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How To Order Your Labs

1. Order Labs
Order online or over the phone:  1-877-511-LABS.

No doctor or consultation visit is needed. We include the required doctors order with all our testing. 

You will not incur any additional charges at the lab. Our prices are all inclusive.

2. Find Lab Near You

Find a LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics location near you on our Lab Locator. After ordering your lab testing, you will receive an email with your lab requisition.  Bring this requisition form (printed or on phone) to the laboratory.

No appointment is needed, but making one can minimize the wait time. 

3. Lab Results Ready

We’ll email you when your results are ready. You can access the test results logging into our portal with your secure account.

Most results take 1-2 days, but some take longer. See the test description for an estimate on how long your results might take.

Certain result values may prompt a phone call from our ordering provider to ensure the patient is aware of their result.

Check status of your results on the "Where are my results" page.

Coronavirus Antibody Test Near You

What is a COVID-19 antibody test?  This test checks for a type of antibody called immunoglobulin G (IgG). If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, your body produces IgG antibodies as part of the immune response to the virus. This test cannot tell you if you have an active infection. If you suspect you have COVID-19, follow up with your healthcare provider about getting a PCR test.

This is a qualitative test: gives a positive or negative result

Order a COVID-19 Antibody Test:

SARS-CoV-2 Serology (COVID-19) Antibody (IgG)

Test Details

SARS-CoV-2 Serology (COVID-19) Antibody (IgG) Information and Order for $129

If you feel like you are having a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.

If you are experiencing severe trouble breathing, continuous pain or pressure in your chest, feeling confused or having difficulty waking up, blue-colored lips or face, or any other emergency signs or symptoms, please seek immediate medical care.

When you are infected by a virus, your body's immune system develops antibodies to fight the infection. These antibodies remain in your blood once you have recovered from the illness. Antibodies typically provide immunity against future infection. Diagnostic tests such as the COVID-19 test are serological tests that detect the presence of antibodies in blood samples.

Antibody testing is not to diagnose or exclude SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Patient service centers perform sample collection according to the health and safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.) To get tested you must:

1. Complete eligibility questionnaire regarding current symptoms, existing conditions, COVID-19 PCR test results, and demographics
2. Be asymptomatic for at least 10 days prior to testing
3. Not have a fever (will be confirmed by non-contact thermometer)
4. Wear a face mask during visit to patient service center
5. Make an appointment at patient service center

If your test results are abnormal, PWNHealth’s Care Coordination Team may attempt to contact you to notify you of your results and schedule a telehealth consult with a physician or other healthcare provider.

After you receive your results, you will have an opportunity to have a telehealth consult with an independent licensed physician or other healthcare provider from PWNHealth, who can answer any questions you may have about your test results and help determine next steps.

An independent physician will determine whether to authorize your test request, if appropriate.

This test has not been approved by the FDA.  Negative results do not rule out SARS-CoV-2 infection, particularly in those who have been in contact with the virus. Follow-up testing with a molecular diagnostic should be considered to rule out infection in these individuals.  Results from antibody testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude SARS-CoV-2 infection or to inform infection status. Positive results may be due to past or present infection with non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strains, such as coronavirus HKU1, NL63, OC43, or 229E.

Who should get a COVID-19 antibody test?

An independent physician will determine whether to authorize your test request, if appropriate.

This test may be right for you if you:

  • Have been diagnosed with COVID-19, it has been at least 10 days since your diagnosis, and you want to know if you have IgG antibodies.
  • Have not had symptoms and have not had a known exposure to COVID-19 within the last 10 days but want to see if you have IgG antibodies.
  • Have had or suspect you’ve had COVID-19 but have not experienced any new symptoms in the past 10 days.
  • Have had or suspect you’ve had COVID-19 but have not experienced a fever in the past 24 hours.

Current research shows that it may be best to get antibody testing 3 to 4 weeks after symptom onset or known exposure to COVID-19 to lower the chance of receiving a false positive or false negative result.

Who should not get a COVID-19 antibody test?

This test may NOT be right for you if you:

  • Are feeling sick or have had a fever within the last 24 hours.
  • Are trying to diagnose COVID-19.
  • Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 less than 10 days ago.
  • Were directly exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in the past 14 days.
  • Have a condition that weakens your immune system.

What will a COVID-19 antibody test tell me?

This test may help identify if you were exposed to the virus and, if so, whether or not your body has IgG antibodies against COVID-19. Although having antibodies usually gives immunity from further infection, there is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future COVID-19 infection. Results from this test also will not provide any information on whether you can spread the virus to others.

If you have questions about returning to work, contact your employer for guidance. Be sure to continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing and isolation.

Why choose COVID-19 antibody testing from Health Testing Centers?

  • Private, confidential testing
  • Results typically in days via secure account login
  • Since 1980, Health Testing Centers has served over 100,000 patients
  • Thousands of lab tests available, including Doctor's oversight, from allergy to vitamin testing
  • 3,500 convenient testing locations
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Antibody) Test FAQs

What is coronavirus?

Are there any limitations to COVID-19 antibody tests?

Getting an antibody test too soon after being infected may cause a false negative result. Additionally, some individuals who are infected with COVID-19 may not develop detectable levels of IgG antibodies, such as those with weakened immune systems due to a medical condition or certain medications.

This test may detect IgG antibodies from previous exposure to coronaviruses other than COVID-19, which can cause a false positive result.

What guidance does the FDA provide regarding COVID-19 antibody testing?

Antibody testing can play a critical role in the fight against COVID-19. It can help identify individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and have developed an immune response. Using antibody tests and clinical follow-up can also provide more information on immunity against COVID-19 for research and medical developments for the virus.

Having antibodies usually gives immunity from further infection. However, there is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have these antibodies are protected against future COVID-19 infection. Experience with other viruses suggests that individuals who have antibodies may be able to resume work and other daily activities in society, as long as they are recovered and not currently infected with the virus.

How is a COVID-19 antibody test performed?

This test is conducted by collecting a blood sample (such as from a finger prick or needle draw).

How do I prepare for the test?

You do not need to do anything to prepare for the test. You do not need to fast or stop taking any medications before testing. Further instructions will be provided to you at the lab or in your test kit.

Who is at high risk of getting very sick?

Severe cases are more likely to occur in older adults (65 years of age and older), as well as pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, and those with underlying health issues (such as lung disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart conditions, stroke, kidney disease or on dialysis, liver disease, cancer, transplant, AIDS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis). However, serious illness can also occur in young, healthy adults.

Am I at risk of getting COVID-19?

COVID-19 is very contagious. The risk of getting COVID-19 depends on many factors, including close contact with people who have symptoms of COVID-19. It is important to follow your federal, state, and local government guidance to protect yourself from exposure.

Where can I get more information?

For additional information about serology testing, visit the ​FDA website​ ​or the ​CDC website​. For additional information about COVID-19, ​see our FAQs​ below or ​visit the PWNHealth website​.

General FAQs

General COVID-19 FAQs

 

What is coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus disease (also called COVID-19) is an infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus), one of the most recently discovered types of coronaviruses. Those who have this disease may or may not experience symptoms, which range from mild to severe.

 

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 spreads easily from person-to-person, even when an infected person is not showing symptoms. When an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, droplets containing the virus go into the air. These droplets can be inhaled or land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, exposing them to the virus.

People may also be exposed to COVID-19 by touching their eyes, nose, or mouth after touching a surface with the virus on it. Although this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, researchers are still learning more about COVID-19.

 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after being exposed to the virus. The most common symptoms include:

● Fever

● Cough

● Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Cases of COVID-19 range from mild to severe. Some people who are infected don’t have any symptoms and don’t feel sick. ​Most people​ have mild symptoms. Visit the ​CDC website​ for more information about symptoms.

Who is at high risk of getting very sick?

Severe cases are more likely to occur in the following people:

● Older adults (the older you are, the higher your risk for severe illness from COVID-19).

● People of any age with underlying medical conditions.

It is important to note that serious illness can also occur in young, healthy adults. If you have questions about your risk, talk to your healthcare provider. For more information, you can also visit the ​CDC website​.

 

Am I at risk of getting COVID-19?

COVID-19 is very contagious. The risk of getting COVID-19 depends on many factors, including close contact with people who have symptoms of COVID-19. It is important to follow your federal, state, and local government guidance to protect yourself from exposure.

 

How is COVID-19 treated?

There is currently no treatment for COVID-19. Not all patients with COVID-19 will require medical attention, and most people recover within 2 weeks without any specific treatment. For severe cases, hospitalization and respiratory support may be required. For mild cases, treatment focuses on managing symptoms.

 

How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

The best way to protect yourself is to avoid situations in which you may be exposed to the virus. Everyday actions can help protect you and prevent the spread of respiratory diseases such as COVID-19.

● Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

● Restrict any activities outside your home and maintain a safe distance (around 6 feet)

between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This includes avoiding crowded areas, shopping malls, religious gatherings, public transportation, etc.

● Wear simple cloth face coverings in public settings (like grocery stores and pharmacies) where social distancing is difficult, especially in areas where COVID-19 is spreading.

● Stay home when you are sick, unless you are seeking medical care.

● Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (including tables, doorknobs,

light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and

sinks).

● Wash your hands often​ with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

● Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t

available. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

● Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

 

How can I prevent spreading COVID-19?

If you believe you may have COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 and have mild symptoms, the following steps can help prevent the disease from spreading to others:

● Stay home except to get medical care

- Take care of yourself by getting rest and staying hydrated

- Over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen, may help you feel better

- Avoid public areas, including work and school

- Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis

- Stay in touch with your healthcare provider

● Separate yourself from other people

- Stay in a separate room and away from other people and pets in your home

- If possible, use a separate bathroom

- If you need to be around other people or animals, wear a face covering

● Cover your nose and mouth

- If you are sick, wear a face covering when you are around other people or pets

- Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw away used tissues in a lined trash can

● Clean your hands often

- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, going to the bathroom, or before eating or preparing food

- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol

- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, and other people with unwashed hands

● Do not share

- Do not share dishes, cups/glasses, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or electronicswith other people

- After using personal items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water or put in the dishwasher

● Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day

- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your separate “sick room” and bathroom

- If possible, wear disposable gloves while cleaning

- Someone else should clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas

- If a caregiver or someone else needs to clean and disinfect, it should be done on an as-needed basis

- Caregivers should wear a face covering and disposable gloves

- Clean and disinfect areas that might have blood, stool, or bodily fluids on them

 

When should I seek medical care?

If you think you have been exposed, it is important to closely monitor for symptoms. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop severe symptoms, especially if you experience:

● Severe trouble breathing (such as being unable to talk without gasping for air)

● Continuous pain or pressure in your chest

● Feeling confused or having difficulty waking up

● Blue-colored lips or face

● Any other emergency signs or symptoms

If you seek medical attention, be sure to call ahead before visiting the facility. This will help the facility keep other people from possibly getting infected or exposed.

● Tell any healthcare provider that you may have COVID-19.

● Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

● Put on a facemask before you enter any healthcare facility.

 

What is social distancing?

Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. It includes:

● Staying at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people

● Not gathering in groups

● Staying out of crowded places and avoiding mass gatherings

Social distancing is one of the best ways to avoid being exposed and to help slow the spread of the virus. It is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Be sure to continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing.

 

Should I self-quarantine or self-isolate? How does it work?

If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, it is very important to stay home and limit your interaction with others in your household and in public. ​If you have previously tested positive for COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months, as long as you do not develop symptoms.

● If you have not been tested but may have been exposed to COVID-19, self-monitoring and self-quarantine is recommended to see if you get sick.

● If you have symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19, self-isolation is recommended so that you do not pass the virus to others.

For more information on self-isolation and self-quarantine, click here

 

If you believe you have symptoms of COVID-19 or that you have been exposed to the virus, you should consult your place of work for specific guidance about whether to stay home or continue working. You should adhere to recommendations set forth by your employer or the department of health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines.

 

What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Isolation and quarantine are both ways to limit your interaction with others to prevent the spread of disease.

● Isolation is separating individuals with COVID-19 from people who are not sick. Individuals are separated for a period of time until they are no longer infectious.

● Quarantine is separating individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 but haven’t been tested. They are separated for a brief period of time (14 days after possible exposure) to see if they develop symptoms.

For more information on self-isolation and self-quarantine, click here 

If you believe you have symptoms of COVID-19 or that you have been exposed to the virus, you should consult your place of work for specific guidance about whether to stay home or continue working.​ ​You should adhere to recommendations set forth by your employer or the department of health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines.

 

If someone in my household has to quarantine, should I quarantine as well?

If someone in your household is told to quarantine because they’ve been exposed to COVID-19, you should quarantine as well. This is especially true if you’ve been in close contact with that person. It’s possible for you to have the virus even if you don’t have symptoms. Quarantine should last 14 days from your last close contact with this person in order to see whether you develop symptoms. Limit close contact with others as much as possible (stay at least 6 feet apart) and avoid having any unnecessary visitors, especially people who are at high risk of severe illness. ​You do not need to quarantine if you have had COVID-19 in the last 3 months, have recovered, and do not have symptoms.​ If you have questions, contact your healthcare provider for additional information.

 

 

Is there a difference between stopping isolation vs. stopping quarantine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ​guidelines ​​recommend considering different factors when deciding to stop isolation or quarantine​:

● Those who have been​ ​infected with COVID-19​ should isolate. They may be able to stop isolating once symptoms have improved, and it has been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared. ​Some symptoms such as loss of taste or smell may last for weeks or months and should not delay ending isolation. ​Those who have never had symptoms may be able to stop isolating 10 days after testing. However, those who had severe illness from COVID-19, or people with a weakened immune system, may need to isolate longer than 10 days or may require testing to determine when they can be around others.

● Those who have​ been possibly​ exposed to COVID-19​ should quarantine. They may be able to stop quarantining if they don’t develop symptoms, and it has been at least 14 days after possible exposure. ​However, those who’ve been possibly exposed to COVID-19 but ​have already had COVID-19 in the last 3 months, recovered, and do not have symptoms, do not need to quarantine.

Please note that it’s possible for a person ​diagnosed w​ith COVID-19 to stop isolation before someone ​possibly exposed​ can stop quarantining.

 

When can I stop in-home isolation?

If you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19, please check with your primary healthcare provider or local health department to help determine when it’s right to stop isolation. Typically this is done when fever and symptoms improve and​​ 10 days have passed since symptoms started​. Some symptoms, such as loss of taste or smell, may last for weeks or months and should not delay ending isolation. If you do not have symptoms, you may be able to stop isolating​ 10 days after your ​test ​was performed​. Be sure to continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing and isolation. For more information, please visit the ​CDC website​.

 

Can someone who has had COVID-19 become infected again?

Reinfection with COVID-19 has not been confirmed in any individual that has recovered. Whether an individual can be reinfected remains unknown and is under investigation. A positive PCR test result during the 90 days after illness started is most likely from the initial infection rather than reinfection. Visit the ​CDC website​ for further information.

 

What is “prolonged viral shedding”?

Prolonged viral shedding is what happens when parts of a virus are detectable in a person for a period of time even after they’ve recovered from an illness. For some individuals who had or have COVID-19, the virus may be in their test samples for up to 3 months. Retesting during this time period is not recommended. However, if an individual starts having symptoms consistent with COVID-19 during this period and other illnesses are ruled out, a healthcare provider or infectious disease expert may consider additional testing. The best available evidence suggests that most individuals who have recovered are likely no longer infectious, but there is not enough evidence at this time to confirm this. If you have questions, contact your healthcare provider for additional information.

 

Are the rates for COVID-19 higher in the Black and Hispanic communities?  Am I more likely to get COVID-19 if I’m Black and/or Hispanic?

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown that there is a higher burden of illness and death from COVID-19 among certain racial and ethnic minority groups. Based on ​data from New York City​, Black and Hispanic people have more cases of COVID-19, as well as higher rates of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19 than White and Asian people. More studies are underway to confirm this data and reduce the impact of COVID-19 on these communities.

Whether or not you get infected with COVID-19 depends on a number of factors. The good news is that you can control many of these factors. Visit the ​CDC website​ for more information.

 

Why are certain racial and ethnic minority groups impacted more by COVID-19?

Recent data suggests that COVID-19 has a greater impact on certain racial and ethnic minority groups. Health differences are often due to social and economic conditions. In public health emergencies, these conditions can isolate people from the resources they need to prepare for and respond to outbreaks.

Some conditions contribute to a higher risk of getting sick with COVID-19 for certain racial and ethnic minority groups. These conditions include:

● Some racial and ethnic minority groups are more likely to live in densely populated areas and have multi-generational households, making it difficult to practice prevention and social distancing.

● Racially segregated and medically underserved neighborhoods are linked to more underlying health conditions. These groups have higher rates of chronic conditions — such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease — that increase the severity of COVID-19.

● Some racial and ethnic minority groups are less likely to have health insurance and have distrust of the medical system, making them less likely to seek care when they are sick.

● Some racial and ethnic minority groups are critical workers or work jobs where they do not receive paid sick leave, making it more likely they will continue to work even when they are sick.

● Some racial and ethnic minority groups are overrepresented in jails, prisons, and detention centers, which have specific risks due to close living quarters, shared food services, etc.

● Some racial and ethnic minority groups don’t speak English or speak English as a second language, sometimes creating a barrier when it comes to access to care.

What is being done to help lower illness and death rates in certain racial and ethnic minority groups?

Researchers as well as state and federal governments are currently monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases, complications, and deaths in minority groups, which will help improve the management of patients, distribution of resources, and public health information.

Additionally, there are many resources available within the community, such as free and low-cost health services, grocery delivery services, and educational materials. Please contact your healthcare provider or local health department for more information.

 

I am Black and/or Hispanic. What can I do to lower my chances of getting COVID-19?

The best way to protect yourself is to avoid situations in which you may be exposed to the virus. If you or someone you care for is at higher risk of getting sick with COVID-19, ​take steps​ to protect them, as well as yourself, from getting sick. These steps include:

● Stay home and follow isolation practices

● Wash your hands often

● Stay away from people you know are sick

● Wear simple cloth face coverings in public settings

 

How does COVID-19 affect pregnant women?

COVID-19 can affect pregnant women as well as nonpregnant women. There is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that pregnant women have a higher risk of getting COVID-19. However, studies show that pregnant women may have a higher risk of developing more severe illness. There may also be an increased risk of issues during pregnancy, such as premature birth.

 

What should I do if I am pregnant and believe I have COVID-19?

If you’re pregnant and think you may have COVID-19, you should contact your healthcare provider to discuss next steps in your care. If you’re in labor and think you have COVID-19, call ahead and notify your hospital or birthing center prior to your arrival so that the healthcare professionals at the facility can take proper precautions to protect you, workers, and other patients.

 

What are hospitals and birthing centers doing for women who develop COVID-19 symptoms while still in their facility?

Hospitals and birthing centers should implement proper disease control practices to help control and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Practices should include testing pregnant women or women who have recently given birth who develop symptoms of COVID-19 while in the hospital. These healthcare facilities should limit the number of visitors to pregnant women or women who have recently given birth who have or are suspected of having COVID-19. Visitors should also be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to entry.

Are people with HIV at higher risk for COVID-19 infection than other people?

Based on limited data at this time, people with HIV who are on effective HIV treatment have the same risk for COVID-19 infection as people who do not have HIV.

Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at increased risk​ for severe illness from COVID-19. This includes people who have weakened immune systems. Individuals with HIV are at greater risk of getting very sick if they have a low CD4 cell count or are not on effective HIV treatment.

 

What can people with HIV do to protect themselves from COVID-19?

The best way to prevent getting sick is to avoid exposure to the virus. If you have HIV, it’s important to continue taking your HIV medicine and follow the advice of your healthcare provider. You should also eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and ​reduce your stress as much as possible​. Staying healthy helps your immune system fight off infection. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, you should also take ​these everyday preventive actions​.

 

If I have HIV and also have a higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, what can I do to protect myself?

People with HIV have higher rates of certain underlying health conditions. These conditions, as well as older age, can ​increase the risk​ for more severe illness if people with HIV get COVID-19. This is especially true for people with advanced HIV.

 

In addition to following the same recommended safety precautions as everyone else, people with HIV should also take the following steps:

● Keep a 30- to 90-day supply of your HIV medicine on hand, as well as any other medicines or medical supplies you need for managing HIV. Ask your healthcare provider if you can receive your medicine by mail.

● Make sure you get all necessary vaccinations, including ​seasonal flu​ and bacterial pneumonia, as these conditions affect people with HIV more often.

● In case you need to isolate, ask your healthcare provider about telemedicine and other remote care options.

● Talk to your healthcare provider about what happens if you do become infected by COVID-19. Make a plan for how you will delay your routine medical and lab visits until follow-up testing and monitoring are possible.

Antibody Test-Specific FAQs

What is the purpose of COVID-19 antibody testing?

On an individual level, an antibody test looks for antibodies in the blood. Your immune system makes antibody proteins to help fight infections. If you were exposed to COVID-19, an antibody test will show whether or not you’ve developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. An antibody test cannot tell you whether you have a current COVID-19 infection.

On a population level, antibody testing can give researchers a sense of how many people have been exposed to and infected by COVID-19. In the future, antibody testing may show whether someone has immunity against COVID-19, meaning that they cannot get infected again. If antibodies make people immune to COVID-19, it can help inform leaders and public health officials about whether the population has reached herd immunity. Herd immunity is when a large percentage of a population has become immune to COVID-19, which can protect those people who are not immune.

 

What are the different types of antibodies? Do they offer different types of immunity?

There are three different types of antibodies: IgM, IgG, and IgA.

● Immunoglobulin M (IgM) is usually produced as the body’s first response to an infection.

However, for COVID-19, IgM antibodies are produced around the same time as IgG antibodies. Generally, IgM may provide short-term protection and can help tell if an individual has been recently infected.

● Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is the most common type of antibody. It’s usually made several days to weeks after most infections. However, for COVID-19, IgG antibodies are produced around the same time as IgM antibodies. Generally, IgG remains in the body and may provide long-term protection against future exposure.

● Immunoglobulin A (IgA) is found in the blood, sinuses, lungs, and stomach. Generally, IgA helps protect these areas from infection. However, it’s unknown what role these antibodies play in determining exposure or immunity to COVID-19.

There is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have these antibodies are protected against future COVID-19 infections. Visit the ​CDC website​ for further information.

 

When do antibodies develop?

Based on the most current research, antibodies develop around 1 to 3 weeks after infection from COVID-19. However, this varies by individual, and some people may take a longer time to develop antibodies.

 

Do all COVID-19 antibody tests look for the same types of antibodies?  Is there any advantage in getting one type of antibody test over another?

All COVID-19 antibody tests look for antibodies in the blood specific to the virus. There are antibody tests that look for one specific antibody (such as an IgG test). Other antibody tests look for the presence of multiple antibodies (such as a total antibody test). Both types of tests are used to help identify if you have been exposed to the virus. However, there seems to be no advantage in using one test over another. At this time, IgM and IgG antibodies are the most useful for assessing antibody response to COVID-19 because little is known about IgA antibody response in the blood.

 

Can antibody tests be used to diagnose a COVID-19 infection?

Antibody tests do not show whether a person is currently infected. A molecular (PCR) test is a more reliable indicator of current COVID-19 infection.

 

My COVID-19 antibody test was positive, but I’m still having symptoms. What should I do?

If you’re having symptoms of COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider or local health department to get tested for active infection. The antibody test can only tell you if you’ve been exposed and have developed an immune response, but it cannot say whether you have an active infection.

 

My COVID-19 antibody test was negative, but I previously tested positive for COVID-19 or was exposed. Is my result incorrect?

Getting an antibody test too soon after being infected may cause a false negative result. It usually takes around 1 to 3 weeks after being infected with COVID-19 for your body to produce enough antibodies to be detected in the blood. Some people may take even longer to develop antibodies or may not develop enough antibodies to be detected by the test. It is recommended that you contact your healthcare provider or local health department to see if retesting is needed.

 

If my COVID-19 antibody test is positive, can I get sick again with COVID-19?

If your test results show that you’re positive for COVID-19 antibodies in the blood, it means you’ve likely been exposed to COVID-19. Although having antibodies usually gives immunity from further infection, there is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have these antibodies are protected against future COVID-19 infections.

 

What is the chance that my COVID-19 antibody test result was a false positive?

False positives occur when a person tests positive even though they DO NOT have the antibodies for COVID-19. There is a small chance that the result could be a false positive. Manufacturers must demonstrate a high specificity of approximately 99% to 100% to ensure validation of their test. ​If you have additional questions, please contact the lab directly for more information.

 

If I had more severe symptoms of COVID-19, will I have a higher antibody level?

Some studies have shown that individuals with more severe symptoms develop higher antibody levels. However, although having antibodies usually gives immunity from future infection, there is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have higher amounts of these antibodies are better protected against future COVID-19 infections.

 

Can I have antibodies if I did not have any symptoms of COVID-19?

You can have antibodies from an asymptomatic COVID-19 infection. An asymptomatic infection is when you are infected but do not show any symptoms.

Can my antibody value change over time?

It usually takes 1 to 3 weeks for antibodies to be detected in your blood. Because antibodies develop over time, it’s possible that your antibody levels can change depending on when you tested.

My antibody value is low. Should I get retested to see if my result will change?

It usually takes 1 to 3 weeks for antibodies to be detected in your blood. Because antibodies develop over time, it’s possible that your antibody levels can change depending on when you tested. However, this varies by individual. Talk with your healthcare provider or local health department about your results to see if retesting is advised.

 

What does an indeterminate COVID-19 antibody test result mean?

If your test result is indeterminate for COVID-19 antibodies in the blood, this means that the results were neither positive nor negative. You will likely need to be retested in order to confirm whether or not you have antibodies in the blood. An indeterminate result can happen if you do not have enough antibodies in your blood for the test to detect, such as if you test too soon after becoming infected. This result can also happen if there was a problem with your sample or the test itself.

 

Based on the results of my antibody test, do I need to continue social distancing and/or wearing a mask? Can I visit someone who is at risk for severe symptoms of the virus?

At this time, there is no test that can tell you when to stop social distancing or isolating. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider about next steps and continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing and COVID-19 safety precautions. You should also use caution or avoid visiting at-risk individuals like those above the age of 65 or with pre-existing medical conditions.

 

If I have antibodies, am I a good candidate for donating plasma?

People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are encouraged to consider donating plasma. You must be completely recovered from symptoms for at least 14 days prior to donation. If you have additional questions, please contact the donation center directly for more information.

 

General Test FAQs

How do I know if the COVID-19 test is accurate and reliable?

PWNHealth only uses COVID-19 tests that have received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). These ​authorized ​approved​ tests minimize the chance of inaccurate, false positive, or false negative results. The FDA has found that tests that meet certain standards are of superior quality and have high sensitivity and specificity* (measurements of accuracy).

PWNHealth will not use tests that have been shown to have low sensitivity and specificity.​ ​For additional information, please reach out to the lab directly.

*​Actual sensitivity and specificity may vary between test manufacturers. A sample that is not properly collected may also result in an inaccurate result.

 

What is the difference between an antibody test and a PCR test?

An antibody test checks to see if you’ve developed antibodies against COVID-19, which occurs after being exposed to the virus. Antibody tests do not show whether a person is currently infected.

PCR tests check for genetic material (viral RNA) produced by the virus. It determines if you’re currently infected and can spread COVID-19 to others.

 

When would I get an antibody test vs. a PCR test?

You should get an antibody test if you’ve been previously exposed or believe you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and want to see if you have developed antibodies.

You should get a PCR test if you think you have an active COVID-19 infection Visit the ​CDC website​ for more information.

 

If I’m having symptoms of COVID-19 or believe I’ve been exposed to it, what type of test should I get?

If you’re currently having symptoms of COVID-19 or have recently been exposed, you should get a PCR test to see if you’re currently infected.

 

Can an antibody test be used instead of a PCR test to diagnose COVID-19?

Antibody tests do not show whether a person is currently infected. Therefore, they should not be used in place of a PCR test to diagnose a current infection.

 

Can an antibody test be used together with a PCR test?

Antibody tests can complement PCR tests by providing information about exposure and how the immune system responds to ​COVID-19​ infections.

 

Can a COVID-19 test tell me when I can visit someone who is at risk for severe symptoms of the virus?

There is no test that can tell you when you can visit someone who is at risk for more severe symptoms of COVID-19. Check with your primary healthcare provider or local health department to help determine when the time is right to make such visits. Be sure to continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing and COVID-19 safety precautions.

 

What is the difference between Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval?

The FDA has the authority to grant Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to diagnostic tests that have not yet received formal approval in times of a public health emergency. The FDA has granted EUA for certain tests during the COVID-19 pandemic to help detect or diagnose COVID-19.

Like full FDA approval, EUA relies on strict standards. However, EUA is completed more quickly based on the limited data that is available, unlike full FDA approval.

For more information, please visit the ​FDA website​.

 

Have COVID-19 tests been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?

The antibody tests and the molecular tests (together referred to as “tests”) have not been cleared or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); The FDA has authorized the use of some tests by certain laboratories under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA); The antibody tests have been authorized for the detection of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 only, and not for the detection of any other viruses or pathogens; The molecular (PCR) tests have been authorized for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 only, and not for the detection of any other viruses or pathogens; and, Tests are only authorized for as long as the circumstances exist to justify the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.

 

What does “sensitivity” mean? What does “specificity” mean?

Sensitivity and specificity are different and complementary measures to inform doctors and patients about the accuracy of a test. A good test has both high sensitivity and high specificity.

Sensitivity​ is a measure of how well a test is able to detect people who are infected (positive cases). If a person has an infection, a test with 100% sensitivity can accurately detect it with a positive result.

Specificity​ is a measure of how well a test can detect people who are NOT infected (negative cases). If a person does not have an infection, a test with 100% specificity can accurately detect it with a negative result.

 

What are false positives and false negatives?

A positive result that is incorrect is called a false positive. False positives occur when a person tests positive even though they do not have the infection.

A negative result that is incorrect is called a false negative. False negatives occur when a person tests negative even though they do have the infection.

False negatives and positives can worsen the COVID-19 pandemic by providing false reassurance to those who have the infection or by causing those who do not have it to use critical resources.

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