannot register you at the testing center on the day of your test without the QR code from that email.

Do I have to bring a printed copy of my confirmation email or can you scan it from my phone?

We can scan the confirmation QR code from your phone or mobile device.

What happens if I want to cancel my test?

You must email testing@umass.edu to cancel your test. If you fail to do so, you will be unable to register for another test until seven days have passed from the date of the originally scheduled test.

How often can I schedule a test?

You can schedule a test once every seven days.

I don’t see any open time slots for a test. When will you have more?

The online scheduling system displays seven days of time slots. Each morning, a new round of time slots is made available.

Is drive-through testing available?

No, drive-through testing is not available.

Why was UMass selected to play such a prominent role in COVID-19 community testing?

UMass Amherst operates one of the state’s largest and most successful COVID-19 testing centers, having conducted more than 170,000 tests since Aug. 6, 2020. In partnership with Governor Baker, the university is well prepared to provide a vital public service to safeguard the health of our community. As the Commonwealth’s leading public research university, our collaboration with the governor to expand our efforts in the fight against COVID-19 is aligned with the campus’s longstanding commitment to public service.