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COVID-19 Antibody Test

COVID-19 Antibody Test

The CDC recently announced serologic (antibody) testing for COVID-19 exposure. We sat down with Kelly Amann, DO, to ask him exactly what information these tests provide, and when these tests will be available at Ogden Clinic.

Q: Does Ogden Clinic have COVID-19 antibody tests available at this time?

A: We currently have one type of antibody test that’s available – a Coronavirus IgG test through LabCorp. However, this test is not ideal because it does not do a great job at distinguishing between previous strains of Coronavirus and the current strain of COVID-19. For that reason, our providers are advising our patients to wait until mid-May to be tested for COVID-19 antibodies.

This leads us to our good news: Ogden Clinic will be receiving more-accurate COVID-19 tests in the early part of May. We plan to have these tests available to our patients by Monday, May 18, or shortly thereafter.

Q: What are the benefits and caveats to having this test done?

A: First, it is important to understand that this test does not assure immunity to COVID-19 – there is no antibody test that can provide assurance of immunity to COVID-19 at this time. However, it does provide the following benefits and information:

  • It can tell you if you have been exposed to the virus or may have had the illness and recovered.
  • It can help identify healthcare workers who have been exposed to or may have had the illness.
  • It can tell those patients who tested negative using the PCR COVID-19 swab, that they may have had it at some point. This is helpful for inpatients who test negative but have classic signs and symptoms and remain hospitalized.
  • It can tell friends and family members of COVID-19 patients whether or not they have been exposed.

It is also important to note the test cannot be run for an acute illness. The test should be run at least 14 days after the onset of symptoms. Drawing the test earlier on in the disease can present a false negative. It also cannot be used as a measure to return to work or as proof that a patient is no longer contagious.

Q: How is the test performed?

A: It’s a simple blood draw. Schedule an appointment with your provider. Talk with your provider about the test – it can be performed during your visit. Results usually come back within 48 hours.

kelly amann