COVID-19 COMMUNITY BASED TESTING

Located at 22 Strafford Street, Laconia NH 03246

By Appointment Only

Monday – Friday 1 PM – 4 PM

Open to everyone in the community regardless of whether you are a HealthFirst Patient 

How Does COVID-19 Testing At HealthFirst Work?

Community Based COVID-19 Testing will be performed by appointment only for HealthFirst and non-HealthFirst patients. 

If you wish to be tested for COVID-19, you can either call our office at 603-366-1070 to schedule a testing time in our Laconia Office or fill out an appointment request form and a Patient Specialist will contact you to schedule your appointment. 

Community Based COVID-19 tests will be available Monday – Friday between the hours of 1pm – 4pm at our Laconia location.

Depending on the reason for a COVID-19 test request, the appropriate type of test will be determined by nursing staff. Those calling in, or filling out an online form, should identify if they are requesting a test due to experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, recent travel outside of New England, having had possible exposure to a COVID positive individual, or experiencing no symptoms but they just want to know for peace of mind.

Our COVID testing team will assist you in understanding the next steps in your care, along with instructions about what to do when you arrive for testing.  

We follow evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for COVID-19 testing based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS). 

What Types Of Tests Are Available At HealthFirst?

Rapid COVID-19 Test

This is an antigen test using a nasal swab (short swab, minimally invasive, in your nose) test.

Test results are available within 20 minutes after your test takes place. We will ask you to wait in your vehicle while results are being processed.

Rapid Testing is available for anyone who:

  • Has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (symptomatic).
  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste of smell
Polymerase Chain Reaction, or PCR Test

A PCR test for COVID-19 is a test used to diagnosis people who are currently infected with SARS-CoV-2, which is the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The PCR test is the “gold standard” test for diagnosing COVID-19 because it is the most accurate and reliable test.

Will Insurance Cover The Cost Of My Test?

Please bring your insurance card to your appointment. If you do not have insurance or have a health insurance plan that does not cover the cost of testing, testing is still available to you. 

Please call us at 603-366-1070 to talk to our staff about your options.  If you do not have active medical insurance, a Patient Services rep will offer to connect you with a Patient Advocate to get you signed up for NH Medicaid and to have COVID-19 testing paid for by State of NH. Otherwise, individuals can sign up for NH Medicaid on their own through NH EASY at https://nheasy.nh.gov/#/  and clicking on the “COVID-19 TESTING” button at the bottom of the page.  

Most insurance companies will cover the cost of COVID-19 testing when symptoms are present. We recommend you reach out to your insurance provider to confirm coverage prior to testing. We will submit claims to your insurance company; however, we cannot guarantee coverage or payment.

What Can I Expect When I Arrive For My Appointment?

When you arrive for your appointment: 

  1. Please park in one of 4 designated COVID TESTING PATIENT parking spaces closest to the entrance of the building if available. Signage should indicate the reserved parking spots.

  2. Enter the building and tell the Health Screener you are there for your COVID-19 testing appointment.

  3. After signing an “Informed Consent for COVID Testing” form (or this can be printed off here in advance and brought with you), you will be brought into the testing room directly. Should the room not be ready, you will be instructed to wait in your vehicle. If you do NOT have a vehicle to wait in, you will be escorted to a designated COVID-19 waiting area in the building.

The COVID Tester will determine which test is most appropriate based on your information and will either perform a rapid antigen test or a PCR test. Both use nasal swab for collection.

For those receiving the rapid antigen test, after the swab is collected, you will be instructed to wait in your vehicle for up to 20 minutes while your results are being processed. If you do not have a vehicle to wait in, you will be directed to wait in a designated COVID waiting area in the building. Once processed, the COVID Tester will read the rapid antigen card and determine if you are negative or presumptive positive for COVID. All individuals will be printed a letter with their individual results (either NEGATIVE or PRESUMPTIVE POSITIVE) which will be brought out to them waiting in their vehicle along with instructions for what to do based on their results.

For individuals receiving the PCR test, these are processed by Quest, an off-site laboratory, and results are available typically between 2-5 days. Individuals will receive a call informing them of his/her test results.

If the person’s rapid results are presumptive positive, the COVID Tester will then collect a Quest PCR anterior nares nasal swab from you while waiting in your car. You will be given the presumptive positive COVID letter and informed to quarantine for 10 days from the date of testing. You will also be provided isolation information developed by the State of NH and CDC for further instruction on what to do and who to notify with your rapid antigen testing results. Individuals will be called with their PCR results once received from Quest, typically within 2-5 days.

Your health is our top priority!

At HealthFirst, we remain COVID prepared!

HealthFirst is now a “Surgically Clean Air” facility with high-quality air purifiers in every patient room!

Air purifiers remove harmful viruses, toxins, pollutants & airborne contamination from the air to provide you with a safe and clean environment to get the care you need!

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COVID-19 INFORMATION: To request a COVID-19 test and instructions before visiting HealthFirst
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