COVID-19 Testing

Updated 5/4/2022

To help limit the spread of COVID-19, the MBL is taking measures to test, trace, quarantine, and isolate cases that may emerge.

Advanced Research Training Course and Whitman Visiting Science Participants

All education and research program participants are required to complete the MBL’s vaccination registry and COVID-19 Safety Acknowledgement and Attestation prior to arriving on campus. These items are part of the registration and decision reply-form and are a pre-requisite for obtaining an MBL identification and door access card (MBL card).

Individuals who do not upload proof that they are up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccinations in the MBL’s vaccination registry must provide a point of contact from their institution who can confirm their institutionally-approved exemption and then they must register for an account with our testing partner, Color Labs prior to arriving on campus. See more info on registering below.

Testing for these members of the MBL community occurs every Wednesday from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM in Lillie 100A.

Please note that the testing cadence is subject to change as the pandemic evolves depending on expert advice and guidance.

MBL Employees

Mandatory Asymptomatic Testing Program

Mandatory asymptomatic testing is required for unvaccinated employees with an approved exemption and is free of charge. Below are additional details and requirements for the Mandatory Asymptomatic Testing Program.

  • For unvaccinated employees with approved exemption
  • Individual must be asymptomatic
  • Testing occurs every Wednesday from 8:00-10:00 AM in Lillie 100A
  • Human Resources will contact relevant employees to confirm registration
  • If an appointment cannot be kept, individual must email and must be tested that same week at a local provider and provide proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test result. Contact for additional details on missed appointments.

Voluntary Asymptomatic Testing Program

Voluntary asymptomatic testing is available to  employees who are up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccinations and is free of charge. Below are additional details and requirements for the Voluntary Asymptomatic Testing Program.

  • All full and part-time faculty and staff are eligible to participate
  • Individual must be asymptomatic when they are tested
  • Individuals must commit to the weekly testing cadence for the duration of the program offering.
  • Individuals must NOT have tested positive for COVID-19 at any point in the 90 days prior to their first test.
  • Testing occurs every Wednesday from 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM in Lillie 100A
  • If an appointment cannot be kept, individual must email and resume testing the following week. 
  • To register, email who will confirm registration

Symptomatic or Exposure Testing

Regardless of your vaccination status, if you experience symptoms of COVID-19 you should not come onto the MBL campus or enter any MBL buildings. You should not participate in the Asymptomatic Testing Program. Instead, you should arrange for a symptomatic test at a local provider (see below) or consult your doctor. View the Protocol for Addressing Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Exposures for additional information on confirmed or suspected COVID-19 exposure. 

Testing Protocols and Results

The MBL partners with the company Color,  for its Testing Program. Test kits are sent from the MBL to the Color Lab which provides a Color SARS-CoV-2 RT-LAMP Diagnostic Assay test. Visit the Color website for more details on this test.

All testing program participants are required to create an account prior to their first test at using an email address.  An email address is required for registration. When registering your account for MBL’s testing program, you must use the MBL’s street address of 7 MBL Street, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543. Using this address will ensure that positive results are reported to local and state public health departments. You will use your Color login to activate your test kit each time you provide a sample at a testing location. Due to FDA regulations, there is an expiration time limit on the testing kits. Kits must be activated immediately prior to sample collection to ensure that the sample is eligible for processing. The kit activation process will take 2-5 minutes to complete, and you will receive an email and text notification alerting you that your sample has been activated.

Testing participants will be notified by email and text when test results are processed. Once alerted, they must log into the Color secure portal to view their results. Most test results are received within 24 hours.

Testing for Travel

At this time, the MBL is not offering the Voluntary Asymptomatic Testing Program for business or personal travel-related needs. Travel-related testing will be assessed at a later date. Individuals who need a negative COVID-19 test result prior to travel should contact a local provider to schedule a test. A list of local providers is below.

Cape Cod Healthcare
Cape Cod Hospital campus, Hyannis
Falmouth Hospital campus, Falmouth

Convenient MD
40 Davis Straits
Falmouth, MA 02540
(774) 255-3010
8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. 7 days a week
*$175 per test if you are asymptomatic and not a resident of Maine, NH or Massachusetts

CVS Falmouth
105 Davis Straits
Falmouth, MA 02540
(508) 540-4307
Schedule through online portal

CVS Bourne
6 Head of the Bay Rd
Bourne, MA 02532
(508) 759-1097
Schedule through online portal

More Information

Dr. Emily Landon, Executive Medical Director for infection prevention and control at UChicago Medicine, has provided helpful answers to common medical questions relevant to the Omicron variant. The topics covered include: when to get tested or consider an at-home test; steps to take if you can’t immediately access a COVID-19 test; and the importance of booster shots in light of the Omicron variant.

Visit COVID-19 testing: When to test, how accurate are home tests and more for more information on COVID-19 testing.