COVID-19 Antibody Testing 

COVID-19 Antibody Test is available for in-lab testing.

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How it Works

  1. Order the test
    An independent physician will determine whether to authorize your test request, if appropriate.
  2. Complete the test
    Once your test order is approved by an independent healthcare provider, you will be able to visit a Quest Laboratories Patient Service Center near you.
  3. Receive results
    Once testing is complete, you will receive an email notification to download and view your results. You can expect to receive your results within 3-5 days of taking the test.
    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.

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. 

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.

What is a semi-quantitative COVID-19 antibody test? 

This test checks for antibodies to COVID-19. If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or vaccinated, your body produces antibodies as part of your immune response. The test provides a numerical value that indicates whether or not you may have antibodies to COVID-19.

Who should get a COVID-19 antibody test? 

This test may be right for you if you: 

  • Have previously tested positive for COVID-19 infection and want to know if you have detectable antibodies.
  • Have never been diagnosed with COVID-19 and want to know if you have been previously exposed to the virus.

If you have been previously diagnosed or suspect you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, you should wait to get an antibody test until it has been at least 10 days after your symptoms started or after testing positive, you have not had a fever or felt feverish for 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medication, and any symptoms have improved. 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. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information about whether or not you should get tested.

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 COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • Have a condition that weakens your immune system.

What will a COVID-19 antibody test tell me?

An antibody test will show whether or not you have developed antibodies to COVID-19 after exposure or vaccination. 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 test should not be used to determine the level of immunity you have. You should contact your healthcare provider for additional guidance on how to interpret your test results. Regardless of your test results, it is important to continue to follow public health recommendations, such as vaccination, physical distancing, use of masks and face coverings, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine.

Are there any limitations to COVID-19 antibody tests?

False negative results can sometimes occur. This can happen if you get an antibody test too soon after being exposed or vaccinated and your body has not yet made enough antibodies to be detected by the test. Additionally, some individuals, such as those with weakened immune systems due to a medical condition or certain medications, may not develop detectable levels of antibodies after exposure or vaccination.

False positive results can also occur. This can happen if the test detects antibodies from other coronaviruses you may have been exposed to, like the virus that causes the common cold.

If you are concerned about your results, it is important to follow up with a healthcare provider, who can evaluate your medical history.

Interpretation of SARS-CoV-2 test results in vaccinated persons

Prior receipt of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine will not affect the results of SARS-CoV-2 viral tests (nucleic acid amplification or antigen tests). Currently available antibody tests for SARS-CoV-2 assess IgM and/or IgG to one of two viral proteins: spike or nucleocapsid. Because both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines contain mRNA that encodes the spike protein, a positive test for spike protein IgM/IgG could indicate either prior infection or vaccination. To evaluate for evidence of prior infection in an individual with a history of mRNA COVID-19 vaccination, a test specifically evaluating IgM/IgG to the nucleocapsid protein should be used. Antibody testing is not currently recommended to assess for immunity to COVID-19 following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination or to assess the need for vaccination in an unvaccinated person.

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. 

Who is PWNHealth?

PWNHealth is an independent healthcare provider network that provides oversight services to you in connection with the laboratory testing that you have requested. PWNHealth and its services are independent from the laboratory and company from whom you requested and registered for the test and their services.

Where can I get more information? 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) 

World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak 

PWNHealth: COVID-19 FAQs 

FDA: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Serological Tests 

Please note: 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).

Antibody Test-Specific FAQs

General Test FAQs

Quarantine and Isolation FAQs

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