Because Maine has a high number of COVID cases, testing facilities (especially labs) are a bit overwhelmed. There have been changes to the protocols of testing locations in the area. As of February 9, 2021, here is our best update (things change frequently).
Some general guidelines:
- If you have symptoms of COVID, or have had exposure to a known COVID case, and you have a primary care physician, call them immediately and follow their direction on getting tested. Many doctor’s offices have the test itself.
- Local test sites are not accepting walk-ins anymore. You typically have to go online and make an appointment. Frequently they are booked a few days ahead so you need to PLAN.
- As a general rule, the BiNax Rapid Test is most effective WHEN YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS. It requires a higher viral load than a PCR test. It is also good for a series of tests. It usually takes 15-30 minutes for results
- If you have no symptoms, the PCR test is more effective. If you’ve had exposure, it is most effective to test about 4 -7 days after exposure. This swab gets sent to a lab for testing and takes a few days to get results, depending on the volume the labs are receiving.
- Below I refer to “safety tests,” our term for the proactive test you take when you don’t have symptoms or exposure to a known COVID case, but you want to be sure you don’t bring COVID to your grandmother; or when you return from a trip out-of-state and want to be sure you aren’t infected. Because of that viral load issue described above, the PCR is really a better option for safety testing. You do have to quarantine for a couple of days until you get your test results.
Local Testing Options:
Yarmouth Walgreen’s – is no longer doing tests unless you attest to the fact in their online survey that you have symptoms of COVID or have had exposure to a confirmed COVID case. They are not doing “safety tests”. They only have the Rapid Test, not the PCR test. There is no charge for this test. Schedule online: COVID-19 Testing & Locations | Walgreens Find Care
CVS – is no longer doing tests unless you have symptoms or known exposure BUT you can get the “safety test” if you are willing to pay $139 for the test. This appears to be a PCR test (est. 3 days to get results). It looks like South Portland and Westbrook locations are pretty booked but Bath CVS had plenty of appointments for next day. Schedule online: COVID-19 Testing and Locations | MinuteClinic (cvs.com)
Portland Jetport – is scheduling tests if you have symptoms, if you have known exposure OR if you just want to be safe and make sure you don’t have it. This is available if you are a traveler or if you are just a community member. But PLAN AHEAD! They are booked up for a least a week in advance (unless you keep checking for a cancellation) BUT you can go on their website and schedule a test all the way out to February. They also offer a PCR test OR the Rapid Test. The PCR test is free but they charge $25.00 for the RAPID Test. Schedule online: Jetport – Maine COVID-19 Mobile Testing (covidtestforme.com)
Westbrook Public Safety – similar to the Jetport, Westbrook Public Safety is scheduling tests if you have symptoms OR if you have known exposure OR if you just want to be safe. They are doing the PCR test. They book up to 30 days ahead so it is easy to make an appointment. Generally, the next couple of days are usually full so PLAN AHEAD if you can. Schedule online: http://www.westbrookmaine.com/685/Community-COVID-19-Resources
MaineHealth/MidCoast Hospital in Brunswick – will test you if you have symptoms OR known exposure OR just want to be safe and make sure you don’t have it. They are offering the PCR test (free) and require you to fill out a form for “Swab and Send” from their website https://www.midcoasthealth.com/covid19/testing/ and then call 207-373-6699 to make the appointment. They are scheduling as far out as a month but typically the next few days are booked so plan ahead.
Downtown Auburn Transportation Center – sponsored by the State and run by the same group that is at the Jetport. They will test if you have symptoms, or had known exposure OR if you just want a “safety test.” They only have the PCR test. Their calendar goes out a month and they had plenty of appointments for the same day. This is a good option if you want to get tested right away. This is a 40-minute drive from Yarmouth. Schedule online: https://covidtestforme.com/jetport-la/lewiston_auburn/
Convenient MD/Urgent Care – will only test if you have symptoms or known exposure. They have a telephone number to call from their website and they fill out your information over the phone then follow up with a Telehealth visit with a provider (doctor or PA). Test costs $165 or insurance or apply for MaineCare coverage online. Online information: https://convenientmd.com/covid-19-testing/
Maine Urgent Care Topsham – will test if you have symptoms OR known exposure OR just want to be safe. You will have to see a doctor there and they will charge you for both the Provider visit and the PCR test (no Rapid Test). Results are taking a week, right now. Call to make appointment. Info online: https://maineurgentcare.com/covid-19-testing-and-care/
287 Main St, Lewiston Walk In Clinic – will test anyone – with symptoms, known exposure or just for safety. They have the PCR test only. You can walk-in between 9:00-3:00 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays. They do not charge if you do not have insurance. If you have insurance, they charge $55. There is no telephone number. Just walk in—an exception to the general guideline about no walk-ins above.
AFC Urgent Care in South Portland — Will test if you have symptoms, if you have known exposure or if you need a “safety test.” They have both the Rapid Test and the PCR test (sent to Quest Labs so taking 5-8 days for results right now). If you have symptoms or known exposure, they require a telehealth visit with their provider and will bill your insurance. If you don’t have insurance they charge you $160. If you are testing for “safety,” no telehealth visit is necessary but they charge $160 payment at time of visit. The good news is that it while they only schedule for the next three days, it looks like they have plenty of open appointments. Schedule online: https://www.afcurgentcaresouthportland.com/covid-19-testing
NorDx/Mainehealth – is doing “safety tests” ONLY. They will not accept you if you are symptomatic or have been exposed to a known COVID case. This is a PCR test. They state that results will be in 48-72 hours but we know someone who got results back the same day. You can schedule up to 30 days in advance but they have a few appointments 3 days out and sometimes same day. They schedule testing from 7 am to 6 pm in Scarborough. Cost is $105. They require you fill out a form online and then call them at 207-396-7830 (Option 2) to make an appointment. To schedule start here: https://www.mainehealth.org/NorDx/Patient-Service-Centers/COVID19-Testing.
Northern Light Mercy Hospital – Will test for any situation (symptoms, exposure to known case or just for safety). PCR test. Results in a few days. They schedule a week in advance but have openings within three days. They ask you to fill out a form and schedule online: https://northernlighthealth.org/Resources/COVID-19/Testing. They also include a number in case you need help signing up: 844-489-1822.
*safety tests is our term for the proactive test you take when you don’t have symptoms or exposure to a known COVID case, but you want to be sure you don’t bring COVID to your grandmother; or when you return from a trip out-of-state and want to be sure you aren’t infected.