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What is a COVID-19 antibody test?


This test checks for a type of antibody called immunoglobulin G (IgG). If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, your body produces IgG antibodies as part of the immune response to the virus. This test cannot tell you if you have an active infection. If you suspect you have COVID-19, follow up with your healthcare provider about getting a PCR test.

Who should get a COVID-19 antibody test?

This test may be right for you if you:

·       Have been diagnosed with COVID-19, it has been at least 10 days since your diagnosis, and you want to know if you have IgG antibodies.

·       Have not had symptoms and have not had a known exposure to COVID-19 within the last 10 days but want to see if you have IgG antibodies.

·       Have had or suspect you’ve had COVID-19 but have not experienced any new symptoms in the past 10 days (these symptoms include cough, difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell).

·       Have had or suspect you’ve had COVID-19 but have not experienced a fever in the past 3 days.



Who should not get a COVID-19 antibody test?

This test may NOT be right for you if you:

·       Are feeling sick or have had a fever within the last 3 days.

·       Are trying to diagnose COVID-19.

·       Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 less than 10 days ago.

·       Were directly exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

·       Have a condition that weakens your immune system.

What will a COVID-19 antibody test results tell me?

This test may help identify if you were exposed to the virus and, if so, whether or not your body has IgG antibodies against COVID-19. Although having antibodies usually gives immunity from further infection, there is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future COVID-19 infection. Results from this test also will not provide any information on whether you can spread the virus to others.

If you have questions about returning to work, contact your employer for guidance. Be sure to continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing and isolation.

Are there any limitations to COVID-19 antibody tests?

Getting an antibody test too soon after being infected may cause a false negative result. Additionally, some individuals who are infected with COVID-19 may not develop detectable levels of IgG antibodies, such as those with weakened immune systems due to a medical condition or certain medications.

This test may detect IgG antibodies from previous exposure to coronaviruses other than COVID-19, which can cause a false positive result.

What guidance does the FDA provide regarding COVID-19 antibody testing?

Antibody testing can play a critical role in the fight against COVID-19. It can help identify individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and have developed an immune response. Using antibody tests and clinical follow-up can also provide more information on immunity against COVID-19 for research and medical developments for the virus.

Having antibodies usually gives immunity from further infection. However, there is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have these antibodies are protected against future COVID-19 infection. Experience with other viruses suggests that individuals who have antibodies may be able to resume work and other daily activities in society, as long as they are recovered and not currently infected with the virus.


How is a COVID-19 antibody test performed?

This test is conducted by collecting a blood sample (such as from a finger prick or needle draw).


How do I prepare for the test?

You do not need to do anything to prepare for the test. You do not need to fast or stop taking any medications before testing. Further instructions will be provided to you at the lab or in your test kit.


Where can I get more information?


·       Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

·       World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

·       PWNHealth: COVID-19 FAQs

·       FDA: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Serological Tests


Please note: The antibody tests and the molecular tests (together referred to as “tests”) have not been cleared or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

General COVID-19 FAQs


What is coronavirus disease ( COVID-19)?

Coronavirus disease (also called COVID-19) is an infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus), one of the most recently discovered types of coronaviruses. Those who have this disease may or may not experience symptoms, which range from mild to severe.


How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 spreads easily from person-to-person, even when an infected person is not showing symptoms. When an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, droplets containing the virus go into the air. These droplets can be inhaled or land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, exposing them to the virus.

People may also be exposed to COVID-19 by touching their eyes, nose, or mouth after touching a surface with the virus on it. Although this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, researchers are still learning more about COVID-19.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after being exposed to the virus. The most common symptoms include:

·       Fever

·       Cough

·       Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing


Cases of COVID-19 range from mild to severe. Some people who are infected don’t have any symptoms and don’t feel sick. Most people have mild symptoms. Visit the CDC website for more information about symptoms.


Who is at high risk of getting very sick?

Severe cases are more likely to occur in older adults (65 years of age and older), as well as pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, and those with underlying health issues (such as lung disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart conditions, stroke, kidney disease or on dialysis, liver disease, cancer, transplant, AIDS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis). However, serious illness can also occur in young, healthy adults.


Am I at risk of getting COVID-19?

COVID-19 is very contagious. The risk of getting COVID-19 depends on many factors, including close contact with people who have symptoms of COVID-19. It is important to follow your federal, state, and local government guidance to protect yourself from exposure.


How is COVID-19 treated?

There is currently no treatment for COVID-19. Not all patients with COVID-19 will require medical attention, and most people recover within 2 weeks without any specific treatment. For severe cases, hospitalization and respiratory support may be required. For mild cases, treatment focuses on managing symptoms.


How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

The best way to protect yourself is to avoid situations in which you may be exposed to the virus. Everyday actions can help protect you and prevent the spread of respiratory diseases such as COVID-19.

·       Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

·       Restrict any activities outside your home and maintain a safe distance (around 6 feet)

between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This includes avoiding crowded areas, shopping malls, religious gatherings, public transportation, etc.

·       Wear simple cloth face coverings in public settings (like grocery stores and pharmacies) where social distancing is difficult, especially in areas where COVID-19 is spreading.

·       Stay home when you are sick, unless you are seeking medical care.

·       Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (including tables, doorknobs,

light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and


·       Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

·       Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t

available. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

·       Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.


What can I do to prevent spreading COVID-19?

If you believe you may have COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 and have mild symptoms, the following steps can help prevent the disease from spreading to others:

·       Stay home

·       Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home

·       Restrict any activities outside your home, except for getting medical care

·       Avoid public areas, including work and school

·       Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis

·       Cover your nose and mouth

·       If you are sick, wear a facemask when you are around other people or pets

·       Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw away used tissues

·       Wash hands

o   Wash your hands often with soap and