COVID-19 Testing

Updated 6/24/22

To help limit the spread of COVID-19, the MBL is taking measures to test, trace, quarantine, and isolate cases that may emerge. Below is information on the MBL’s testing resources and protocols applicable to all Education and Research visitors and MBL staff.

Advanced Research Training Courses

Rapid Antigen Testing
Course Directors will be provided with a supply of rapid antigen tests upon arrival. Course individuals can obtain rapid antigen tests from their Course Director(s)

PCR Testing
Entry Testing
Students and Teaching Assistants participating in the MBL’s Advanced Research Training Courses are required to take a Color PCR test two-days after arrival on campus. Course faculty can participate in entry testing if requested. Information on entry testing will be provided by the Education Department.

Repeated Negative Rapid Antigen Tests for Symptomatic Individuals
Symptomatic individuals who receive two negative COVID-19 antigen rapid tests over 48 hours must contact the MBL’s Human Resources Department (covid@mbl.edu) to  schedule a PCR test at a Falmouth urgent care or with our Color Lab Testing program if it coincides with a test day (usually Wednesday). HR will provide more details and information on registering through Color to receive test results.

Contingent PCR Testing to Manage Possible Outbreak
If a situation arises with multiple course participants or Whitman researchers in a lab testing positive, then contingent PCR testing will be provided to help resolve the situation. The Education or Research Administrative lead will arrange for contingent testing. Note: Availability for contingency testing could change.

Weekly Voluntary Asymptomatic Testing Program
This program is available to Advanced Research Training Course Directors if requested. Below are additional details and requirements for the Voluntary Asymptomatic Testing Program. There are no exceptions to the outlined requirements below.

  • Individual must be asymptomatic when they are tested
  • Individuals must commit to the weeklytesting 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.
  • Individual must register for an account with our testing partner, Color Labs.
  • Testing occurs every Wednesday from 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM in Lillie 100A.

Note: Testing cadence could change depending on expert advice we get as the pandemic evolves.

For return to work and campus activities, see the protocols for addressing confirmed or suspected COVID-19 exposures.

Whitman Fellows and Grass Fellows

Rapid Antigen Testing
Rapid antigen tests will be available through the Division of Research. Whitman Fellows and Grass Fellows should contact Anne Sylvester (asylvester@mbl.edu) or Briana Bertochi (bbertochi@mbl.edu) for access to rapid antigen tests.

PCR Testing
Repeated Negative Rapid Antigen Tests for Symptomatic Individuals

Symptomatic individuals who receive two negative COVID-19 antigen rapid tests over 48 hours must contact the MBL’s Human Resources Department (covid@mbl.edu) to schedule a PCR test  at a Falmouth urgent care or with our Color Lab Testing program if it coincides with a test day (usually Wednesday). HR will provide more details and information on registering through Color to receive test results.

For return to work or campus activities, see the protocol for addressing confirmed or suspected COVID-19 exposures.

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

Note: Testing cadence could change depending on expert advice we get as the pandemic evolves.

Voluntary Asymptomatic Testing Program
Voluntary asymptomatic testing is available to employees who are fully vaccinated, and the program 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 weeklytesting 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 – 10:00 AM in Lillie 100A
  • If an appointment cannot be kept, individual must email covid@mbl.edu and resume testing the following week. 
  • To register, email covid@mbl.edu who will confirm registration
Testing for Travel

At this time, the MBL is not offering the Voluntary Asymptomatic Testing Program for business or personal travel-related needs .  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
convenientmd.com
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
www.cvs.com
Schedule through online portal

CVS Bourne
6 Head of the Bay Rd
Bourne, MA 02532
(508) 759-1097
www.cvs.com
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.

Color Testing Registration 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 https://home.color.com/create-account 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.

All positive results must be communicated to the HR inbox (covid@mbl.edu) as soon as they are received.