How do you test for COVID-19 antibodies?
Our medical team will take a small blood draw from your arm. Once we have your sample, we send it for analysis at a certified lab to learn if you have antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19.
What are antibodies?
Antibodies fight infections. Your immune system produces antibodies in response to an infection like COVID-19. If you have COVID-19 antibodies, it means you may have had or been exposed to COVID-19. With many infections, antibodies mean you have developed an immunity to that infection. However, any level or duration of immunity from COVID-19 antibodies remains unclear due to a lack of clinical data, though more is learned about this virus every day.
Why should I do the test?
If you test positive for COVID-19 antibodies, you may potentially have some amount of immunity to the infection and may be able to move about more safely and confidently. Whether you test negative or positive, you should continue to follow recommendations from your state, local authorities, and public health officials for mitigation of the virus.
How accurate is the antibody test?
A research study from the University of Washington showed that the COVID-19 antibody test we use at HerKare had over 99.9% accuracy in correctly detecting COVID-19 antibodies 17 or more days after symptoms began and correctly eliminated false negatives and false positives.
How much does the COVID-19 antibody test cost?
- The cost of the COVID-19 antibody test included with an annual exam is $60 self-pay. The cost of the annual exam depends on your specific insurance plan or your specific self-pay plan.
- The cost of the COVID-19 antibody test when included with a regular lab visit is $75 self-pay. The cost of your regular lab visit depends on your specific insurance plan or your specific self-pay plan.
Who can be tested?
You can be tested if you’ve had COVID-19 symptoms previously and have been symptom-free for at least three weeks. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Muscle pain
- New loss of taste or smell
When will I know my results?
Your results will be ready in 3-5 days, which is the amount of time it takes for a certified lab to analyze your blood sample. Tests conducted in-clinic by other healthcare providers in “15 minutes or less” have had historically poor accuracy levels and often result in a high percentage of false negative and false positive results. The HerKare medical team does not use these tests because they do not meet our quality standards for accuracy.
Can I just come in for the COVID-19 antibody test?
You must schedule the COVID-19 antibody test as part of a broader lab panel from HerKare clinic, such as during an annual exam or a quarterly lab visit. This is to make testing as efficient and accessible as possible.
What does a negative test result mean?
A negative result can mean the following:
- You haven’t been exposed to the virus
- You haven’t yet developed antibodies to a recent COVID-19 infection
- You were unable to produce an immune response to the COVID-19 virus, which may be due to conditions or treatments that suppress the immune system
- You received a false negative result, which can occur with all tests
What does a positive test result mean?
A positive result can mean the following:
- You were recently infected by COVID-19 and have started to develop antibodies to coronavirus
- You were exposed to the COVID-19 virus and have developed antibodies
- You received a false positive result, which can occur with all tests and could be due to past or present infection with other human coronaviruses
Is this test FDA approved or FDA cleared?
At HerKare, we utilize a COVID-19 antibody test that is FDA authorized under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). This test meets stringent guidelines for detecting antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19. There are not currently any COVID-19 antibody tests that are FDA approved or FDA cleared.
How do I schedule a COVID-19 antibody test?
Call HerKare at (866) 428-1275 to talk to our scheduling team and answer a few eligibility questions.