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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Antibody Testing: Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

covid-19-coronavirus-antibody-testing-frequently-asked-questions-and-answers-afc-urgent-care-vernon

Q: What is the difference between the COVID 19 swab test and the antibody serology testing? 

A:  The COVID-19 Swab test (PCR) molecular diagnostic virus screening that detects the presence of Coronavirus in the nasal and throat area. It is administered by obtaining a sample from a nasopharynx or oropharynx or nasal cavity with a swab in  patients who have any symptoms associated with COVID-19. The result informs us whether or not you currently have COVID-19 disease. 

The antibody serology test detects the presence of a specific antibody against Coronavirus. It is administered by drawing blood once you meet the criteria and blood is sent to a highly sophisticated lab to perform this test. Presence of IgG antibody indicates a previous COVID-19 exposure. 

The process includes a detailed history of the patient and a medical evaluation by a health care provider to decide which type of test is needed. Some patients may need either COVID-19 PCR or Serology IgG and others may require both. 

Q: I’ve heard there are different types of serology tests. Which one does AFC Urgent Care perform?      

A: At AFC Urgent Care, we perform the specific and accurate ELISA based serology test.This is  more sophisticated and is performed in a complex laboratory, called ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay). This test is highly specific and accurate for COVID-19. It is performed by obtaining blood in a vial and sending to a high complexity laboratory to perform. 

The second type is a Cartridge based Rapid COVID-19 IgM/IgG which is performed by obtaining a blood sample with a finger stick and it generates results within 15-20 minutes. However, the majority of currently available Rapid Cartridge based tests are not very specific and accurate to COVID-19. 

Q:  Is the testing performed by AFC FDA approved?

A:  Yes, AFC’s lab partner has developed a comprehensive proprietary COVID-19 Diagnostic test for both the PCR Molecular testing and the Serology Antibody test that has obtained FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization

Q: How effective are these test results? And if I test positive, will I be immune forever?

A: The results are very effective. If the test result is positive for antibody IgG, it means that you have some immunity. But the World Health Organization cautions that there’s a lack of evidence on whether having antibodies means you’re protected against reinfectionwith COVID-19. The level of immunity and how long immunity lasts are not yet known.Ongoing studies will eventually reveal more data on this.

Q: Can I have the antibody test done from my car? 

A:  No, the Antibody testing AFC Urgent Care offers is a blood serology test that requires a blood draw.  Patients are first triaged prior to entering the building and once we have assessed that the patient has no evidence of an active infection, are then brought into the center for the blood draw.  If there is evidence that a patient may have active disease, we will do a Nasopharyngeal swab for COVID-19 PCR testing.

Q: Who can be tested for Coronavirus antibodies?

A: Patients who have been asymptomatic for at least fourteen days, not exhibiting a cough, fever, body aches or congestion, are eligible for antibody testing. 

Q: How long do I have to wait before getting results? 

A:  Usually it takes 4-7 business days to get the results back,  depending on the volume of testing on a particular day. 

Q: How do I register /sign up for the serology antibody test? 

A: You can register through AFC TeleCare by going on our websitehttps://bit.ly/2wfRpDvor scheduling an appointment by calling any of our 7 centers. You can also walk into one of our centers.

Q: Which of your urgent care centers perform them? 

A:  All of our urgent care centers are testing for both the antibody test and the active swab test

  • AFC Urgent Care Torrington(1171 E Main St.) Across from Webster bank – Contact: 860.866.4321.
  • AFC Urgent Care Vernon(179 Talcottville Rd.) Right across from AutoZone –  Contact: 860.986.7600
  • AFC Urgent Care Danbury(2 Main St.) Right next to Dunkin Donuts and the War Memorial – Contact: 203)826-2140
  • AFC Urgent Care Danbury(100 Mill Plain Rd.) Right across from Bambinos Pizza/near Rosy’s Tomorrow – Contact: 203.826.2600
  • AFC Urgent Care Danbury(76c Newtown Rd.) Next to Texas Roadhouse. – Contact: 203.826.8434
  • AFC Urgent Care New Britain(135 E Main St.) Across from the New Brite Plaza – Contact: 860.357.6899
  • AFC Urgent Care West Hartford(1030 Boulevard) In the Boulevard Shops – Contact: 860.986.6440

Q: How much does it cost and will my insurance cover it? 

***Disclaimer: Certain insurers may require a copayment

A: Medicaid, Husky, Medicare, Tricare and most insurances are covering the cost of the visit as well as the test. There is no co-pay.  *Self pay rate is a $130 office visit, and the lab will bill you directly for the test which at this time is $50.

*We are closely monitoring the state and federal government’s actions that will allow for a zero cost to any un-insured patients. As soon as we have confirmation on that we will notify you here, as well as on our social media.

For more information or remaining questions pertaining to the Antibody testing, please call us at 860.986.7600