COVID-19 Testing

Updated 11/30/22

To help limit the spread of COVID-19, the MBL takes 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.

Whitman Fellows, Grass Fellows, and Whitman Scientists in on-campus housing

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

Color 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 ( 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

Voluntary Asymptomatic Testing Program

Voluntary asymptomatic testing is available to employees who request it and must sign up through Human Resources. See additional details below.

Rapid antigen tests are available to anyone who feels unwell while on campus and may be picked up at the front desk of the Swope Center during normal business hours.

  • 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 – 10:00 AM in Lillie 100A
  • If an appointment cannot be kept, individual must email and resume testing the following week. 


Testing for Travel

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 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 ( as soon as they are received.