Coronavirus (COVID-19) Antibody Testing Now Available at Coquille Valley Hospital

Antibody testing, also called serology testing, is used to identify the presence of immune response to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It is a critical component to our nation’s response to the pandemic. This test is only intended to detect IgG antibodies to the virus. It does not diagnose active or recent infection. For IgG antibodies to be detected, you must be symptom-free (no fever or cough) for two weeks prior to testing. No prior physician’s order or referral needed.

Where: Antibody testing is available in the lab at the hospital.

Cost: $95 billed to insurance or $66.50 cash/credit discount

Questions? Please review the following questions and answers. For additional questions, call 541-396-3101.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Have there been any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Coos County or surrounding counties?
For confirmed COVID-19 cases by county, click here.

What are the benefits to antibody testing?
The hope is that the antibody test will help researchers better understand how widespread the virus is. It also allows them to identify which personal characteristics and environmental factors appear to play a role in how severely the virus affects particular groups of people, or populations. It may also be helpful, even reassuring, for people to know if they have been infected and are now possibly immune. Another benefit of antibody testing is being able to identify candidates who could donate plasma that could be used to treat others with more severe illness.

How is this antibody test taken?
The test requires a blood sample, which can be taken as a normal outpatient lab draw at Coquille Valley Hospital.

COVID-19 antibody tests vary, in terms of what they test for. How many antibodies does this test detect?
This is a test for IgG antibody testing only.

How accurate is the test?
The SENSITIVITY (the ability to accurately detect positives) is >95%.  The SPECIFICITY (the ability to accurately detect negatives) is >95%.

Does this test indicate the amount of antibodies a person may have (the Elisa technique for testing)?
Yes, this is the same type of testing that determines immunity for disease, such as measles. It is highly reliable with very high sensitivity. This test should not be confused with other tests that may use a finger stick with lower sensitivity and reliability.   

How do I know if I’m a candidate for the test if I haven’t already been tested for COVID-19?
If you believe you’ve had any COVID-19 symptoms in the last 4-5 months, then you may have developed IgG antibodies. 

How long do I need to be symptom-free before having an antibody test?
For antibodies to be detected, you must be symptom-free (no fever or cough) for two weeks prior to antibody testing.

Do I need a referral or order from my doctor to get an antibody test?
No prior physician’s order or referral is needed for antibody testing at Coquille Valley Hospital.

What is the cost of the antibody test?
$95 billed to insurance or $66.50 cash/credit, which is due prior to testing at Coquille Valley Hospital.

Will my insurance / Medicare / Medicaid / OHP cover the cost?
Yes, insurance will cover the cost of your test. Copays and deductibles may apply.

Who will analyze the test? How and when will I get the results?
You will be mailed a copy of your results when they are available. Results through the Coquille Valley Hospital patient portal will be quicker than having results mailed; personnel will be able to assist you at the time of the test to sign up for the patient portal. If your primary care provider is on file at Coquille Valley Hospital, we will automatically provide them a copy of your results.

Does a positive antibody test mean I’m immune?
A positive serology result suggests that a person is less likely to get infected or re-infected compared with those who do not have any antibodies in their blood. However, we are still learning about the level and duration of protective immunity, and we can’t definitively say how long protective immunity may last. Some individuals, especially those who are immunosuppressed, may not develop antibodies to the virus.

If my antibody test is positive, can I donate blood or plasma?
The American Red Cross is currently working hard to determine the process for donation of plasma.

Where was this COVID-19 antibody test developed/manufactured?
The IgG antibody test, also called a serology test, was made available through Coquille Valley Hospital’s relationship with the Mayo Clinic Laboratories and is considered highly reliable.

Does this test indicate when a person may have had COVID-19?
No.

RESULTS INTERPRETATION

Indeterminate (Index of > or =1.01 to <1.21):
Repeat testing in 7 to 10 days may be considered to determine definitive serologic status.

Negative:
No IgG antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) detected. Negative results may occur in serum collected too soon following infection, or in immunosuppressed patients.

Positive:
SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies detected. Results suggest recent or prior infection with SARS-CoV-2. Correlation with epidemiologic risk factors and other clinical and laboratory findings is recommended. Serologic results should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose recent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Infrequently, false-positive results may be due to prior infection with other human coronaviruses. It is unknown if positive IgG antibodies indicate any immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) at this time.

CAUTIONS:
Serologic testing should not be used to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection in symptomatic patients presenting within 2 weeks after symptom onset due to the risk of false-negative serologic results.

False-negative serologic results may occur in serum collected too soon after symptom onset. Typically, the majority of patients seroconvert between 8 to 11 days post-symptom onset; specimens collected and tested prior to this time point may be negative.

False-positive results may occur in a small percentage of individuals. Preliminary data indicate minimal cross-reactivity between antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and the commonly circulating coronavirus strains, OC43, 229E, NL63, and HKU1.