Medical lab announces first consumer-ordered antibody test for coronavirus

Coronavirus

FILE – This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, U.S. health regulators OK’d the first coronavirus test that allows people to collect their own sample at home, a new approach that could help expand testing options in most states. The sample will still have to be shipped for processing back to LabCorp, which operates diagnostic labs throughout the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

SECAUCUS, NJ (WBTW) – A medical lab announced the first consumer-ordered virus antibody test in the United States.

Quest Diagnostics announced the test Tuesday, saying in a press release people can purchase the test “for themselves online, without visiting a doctor’s office, through QuestDirect, the consumer-initiated testing business of Quest Diagnostics” beginning Tuesday.

“The COVID-19 Immune Response test is available at GetQuestTest.com,” Quest Diagnostics says. A person can request the test and purchase it online. Test requests are then reviewed and “if appropriate, an order for testing is issued by a licensed physician.” People will have the chance to speak with a licensed physician about their results.

The lab says, sourcing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, COVID-19 antibody testing may indicate whether “the person has been exposed to the virus and developed antibodies against it, which may mean that person has at least some immunity to the coronavirus.”

Quest Diagnostics says test results will be available on the company’s online patient portal, called MyQuest. The lab says it will take about 1-2 days “on average” after providing a blood draw, which is done after purchasing the test and scheduled at a service center.

The lab says “for the safety of our patients and employees, individuals must not have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 for at least 10 days; wear a face mask; and pass a contact-less temperature check.”

“Antibody testing is not intended for use in individuals with an active COVID-19 infection, including individuals with symptoms,” the lab further says. Those who are suspected of having an active infection can’t visit the centers and are encouraged to contact their healthcare providers.

According to the Quest Direct website, tests cost $119.

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