MDS updates COVID testing procedures, requirements

  • Published
  • By Lauren Russell
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Officials from the 66th Medical Squadron here have updated COVID testing procedures following the installation’s transition to Health Protection Condition Alpha earlier this month.

While testing will still be available through the clinic, results may take up to 36 hours to obtain.

“There will be some scenarios in which same-day test results are appropriate, such as deployments and readiness requirements, or if the patient has other risk factors or comorbidities related to COVID,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Gough, 66 MDS public health emergency officer. “It will be at the provider’s discretion to determine the best way forward.”

Symptomatic COVID testing is available to all TRICARE beneficiaries and Department of Defense civilian employees. Testing appointments can be scheduled for Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 10 a.m.

At this time, testing is not being offered for asymptomatic individuals who identify as close contacts.

“We are not recommending testing for asymptomatic close contacts, regardless of their vaccination status,” said Gough. “These individuals should wear a mask, and then contact us if they do develop symptoms.”

Gough said healthcare providers are most recently recognizing COVID symptoms as fever or chills, recent or unexplained shortness of breath, cough, difficulty breathing, or a recent loss of taste or smell.

Personnel can receive initial and booster doses of the COVID vaccine at the Immunization Clinic here on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Doses of the Moderna vaccine are available on Mondays, and Pfizer doses on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Testing and vaccine appointments can be made by calling the clinic appointment line at 781-225-6789.

For up-to-date information on COVID testing, vaccine, and booster availability, or current Hanscom COVID guidance, visit