Updated: May 9, 2020
We are now offering the COVID-19 antibody testing! It is a blood draw, which we can draw at our office, and is run at Sonora Quest Lab. You can also get this done at select Sonora Quest draw stations (we will post those locations on our website). It is meant to be done at least 2 weeks after a possible exposure to the virus or after the start of symptoms. It is reported to be 98.5-99% specific for COVID-19. That means that 1-1.5% of positive tests could possibly come from non-COVID strains (these are very good numbers). A positive test indicates that you have been exposed to the virus, but we don't yet know if that indicates that you are immune to future infections, and if so, how long that immunity would last.
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Antibody testing for COVID-19 is coming out in full force. New York's Governor Cuomo announced today that they will test a sample of 3000 patients to get an idea of how many people there have been infected. The FDA has allowed labs to quickly produce these tests and put them on the market. About 90 companies have already done so, but a current article by the New York Post highlights the concerns about the quality of these tests. We have reviewed some of these test options and have similar concerns. The scientific data known about these tests is summarized in an article in one of our mainstream medical journals, JAMA, or the Journal of the American Medical Association. In The Promise and Peril of Antibody Testing for COVID-19, they discuss the possible uses for the test and the estimated accuracy.
We are offering this test with no charge. Insurance is covering the cost of services related to it, and the federal government is covering the cost to uninsured patients. Visit our COVID-19 page to start the process of testing.