Sioux Center Health lab is offering COVID-19 antibody testing directly to the public. To receive the test, simply stop by registration at the hospital Monday – Friday from 7 – 11 am and a lab technician will be available to assist you. Testing will only be drawn at the Sioux Center Health Lab, not at the Hull and Hawarden Medical Clinics due to the stability of the sample.
What is Antibody Testing?
If you’re exposed to COVID-19, your body may develop antibodies starting a week after infection. An antibody is a protein in your blood that your immune system uses to fight viruses and bacteria. This test will be testing specifically COVID-19 antibodies, and sometimes referred to as lgG or serology tests. This test may be able to detect if someone has been infected with COVID-19 in the past.
Here are some important things to know about your antibody test:
- Testing for this antibody is new and its usefulness is still being evaluated.
- We don’t yet know whether having antibodies means you’re immune to COVID-19.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says these tests are most useful in watching the spread of COVI D-19. These tests can show how many people in a given group or area might have been infected.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does NOT recommend that antibody tests be used in making health care decisions.
- Antibody tests cannot tell you whether you currently have COVID-19.
Antibody tests are different from COVID-19 diagnostic tests in the following ways:
- Cannot tell whether a patient currently has COVID-19— this test can show you if you have been infected with COVID-19 in the past.
- Are collected by a blood draw.
- Are offered directly to consumers through the lab.
- The cost is $80 and payment due at the time of service.
- Are not covered by insurance if purchased from the lab but may be reimbursable under most FSA/HSA plans; call the number on the back of your insurance card to verify.
Test results typically take 24 hours to appear in your medical record (AveraChart). If you need to sign up for an AveraChart account, just go to AveraChart.org. They will also be mailed to you within a few days. Individual results will not be specifically sent to your primary care physician.
What Do My Results Mean?
This test is new, so we don’t know for sure what the results mean. Regardless of your results, please continue to protect yourself and others from viruses by wearing a mask, maintaining a 6-foot distance from others in public, avoiding crowds, avoiding touching your face, and washing your hands often.
An lgG Positive antibody serology result suggests but does not confirm, you might have been exposed to COVID-19. It also suggests you might have successfully developed an immune response to this virus. COVID-19 is one form of coronavirus, so there is a small chance that this test turned positive because of other coronaviruses, such as the common cold. We don’t know yet whether having antibodies will protect you from getting COVID-19, or how long the antibodies will last.
Your test shows a small number of antibodies, but not enough for a “Reactive” result. You may need to have another sample collected in one or two weeks.
An lgG Negative antibody serology result suggests that you do not show evidence of having been exposed to COVID-19. It could also mean that you were infected recently and your immune system has not yet responded. You are likely still at risk of becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus.
For questions, please call the Lab at (712) 722-8130.