Frequently Asked Questions

Onboarding / Getting Started

Color Site Support is available Monday through Friday 6AM – 5PM PST, Saturday and Sunday 8AM – 4PM PST. Fill out the form at the bottom of this page to reach our team.

The enrollment period is closed, and we’re not currently accepting new entries. Reach out to MA EOHHS for more information on the next enrollment period. 

 

If you’d like to update information you previously submitted, use the Support form at the bottom of this page.

Yes, all testing sites must be added to the Site Setup spreadsheet.

For staff testing, we suggest one or two testing days (or 24-hour periods) every two weeks.

  • A site with three shifts and rotating days of coverage might test during two different 24-hour periods every two weeks.
  • A site with one shift can collect samples during one 24-hour period (i.e., on Wednesdays).


Please note that your organization may request that all affiliated sites test on the same day(s).

 

For resident testing, follow EOHHS guidance on required testing cadence. We recommend testing residents on staff testing days to make return shipping easier.

Please follow the State of MA’s COVID-19 Testing Guidance.

 

View official guidance and the most recent updates under Testing Guidelines on www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-testing-guidance#testing-guidelines.

 

You can also view specific information for congregate care facilities at www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-testing-guidance#guidance-for-congregate-care-surveillance-testing.

Please refer to CDC guidelines, and the recommendations from your local Department of Public Health (DPH) or organization.

Site administrators are expected to run their site’s testing program, including:

  • Registering staff and residents on Color
  • Scanning kit barcodes
  • Packing samples for lab return shipping

To add a new testing site, your organizational contact should send the following information to CovidSites@color.com:

  • Organization Name

  • Site Address 1:

  • Site Address 2:

  • Attn:

  • Site City:

  • Site State: MA

  • Site Zip:

  • Site County:

  • Site Point of Contact: Name (Designate ONLY ONE person):

  • Site Point of Contact: Email Address:

  • Site Point of Contact: MOBILE Phone Number:

  • Estimated number of staff to be tested at this site:

  • Estimated number of residents to be tested at this site:

  • Adult Residents? (Y/N):

  • Minor residents ages 13-17? (Y/N):

  • Minor residents under the age of 13 AND/OR Adult residents under Guardianship? (Y/N):

  • Do you need additional supplies shipped to this site?

  • OPTIONAL: Shipping address if different:

Color will confirm when your new site is configured (available on Color) and will include the registration URL for testing participants. Your organizational contact can then use the Staff Management tool to assign onsite tool users to your new site.


Troubleshooting the onsite tool

You can check your connection strength using www.fast.com. If your connection is strong but still not working on your tablet device, you can force quit the app by double tapping the home button and swiping the app window up. You may need to sign back in to the app.

 

If all else fails, you can use our backup paper intake process. Please note: the lab will discard any samples with a paper form, so you must input any data collected while offline into Color’s onsite tool before the samples arrive to the lab. Shred any paper forms after use to maintain HIPAA compliance.

  1. Go to “Collected” tab
  2. Find the participant and click on their name
  3. Click “Fix a Problem” button in the upper right-hand corner

 

If the participant is present, select “Patient is still onsite” to cancel the current barcode and associate a new one. You can then confirm their information, collect consent, and associate a new sample. 

 

If the participant has left the testing site, select “Patient has left testing site.” This will generate a ticket to Color Support, who will reach out to the participant and inform them that they can return to the site at their earliest convenience to collect another sample.

Unplug and replug in the barcode scanner. If it’s still not working, unplug the barcode scanner and type the barcode number into the app.

If this error occurs for one participant only, please use the backup paper intake process, and add the participant’s information to the onsite toole manually before shipping the sample to the lab.

 

If this error continues for multiple participants, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page and our Support team will contact you immediately to troubleshoot.

  1. Discard the unusable sample and takeaway card into your biohazard trash.
  2. Go to “Collected” tab
  3. Find the participant and click on his/her name
  4. Click “Fix a Problem” button in the upper right-hand corner

 

If the participant is present, then select “Patient is still onsite” to cancel the current barcode and associate a new one. You can then confirm their information, collect consent, and associate a new sample. 

 

If the participant has left the testing site, then select “Patient has left testing site.” This will generate a ticket to Color Support, who will reach out to the participant and inform them that they can return to the site at their earliest convenience to collect another sample.

  1. Discard the unusable sample and takeaway card into your biohazard trash.
  2. Go to “Collected” tab
  3. Find the participant and click on their name
  4. Click “Fix a Problem” button in the upper right-hand corner

 

If the participant is present, then select “Patient is still onsite” to cancel the current barcode and associate a new one. You can then confirm their information, collect consent, and associate a new sample. 

 

If the participant has left the testing site, then select “Patient has left testing site.” This will generate a ticket to Color Support, who will reach out to the participant and inform them that they can return to the site at their earliest convenience to collect another sample.

If the onsite tool and barcode scanner are working, but the barcode cannot be entered with the scanner or manually, grab a new kit, scan that barcode, and collect a new sample. Discard the sample that would not scan.

If you see this error, please try logging out and then back into the onsite tool. If the error persists, you can use our backup paper intake form to record the participant name, barcode number and accession number of the test sample, or simply record the barcode information, and enter the data into the onsite tool later on.

If you’re using a backup method, be sure to enter barcode data into Color before the sample arrives at the lab. The lab is only able to process samples that already have been activated (assigned to a testing participant) in the software.


Color Software

This PDF provides an overview of the URLs you and your team will need to access Color. 

If you need to add or remove admin access for your site, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page with your collection site name and the email(s) of the people to be added or removed.

Sign in to Color or create an account at home.color.com/covid-admin. We’ll send you an email to confirm your email address once you’ve created your account. After confirming, your account is ready for use.

If you’ve attempted to create an account at home.color.com/create-account and your email is not accepted, contact your organization lead, who can request admin access on your behalf via the form at the bottom of this page. Please note that Color will work with organization leads to provision access for new site administrators on a biweekly basis.

If participants register for testing themselves, their profiles are saved and automatically populate as ready for check-in each testing day. After registering, they’ll simply need to provide consent and indicate symptoms on testing days.

 

If participants cannot register for testing themselves, site administrators must “Add Patient” and ask the participant to answer the registration questions verbally during the sample collection process each testing day.

Administrators using Color to register participants can view their name, date of birth (DOB), zip code, sex, email and phone number.

 

Administrators with PHI dashboard access can view name, DOB, zip code, sex, email, phone number, ethnicities, language preference, test result, and whether the patient opened their test result. They’ll also see the sample collection date, report release date, organization, and population/site. 

 

In the aggregate dashboard, administrators cannot view any personally identifiable information (PII) or personal health information (PHI). 

Please email covidsites@color.com letting them know that you’d like to reset your MFA, and include answers to at least two of the following three questions. For security reasons, we need to have you first answer a few questions to verify your identity.

  • What is your current assigned role in the Color platform?

  • What site location (name) are you currently assigned to / working from?

  • When did you receive your initial confirmation email to create a Color account? (You may locate this in the email account associated with your Color account.)

Once the Support team has received your response, they’ll validate your identity and reset your account.


Lab-Based Test Kits & Shipping

Each site is initially provided with a four- or eight-week supply of test kits.

 

Return shipping materials (boxes and inner bags) will be sent every two weeks to sites based on requests and/or usage patterns.

 

Test kits and shipping materials will be automatically resupplied before your initial shipment timeline runs out. If you run out of test kits or shipping materials before your allotted time, please contact your organization lead.

Fill out the form at the bottom of this page and our team will assist you in looking up tracking numbers or re-fulfilling your order.

There is one person designated to order for each site. That person will use the self-serve ordering portal to order kits and return shipping materials. Note that one person may order for multiple sites, at multiple shipping addresses, using the same account. Please see the FAQ for more information.

Yes–please include one manifest that lists all the collection sites and samples.

Yes, you can use a racking box for as few as one test sample. For sites with low shipping volumes, beginning February 3, we will start providing small boxes that hold up to ten samples.

Samples must arrive at the lab within 56 hours of collection. If your samples will not arrive within that window, please destroy the collected samples and retest. Note that staff can deliver samples directly to the Broad lab in Cambridge.

There are specific expiration dates listed on components of the kits. Please destroy any unused, expired kits by placing them in the regular trash.

Testing kits are considered medical devices and are not able to be returned. Please hold on to test kits and ship-back materials in the event you have an outbreak and need to conduct additional testing.

Each drop box is available 24×7. Samples dropped off by 5:30pm each day will be picked up in the nightly courier run and processed quickly at the Broad. Since samples will be couriered, you do not need to place samples in the outer cardboard box–racked or unracked samples should be sealed in the pressurised bags, as normal, with the manifest inside the bag, and then placed in the drop box.


Rapid Testing

No, at present these OTC tests are not reported in your Color platform. The Self-Reported Test Result module is not presently in use.

At present, there was a one-time only distribution of rapid tests. You will be notified if/when rapid tests also can be ordered online.

Expiration dates are being extended beyond what is printed on each package. Expiration dates have been extended by 3 months beyond what is printed on the kits, to at least September 2022. Check https://ihealthlabs.com/pages/news for further updates.

Yes. You may direct people who test positive to https://www.mass.gov/info-details/treatments-for-covid-19 and http://mass.gov/covidtelehealth to see if they qualify for treatment.


Results

If you’re the organization lead, you automatically have results dashboard access. If you’re a site administrator, contact your organization lead, who can request dashboard access on your behalf via a dashboard access form they’ll receive via email.

First, create an account at home.color.com/create-account. Then, log in at home.color.com/admin/covid-dashboard. It may take a few days for your dashboard access to be authorized, so check back if it’s not immediately available. 

The participant and the ordering physician will receive a copy of test results. Color is licensed under the Clinical Lab Improvement Amendments (CLIA), which require our tests to be physician ordered. Results are also transmitted to federal, state and local health agencies as required by law, and may be returned to the organization sponsoring the test with explicit participant consent.

When test results become available, participants receive a text message and/or email notification that links them to a HIPAA-compliant portal to view their results.  They can also visit color.com/covid-test to check the status of their results.

Inconclusive results mean that test results could not be classified as either positive or negative. Unsatisfactory results are issued for invalid or failed samples. In either case, we recommend that the participant re-tests.

At any time, participants can log in at home.color.com/sign-in to check the status of their sample.

  • The ordering provider for the organization has or can be given access to the Provider Portal, from which the results reports can be downloaded.

  • Individual participants can download their own results as well. They can click on the link to color.com from the email / text that notifies them that their result is ready. Alternatively, they can go to http://color.com/covid-test , enter their barcode number and DOB, and view the result and download the report.


Contact our Support team

Program administrators can out this form and a member of our team will be in touch as soon as possible.

In the meantime, check out the FAQ and resources on this site, which we update frequently. You can also email us at covidsites@color.com or call us at (844) 531-0545 every day from 4am-4pm PT.

Testing participants can contact our Support Team at mycovidtest@color.com or by calling (844) 352-6567 everyday from 6am-5pm PT.