COVID-19 Testing FAQ

Schedule your drive-through COVID-19 test appointment directly via myD-H patient portal at mydh.org or the MyChart app.

You will not receive a medical screening at this appointment.

Please review all of the important information below before you schedule your appointment.

To use direct scheduling, you must have a myD-H account. Register for a myD-H account here if you don’t have one yet—you do not have to be an established Cheshire Medical Center or D-HH patient.

What's on this page?

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Cheshire's COVID-19 community testing program.

Based on where I live, do I meet the residency requirements to be tested through this community program?

You need to be a resident within the Monadnock Public Health Region, or currently have a Cheshire Medical Center provider to be tested at Cheshire Medical Center.

If you don't meet these requirements, The Keene Sentinel maintains a list of local pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccinations and testing here.

Here are some other locations (PDF) in New Hampshire that are offering COVID-19 tests.

Where else can I get a COVID-19 test?

If you don't meet the residency requirements or would like to see other test locations, here are some pharmacies and other options for COVID-19 testing in New Hampshire.

When should I be tested for COVID-19?

Anyone may be tested, but patients with active symptoms may be given priority. Please see the CDC's Symptoms of Coronavirus page for more up-to-date information.

Get tested if

  • If you develop symptoms that may be COVID-19, even if you have been fully vaccinated. Notify any close contacts during your infectious period. 
  • If you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19 but do not develop symptoms. NH DHHS recommends you schedule a test 3-5 days after exposure. Some people do not experience symptoms but test positive and are infectious, so need to self-isolate instead of quarantine. For more information, see our Exposure and Symptoms page.

If you have been fully vaccinated, please get tested if you have been exposed to COVID-19. The new Delta COVID-19 variant can infect some vaccinated people who can spread the virus to others without getting sick, themselves. 

As of 7/27/21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends: Fully vaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be tested 3-5 days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.

What type of COVID-19 test is this? How is it given?

We use the SalivaDirect PCR test, except in rare exceptions (such as very young children)

To prepare for the SalivaDirect COVID-19 test

  • At least 30 minutes prior to sample collection: avoid drinks, food, smoking, nasal sprays, teeth cleaning, and chewing gum.
  • At least 10 minutes prior to collection: do NOT consume water. 
  • Follow these five easy steps to collect saliva for the test: Saliva Collection Steps (PDF)

NOT FOLLOWING THESE DIRECTIONS COULD INTERFERE WITH THE TEST. 

The SalivaDirect PCR test was developed by the Yale School of public health - view FDA EUA given in August 2020 and updated in June 2021. Some viral misinformation recently misinterpreted a CDC Alert that simply requests any labs still using the original PCR test developed by the CDC cease using it in favor of more advanced tests, such as the SalivaDirect PCR.

Do you have information for children to prepare them for the test?

To prepare your child for what to expect, we recommend watching this video from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

What are the risks and benefits of getting a test?

Potential risks include:

  • It is possible that this test can give a positive result that is wrong (a false-positive result).
  • It is possible for this test to give a negative result that is incorrect (false negative).

Potential benefits include:

  • The results can help your healthcare provider make informed recommendations about your care.
  • The results of this test may help limit the spread of COVID-19 to your family and others in your community.

What if I have questions about COVID-19?

Please review this page for the most up-to-date COVID-19 information and FAQs.

How do I schedule an appointment?

To request an appointment for COVID-19 testing, you must meet the residency requirements (you have a provider at Cheshire or live in the Monadnock Region Public Health Region).

The best way to schedule an appointment is through the myD-H patient portal or your myD-H MyChart app.

Click here to sign up for myD-H.

Once you have created an account, do the following:

  • Click on Menu > Schedule an Appointment
  • Under "Tell Us Why You’re Coming In" scroll down to COVID-19 Test > Keene
  • Answer questions
  • Select your appointment from the options

OR

If you’re not able to use myD-H or myChart to self-schedule an appointment, please call your provider’s office.

For information in Spanish, call 1-833-625-9604 and a Spanish interpreter will answer and interpret calls.

Test results are generally available within 2-5 days through the myD-H patient portal and myChart app. If you do not already use myD-H, sign up for an account.

Who should I contact about scheduling appointments for my business, school, or other organization?

Please send an email to chepublichealth@cheshire-med.com with your request and as much detail as possible. Someone will respond to your email within 2 business days.

Where do I go if I have an appointment?

Scheduled appointments take place in the Employee Parking Lot of our main campus at 580 Court Street in Keene, NH. View map to testing site (PDF).

What do I do when I arrive for my scheduled appointment time?

To keep everyone safe, please do the following:

  • Follow the instructions on the signs.
  • Stay in your car the entire time.
  • Keep windows shut unless you are directed to open them.
  • You are required to wear a face mask.

How much does the test cost, and what if I don’t have insurance?

The test costs $150. Cheshire will bill your insurance.

If you don’t have insurance or do not have full benefits for COVID-19 testing, apply for the NH COVID-19 Testing Benefit. If you need help applying for this benefit, let us know. Nobody will be turned away based on their ability to pay.

How long does it take to get my test result and how can I get this information?

Your test result will be available within 2 to 3 business days. To receive your results, check your myD-H account. This is the fastest way to get your result. If you need to sign up for a myD-H account, click here to register. We will also mail your result via USPS to your address on file.

Please do not call to find out whether your result is positive or negative. The attendants answering the phone line do not have access to this information.

  • If your result is positive, you will be notified via your myD-H account (preferred, so that you can easily see written educational materials), phone, or US mail. You’ll receive information on how to manage your illness, monitor your symptoms, and protect your loved ones. Please be sure to check your myD-H messages regularly.
  • If your result is negative, you will not receive a call. You will be notified via myD-H or US mail. A negative test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing or that your sample was collected too early in your infection. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. You could also be exposed to COVID-19 after the test and then get infected and spread the virus to others.

What should I do while waiting for my test result?

What should I do if I receive a positive test result?

What if I receive a negative test result?

  • You were probably not infected at the time your sample was collected.
  • However, that does not mean you will not get sick.
  • It is possible that you were very early in your infection when your sample was collected and that you could test positive later.
  • If you were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and you are NOT fully vaccinated, continue to quarantine for 10 days from the date of exposure.Review New Hampshire DHHS Quarantine requirements.
  • If you were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and you ARE fully vaccinated but do NOT have symptoms, you do not have to quarantine. However you do need to wear a mask indoors and around others for 14 days. This is because you may still develop COVID-19 and spread the virus to others without having any symptoms, yourself.

Other important information

Seek emergency medical care immediately if you have:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility. Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

This initiative was financed under a contract with the State of New Hampshire, Department of Health and Human Services, with funds provided in part by the State of New Hampshire and/or such other funding sources as were available or required, e.g., the United States Department of Health and Human Services.