Antibody IgG Testing FAQ
Please refer to this page on a regular basis for updates as the situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing daily. We recommend visiting cdc.gov for the most up-to-date information.
IMPORTANT: All COVID-19 test samples are processed at an external commercial lab. Currently, patients should expect to receive results in 2-4 business days. We will call you with your results as soon as we get them. For more information about receiving your COVID-19 antibody test results, please click here.
First of all, what IS antibody IgG testing?
Antibody IgG testing checks a sample of a person’s blood to look for IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. These antibodies are produced when someone has been infected, so a positive result from this test indicates that the person was previously infected with the virus.
When is the best time to take this test?
It usually takes at least 10 days after symptom onset for IgG detectable levels to be reached. This means if you take the test too soon after infection, the test will not be able to pick up on newly formed IgG antibodies and will give you a false negative.
How is this test performed?
We perform an IgG antibody test by doing a simple blood draw and sending it to a 3rd party lab. This process is far more reliable than the fingerstick tests that are available. It usually takes about 24-48 hours for results to come back.
If I have a positive IgG result from this test, does this mean I am immune to COVID-19?
The honest answer to this is we don’t know yet. The virus has not been around long enough to study, therefore there is not enough evidence to say that you are immune from the virus. Scientists are conducting research to answer those questions. A positive IgG antibody test result does suggest that you were previously or currently infected with COVID-19.
Is this test covered by insurance?
Sinai Urgent Care is following the guidance from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which mandates that insurance companies must fully cover the cost of COVID-19 testing and treatment for its customers. Therefore, Sinai is not collecting co-pays, co-insurance, or deductibles at the time of service for your COVID-19 test today. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY WILL DETERMINE YOUR PAYMENT RESPONSIBILITY, AND YOU MAY RECEIVE A BILL IF THEY DECIDE NOT TO PAY. We also have a prompt-pay price of $199 for our uninsured patients. For a list of in-network insurances, please click here.
Do I have to wait in the waiting room?
No. In an effort to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), we have closed our waiting rooms and introduced “CARE FROM YOUR CAR”, a simple car triage process to aid in preventing contact with infected patients. We kindly ask you to remain in your car and call us at the number provided on the front door. A Sinai Team member will come out to your car to personally coordinate your care. All patients will be asked to remain in their car, and out of the waiting room until it is time for their visit with a Sinai provider. Only the patient will be allowed to come into the clinic unless there is a minor involved.
A note from our CEO and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Nick Karr, about the recently released Antibody/Serology tests:
Sinai Urgent Care was founded on the principle of being Truly Transparent®. With that idea in mind, I feel it is critically important to educate our patients about current COVID-19 testing options. Many clinics and doctors’ offices are currently marketing “Immunity” or “Antibody” COVID-19 tests with a finger-prick to obtain a blood sample. Unfortunately, these finger-prick tests can be extremely inaccurate or completely invalid.
At Sinai Urgent Care, we are utilizing a blood draw from the patient’s arm and sending the sample to our trusted 3rd party lab. This method of testing is by far the most accurate test of its type which is currently available.
I had the test performed on myself recently. The following text is what accompanies the results:
“Detection of IgG antibodies may indicate exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). It usually takes at least 10 days after symptom onset for IgG to reach detectable levels. An IgG positive result may suggest an immune response to a primary infection with SARS-CoV-2, but the relationship between IgG positivity and immunity to SARS-CoV-2 has not yet been firmly established. Antibody tests have not been shown to definitively diagnose or exclude SARS-CoV-2 infection. Diagnosis of COVID-19 is made by detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA by molecular testing methods, consistent with a patient’s clinical findings. This test has not been reviewed by the FDA. Negative results do not rule out SARS-CoV-2 infection particularly in those who have been in contact with the virus. Follow-up testing with a molecular diagnostic should be considered to rule out infection in these individuals. Results from antibody testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude SARS-CoV-2 infection or to inform infection status. Positive results could also be due to past or present infection with non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strains, such as coronavirus HKU1, NL63, OC43, or 229E. This test is not to be used for the screening of donated blood”
In essence, the test through Quest, the most accurate commercially available, states that the results offer little meaningful significance for patients.
While we will offer this test to appropriate patients, we feel that it is essential that patients understand what they are being tested for, so that they can make the most informed decision about their health.
Nick Karr, MD
Sinai Urgent Care