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Should you get tested for COVID-19?

Answer a series of questions to find out if your day-to-day may have put you at risk of exposure and whether or not you should be tested.

Ryan Huddle

Have you had close contact with someone who tested positive? Are you having symptoms? Are you out and about on a regular basis? We asked experts when you should be getting tested for COVID-19. Their answer: Probably more often than you think.

Worried about the wait?

Testing sites in Massachusetts include walk-in, by appointment, and express drive through options. Test result wait times are much shorter than in the spring and summer, with some sites returning results within 24 hours. Just be sure to self-isolate for a couple of days beforehand if possible, and while you wait for results.

Worried about the cost?


Locations participating in Massachusetts' Stop the Spread initiative offer no-cost testing for people with and without symptoms and do not require insurance. There is also a free drive-through testing site in Revere. Most insurers cover testing for people with symptoms.

Worried it will hurt?

Many testing sites have switched to softer, shorter nasal swabs than were available in the spring (and even tests with the longer swabs are over in a matter of seconds).

Worried that getting a test takes one away from someone else?

Many testing sites in the state are not reaching their maximum daily capacity: Some officials say not enough people are getting tested. And remember, getting tested helps protect others in your community who are at higher risk of exposure.

Dasia Moore is the Globe Magazine's staff writer. E-mail her at dasia.moore@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @daijmoore. John Hancock can be reached at john.hancock@globe.com. Follow him @Hancock_JohnD.