Covid-19 Antibody Testing FAQ’s

The COVID-19 IgG antibody test, or serology test, is performed with a simple blood draw that may detect the presence of COVID-19 antibodies. In other words, it detects the likelihood of a previous exposure to the COVID-19 virus. This test is not used to diagnose a current COVID-19 infection and does not imply or confirm in any way that you have developed an immunity to the COVID-19 virus. Experts worldwide continue to research and gain knowledge about this novel virus, but at this point, the test will only indicate if you have had exposure to virus in the past.

What Is the Coronavirus Antibody Test?

Also known as SARS-Cov-2 AB, this test checks for the presence of antibodies to coronavirus in the blood. The antibody test is very different from the molecular COVID-19 test, which is done with a nasal swab, and checks for the presence of the COVID-19 virus itself. Antibodies are produced by the immune system after a minimum 14 days post-infection and remain positive long after the infection. This is why antibody tests can be used to detect a past infection with coronavirus.

Who Can Get COVID-19 Antibody Tested?

Health Express is offering antibody testing at several of our urgent care centers for anyone over the age of 10 who has been asymptomatic (not exhibiting any signs or symptoms of active infection) for at least 14 days. Note that it may take approximately 14 days for your body to produce measurable antibodies after exposure. Currently, we can evaluate adults and children 10 years old or older for COVID-19 antibody testing.

How much do the antibody tests cost?

At this time we believe that many insurance companies will cover the cost of the COVID-19 antibody test, butt cannot guarantee coverage. Please confirm with your insurance carrier coverage. There is also a self-pay option. You can call 781-626-5160 for further assistance.

Which Antibodies Will Be Tested?

We utilize the SARS-COV-2 antibody band IgG. IgG turns positive approximately 14 days after infection and tends to persist for over 6 months (likely years).

Where Can I Get the COVID-19 Antibody Test Done?

Health Express is offering the blood test at several of its urgent care locations including:  Abington, Braintree, Pembroke, Plymouth, Quincy and Weymouth

Monday-Friday (9 AM-6PM) and 

Saturdays-Sundays (9 AM-4 PM)

Abington
170 Bedford Street
781-626-5700

Braintree
310 Grove St.
781-626-5320

Pembroke
117 Old Church Street
781-626-5170

Plymouth
59 Long Pond Road
781-626-5180

Quincy
119 Parkingway
781-626-5900

Weymouth
330 Washington Street
781-626-5160

What Safety Precautions are you Taking to Ensure the Safety of Patients?

Each patient entering Health Express is required to wear a mask, and we are happy to provide a mask if needed.  Our staff uses Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in every patient evaluation, and our exam rooms and equipment are thoroughly sanitized after each visit. Additionally, we make every effort to limit the time you spend at our office. When you arrive, you will see signage on the door asking that you call before entering. Our team will provide you with information on your car side triage. We will encourage you to practice social distancing by waiting in your vehicle for your visit.  Our team will call or come and get you when it is time for you to be seen. 

How Long Does it Take to Receive Test Results?

The COVID-19 antibody (IgG) test results are typically delivered in 36-48 hours. Further information will be provided to you with discharge paperwork.

Why is the Antibody Test Helpful?

Antibody tests can play a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 by helping health care professionals identify individuals who may have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 virus and may have developed an immune response. In the future, this may potentially be used to help determine, together with other clinical data, whether these individuals are less susceptible to additional SARS-CoV2 infections.

Antibody test results may also aid in determining who may qualify to donate blood that can be used to manufacture plasma as a possible treatment for those who are seriously ill from COVID-19.

How are Antibody Tests Performed?

Antibody tests are blood tests that are conducted through a simple blood draw. Your blood work wil be sent to Quest for analysis. Expected turnaround time for results is currently 2-3 business days. This may vary. You will be able to check your results on the Quest site: http://myquest.questdiagnostics.com

What Does it Mean if I Have Antibodies?

If you have antibodies to a virus, it means you’ve likely been exposed to components of the virus previously, such as an infection. In general, antibodies may be used by the adaptive immune system to help fight off infections, including exposures to the same infection. We don’t yet know the degree, if any, to which people with Covid-19 antibodies are protected from getting COVID-19 in the future. Ongoing research is looking to answer these questions. Please visit the CDC for more information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

What Does it Mean if I Have a Negative Antibody Test Result?

If you had a negative antibody test, no COVID-19 antibodies were detected in your body.  This means it is very likely that you have never had SARS-CoV2 exposure or infection.  This can happen if you are tested early in your illness and your body hasn’t had time to produce antibodies to infection. 

Is Social Distancing Needed if I Have Antibodies?

YES!, it is important to continue to social distancing and practice proper hygiene since it’s not certain that having antibodiies means that you’re immune to subsequent infection from the COVID-19 virus. Furthermore, people can transmit viral particles on their hands, face, other areas of the body, and clothes, even if not infected. This can then increase the risk of infection to others.

Is It FDA Approved?

No. There are currently NO FDA-approved SAR-Cov2 antibody tests available, however, several tests have Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)—or FDA-regulated that may be used in the event of a potential public health emergency stemming from a naturally occurring emerging disease.Health Express is using an Abbott designed test with AEU approval. They are on the forefront of antibody testing and a biopharmaceutical company based in the United States

https://www.abbott.com/corpnewsroom/product-and-innovation/abbott-launches-covid-19-antibody-test.html

Does Positive Test Mean Immunity?

No. While the test will hopefully help us to map the virus and eventually determine immunity, at this time the antibody test does not confirm true immunity to COVID-19. We do not know how long antibodies to SARS-CoVv-2 exist in your body after infection. And, we do not know if these antibodies will protect you from getting COVID-19 again. It is imperative to continue social distancing, hand hygiene and follow current CDC guidelines at all times: Visit the CDC Corona Virus Web