SIDNEY – Area residents can learn if they had a past infection of COVID-19 starting May 7. Wilson Health is working with CompuNet Clinical Laboratories to offer the SARS CoV2 IgG antibody test, without a doctor’s order.
“When infected with a virus or other pathogen, our immune system makes proteins called antibodies to fight off the infection,” said Dr. Michael Trygstad, chief medical officer for Wilson Health. “With the help of CompuNet Laboratories in Dayton, we are now able to perform antibody tests in our community that can identify those who already had the COVID-19 virus but were asymptomatic or never tested.”
The test became available to health care providers in the region on Monday, April 27. Wilson Health is offering this expanded testing for those in the local community.
“This will give a lot more information about the occurrence of COVID-19 in the Shelby County and surrounding communities,” said Teresa Williams, chief operating officer for CompuNet. “The antibody test is easy to conduct and useful for community-based research. It also provides valuable information to people who might be interested in donating convalescent plasma through the Community Blood Center to help patients currently fighting COVID-19, or who are curious if an unexplained respiratory illness they had earlier this year actually was COVID-19.”
Specimen collection for the COVID-19 antibody testing will be conducted on Wilson Health’s main campus in their free-standing Medical Building A. Patients must call 937-498-5334 to schedule an appointment in order to have the antibody test performed.
The COVID-19 IgG antibody test, will be available for individuals, age 18 years or older. To expedite the process, once an appointment is scheduled, patients can go to www.compunetlab.com and click on Coronavirus/COVID-19 to download a testing order form (located under the “Patients” section). Patients should bring the completed lab order form to the collection site along with a credit card and photo ID.
The test costs $65 and payment is due at time of service. CompuNet cannot bill insurance companies for the patient-ordered direct access test. Test results will be available through CompuNet’s patient portal, My Labs Now, within a couple days, or by mail within 10 days.
Please note that testing positive for the IgG antibody does not necessarily imply immunity from COVID-19, and individuals with antibodies may still be able to spread the disease. A negative result may mean a person has not been exposed, has been exposed, but has not yet formed antibodies, or is unable to form antibodies due to suppression of the immune system. The test is recommended in individuals at least 10 days after the development of symptoms or following possible exposure to others with COVID-19. Whatever the result, individuals should continue to follow federal, state, and local public health guidance for social distancing and other recommended behaviors during the pandemic.
About the Test
The antibody test is performed on a patient’s blood specimen and will detect the IgG antibody to SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19/coronavirus). If detected, this likely indicates that a person was previously infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. An IgG antibody is a protein that the body produces in the latter stages of infection and may remain for some time after a person has recovered.
The Abbott test being used by CompuNet recently received Emergency Use Authorization from the Food & Drug Administration. Antibody testing is not for individuals who believe they have an active COVID-19 infection. If an individual has COVID-19 symptoms, they should contact a health care provider who will determine the need for a COVID-19 screening test.
An individual who would like to know if they have been previously infected with COVID-19 can also contact their health care provider to discuss the need for antibody testing.