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FAQ

You Were Sick A While Ago
If you were feeling sick with COVID symptoms, but weren’t able to get testing, we can test your antibodies to COVID-19 to see if your body has produced an immune response to the virus. The team will review your health history and recommend this testing for you based on your situation.

IS THE TEST FREE?
The cost of the test is $99 for the nasal swab or $60 for the antibody test. If the test is medically necessary, your insurance may cover this cost. We can bill your insurance if you have symptoms, have had close personal contact with someone who has tested positive, or if the test is required for a surgical procedure.

If you do not have Insurance we can process your test through the Cares Act 2020. 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PCR (NASAL SWAB) TEST AND THE ANTIBODY TEST?
The PCR Nasal Swab test looks for the presence of the virus on the mucous membranes in your nose. A small long swab will be inserted into the back of your nose to catch those viral particles for testing. A very specialized process will extract genetic material collected and then look closely at that material to determine if the virus is present. This test is most accurate in a small window beginning 2 days prior to when you develop symptoms and lasting about 5-7 days past the first day of symptoms. The virus can also be detected even if you have no symptoms. Some people develop very mild cases of the illness and may not have symptoms, or may think their symptoms are allergies or just general fatigue. Our lab uses a molecular instrument called the Roche Cobas to detect the virus in your sample. The assay we use is made by Quidel, and it has received Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA. 

The antibody test looks at your body’s reaction to the virus. The antibody test can help determine if you have had the virus in the past, even if you did not realize you had it. Antibodies begin to develop about 5-7 days after exposure to the virus. First, the IgM antibodies develop, often while you still have symptoms of the illness. If it has been more than 10 days since you were exposed, the antibody test may be more accurate than the PCR test. After about 14 days from exposure, IgG antibodies begin to develop. These antibodies may last from weeks to months after the illness. In some cases, they may only last a few weeks, and in some cases much longer. Our lab uses two types of antibody testing. We use the RightSign lateral flow test, which tests for both IgM and IgG antibodies. We also use the Abbott IgG Test. Both tests have received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA. 
 
HOW SOON WILL I HAVE A RESULT? 
Typically you will have a result within 12-48 hours of the swab collection entering our lab.  We provide the results of the test via the method defined within our test request form.  
Some situations are beyond our control. For example, based on massive national and worldwide demand for supplies, it is possible that we could run out of essential supplies and cannot perform the test. Our team is working hard to make sure we have ample supplies on hand and that we’re buying well in advance of our needs. It is also possible that the demand for testing will exceed our daily staff and instrument capacity. We are anticipating this by being selective about how much testing we accept and also training more staff in our lab to provide accurate and timely results.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY PCR TEST IS POSITIVE? 
If you have a positive PCR test, you should isolate yourself from other people for 10-14 days. If your symptoms are severe, such as difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, or extreme headaches, you should contact your emergency room or urgent care immediately for instructions. You should also inform any close contacts you had within 2 days prior to symptom onset (or the positive test if you have not had symptoms) that you have the illness so that they can quarantine and also get tested. 
 
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY ANTIBODY TEST IS POSITIVE?
If your IgM antibody test is positive, and you have not had a PCR test, you should schedule a PCR test. If you have a positive IgM test and a negative PCR test, you may still be contagious, particularly if you have any symptoms. Please remain socially isolated for 7-10 days. Repeat antibody testing 10-14 days later may be informative. 

WHAT IF MY TEST IS NEGATIVE, BUT I HAVE SYMPTOMS?
Many other illnesses cause similar symptoms too COVID. You may have Influenza, Strep, a common cold, or allergies. You can ask your provider to evaluate you for these other conditions. If symptoms persist, you can also be tested again, including the PCR and the antibody test. In some instances, the PCR test may be negative the first time, and then positive 3-5 days later.