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SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Antibody (IgG), Spike, Semi-Quantitative

The detection of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) IgG antibodies that indicate exposure.

WE ARE NOT ABLE TO DISCOUNT THIS TEST. APPOINTMENTS ARE REQUIRED FOR THIS TEST. PLEASE SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT HERE.

Sample Report

Test Code: 34499

Also Known As: COVID19; Novel Coronavirus; nCOV; Wuhan; Coronavirus

Methodology: Immunoassay (IA)

Preparation: No special preparation required. It usually takes around 10 to 18 days after being infected with SARS-CoV-2 for your body to produce enough antibodies for detection in the blood.

Test Results: 1-3 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday or lab delays.


Details:

If you feel like you are having a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.

If you are experiencing severe trouble breathing, continuous pain or pressure in your chest, feeling confused or having difficulty waking up, blue-colored lips or face, or any other emergency signs or symptoms, please seek immediate medical care.

What is a semi-quantitative COVID-19 antibody test?
This test checks for antibodies to COVID-19. If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or vaccinated, your body produces antibodies as part of your immune response. The test provides a numerical value that indicates whether or not you may have antibodies to COVID-19.

Who should get a COVID-19 antibody test?
This test may be right for you if you:

  • Have previously tested positive for COVID-19 infection and want to know if you have detectable antibodies.
  • Have never been diagnosed with COVID-19 and want to know if you have been previously exposed to the virus.

If you have been previously diagnosed or suspect you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, you should wait to get an antibody test until it has been at least 10 days after your symptoms started or after testing positive, you have not had a fever or felt feverish for 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medication, and any symptoms have improved. Current research shows that it may be best to get antibody testing 3 to 4 weeks after symptom onset or known exposure to COVID-19 to lower the chance of receiving a false positive or false negative result. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information about whether or not you should get tested.

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 24 hours.
  • 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 tell me?
An antibody test will show whether or not you have developed antibodies to COVID-19 after exposure or vaccination. 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. This test should not be used to determine the level of immunity you have. You should contact your healthcare provider for additional guidance on how to interpret your test results. Regardless of your test results, it is important to continue to follow public health recommendations, such as vaccination, physical distancing, use of masks and face coverings, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine.

Are there any limitations to COVID-19 antibody tests?
False negative results can sometimes occur. This can happen if you get an antibody test too soon after being exposed or vaccinated and your body has not yet made enough antibodies to be detected by the test. Additionally, some individuals, such as those with weakened immune systems due to a medical condition or certain medications, may not develop detectable levels of antibodies after exposure or vaccination.

False positive results can also occur. This can happen if the test detects antibodies from other coronaviruses you may have been exposed to, like the virus that causes the common cold.

If you are concerned about your results, it is important to follow up with a healthcare provider, who can evaluate your medical history.

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?

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. These droplets may stay in the air for minutes to hours after an infected person has left that space and can infect others who are more than 6 feet away. This type of spread is called “airborne transmission”.

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.

How long do COVID-19 symptoms last?
Most people recover from COVID-19 within two weeks, but some people continue to experience symptoms (like loss of taste or smell) for weeks or even months after recovery. This varies from person-to-person. In cases where symptoms persist, it is not clear how long they may last. Researchers are still learning more about the course of the disease. For more information, talk to your healthcare provider or visit the ​CDC website​.

What are the long-term effects of COVID-19?
The most commonly reported long-term symptoms include but are not limited to fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, joint pain, and chest pain. Other symptoms include difficulty focusing, depression, muscle pain, headache, occasional fevers, and fast-beating or pounding heart. At this time, researchers are still learning more about the long-term effects of the disease.

Who is at high risk of getting very sick?
Severe cases are more likely to occur in the following people:

  • Older adults (the older you are, the higher your risk for severe illness from COVID-19).
  • People of any age with underlying medical conditions.

It is important to note that serious illness can also occur in young, healthy adults. If you have questions about your risk, talk to your healthcare provider. For more information, you can also visit the ​CDC website​.

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?
Not all people with COVID-19 will require medical attention or treatment, and most recover within two weeks.

For mild cases, treatment focuses on managing symptoms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized several antibody therapies (also referred to as ​monoclonal antibodies​) for use in people who are at high risk for being hospitalized or developing severe illness.

For more information, visit the ​FDA website​. If you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, be sure to follow up with your healthcare provider about your treatment options​.

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 sinks).
  • 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.

How can I 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 except to get medical care
    • Take care of yourself by getting rest and staying hydrated
    • Over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen, may help you feel better
    • Avoid public areas, including work and school
    • Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis
    • Stay in touch with your healthcare provider
  • Separate yourself from other people
    • Stay in a separate room and away from other people and pets in your home
    • If possible, use a separate bathroom
    • If you need to be around other people or animals, wear a face covering
  • Cover your nose and mouth
    • If you are sick, wear a face covering when you are around other people or pets
    • Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw away used tissues in a lined trash can
  • Clean your hands often
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, going to the bathroom, or before eating or preparing food
    • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, and other people with unwashed hands
  • Do not share
    • Do not share dishes, cups/glasses, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or electronics with other people
    • After using personal items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water or put in the dishwasher
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day
    • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your separate “sick room” and bathroom
    • If possible, wear disposable gloves while cleaning
    • Someone else should clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas
    • If a caregiver or someone else needs to clean and disinfect, it should be done on an as-needed basis
    • Caregivers should wear a face covering and disposable gloves
    • Clean and disinfect areas that might have blood, stool, or bodily fluids on them

When should I seek medical care?
If you think you have been exposed, it is important to closely monitor for symptoms. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop severe symptoms, especially if you experience:

  • Severe trouble breathing (such as being unable to talk without gasping for air)
  • Continuous pain or pressure in your chest
  • Feeling confused or having difficulty waking up
  • Blue-colored lips or face
  • Any other emergency signs or symptoms

If you seek medical attention, be sure to call ahead before visiting the facility. This will help the facility keep other people from possibly getting infected or exposed.

  • Tell any healthcare provider that you may have COVID-19.
  • Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Put on a facemask before you enter any healthcare facility.

What is social distancing?
Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. It includes:

  • Staying at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people
  • Not gathering in groups
  • Staying out of crowded places and avoiding mass gatherings

Social distancing is one of the best ways to avoid being exposed and to help slow the spread of the virus. It is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Be sure to continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing.

If I have COVID-19, how can I lower my children’s risk of getting sick?
Even if you have COVID-19, it’s possible to not give it to your loved ones if you take certain precautions. For example, you and your child should wear face coverings whenever you’re in the same room together. Depending on your child’s age, you should also:

  • Contact your child’s healthcare provider for advice on how to best protect your child from infection.
  • See if there is a caregiver outside of the home with whom your child can stay if you’re too sick to care for your child. This caregiver should not be anyone who is at ​high risk​ of getting very sick from COVID-19.
  • Avoid physical contact with older children until you’ve ​ended home isolation​.

If your child develops ​symptoms​, contact their healthcare provider for guidance, and follow steps for ​caring for someone who is sick​. See the ​CDC website​ for more details on how you can help prevent your child from getting sick.

Can someone who has had COVID-19 become infected again?
Cases of reinfection have been reported but are rare. Reinfection occurs when a person gets sick, recovers, and then later becomes infected again. Whether an individual may be reinfected is still under investigation. A positive PCR test result during the 90 days after illness started is most likely from the initial infection rather than reinfection. Visit the ​CDC website​ for further information.

What is “prolonged viral shedding”?
Prolonged viral shedding is what happens when parts of a virus are detectable in a person for a period of time even after they’ve recovered from an illness. For some individuals who had or have COVID-19, the virus may be in their test samples for up to 3 months. Retesting during this time period is not recommended. However, if an individual starts having symptoms consistent with COVID-19 during this period and other illnesses are ruled out, a healthcare provider or infectious disease expert may consider additional testing. The best available evidence suggests that most individuals who have recovered are likely no longer infectious, but there is not enough evidence at this time to confirm this. If you have questions, contact your healthcare provider for additional information.

Can I travel while COVID-19 is spreading?
There are many things to think about when it comes to traveling during this pandemic. Unfortunately, travel increases the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself and others is to stay home and delay any travel plans you may have. However, if you are planning on taking a trip, there are certain steps you can take to ensure the safety and health of yourself and those around you.

If you decide to take a trip and travel outside your community, visit the ​Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website​ for information on travel considerations. In addition, you’ll want to look at state and local travel restrictions as well as ​state, territorial​, ​tribal​ and local public health websites for information before traveling.

Can I travel if I feel sick?
If ​you’re feeling sick​ or ​have been around someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days​, you should not travel. You may also want to consider whether you or someone you live with is at ​increased risk of getting very sick from COVID-19​. For example, if you or someone you live with has underlying health conditions and/or is older in age, you may want to avoid traveling if you can.

What should I consider while using public transportation?
Airports, buses, trains, and rest stops are all examples of places where people can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces. Since ​using public transportation can put you in close contact with others, it often becomes hard to practice social distancing. This makes it very important to take steps to protect yourself and others while using public transportation. Some steps you can take include:

  • Wearing a face covering
  • Washing your hands and using hand sanitizer
  • Avoiding unnecessary contact with surfaces and objects
  • Practicing social distancing as much as possible
  • Other general COVID-19 safety precautions

Additionally, it is recommended that you check with the transportation company frequently for any service or operational changes. Visit the ​Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for more resources and guidance on using public transportation.

What should I consider while traveling overnight?
There are several things to consider if you need to travel and book an overnight stay at a hotel:

  • Use contact-free options for online reservation and check-in, mobile room key, and contactless payment if available
  • Before you go, call and ask if all staff are required to wear a cloth face covering
  • Look for extra prevention practices being used by the hotel, such as plexiglass barriers at the check-in counters and physical distancing signs in the lobby
  • Ask if the hotel has updated their cleaning and disinfecting policies
  • Ask for the hotel’s policy on removing and/or cleaning frequently touched items
  • Wear a face covering in the lobby and other common areas
  • Minimize use of areas where close contact with others is likely (e.g., break rooms, outside patios, inside lounging areas, dining areas, game rooms, pools, hot tubs, saunas, spas, salons, and fitness centers)
  • If possible, use the stairs instead of the elevator
  • If you need to take the elevator, wait until you can ride alone or ride only with people from your household

Should I avoid traveling internationally?
COVID-19 risk in most countries is high. You should avoid nonessential travel to high-risk destinations, especially if you or someone you live with is at ​increased risk for severe illness​. You can also check the COVID-19 risk level of specific destinations with this ​resource​.

If you do choose to travel internationally, you may want to consider that some healthcare systems are overwhelmed, and there may be limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas. Many countries are also implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice. Keep in mind that if you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be disrupted in several ways. If you get sick or are exposed to a person with COVID-19 during your trip, you may be isolated or quarantined and your return to the United States may be delayed. Check with the Office of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, or the ​US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information page​ for more details.

Population Specific FAQs

Are the rates for COVID-19 higher in the Black and Hispanic communities? Am I more likely to get COVID-19 if I’m Black and/or Hispanic?
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown that there is a higher burden of illness and death from COVID-19 among certain racial and ethnic minority groups. Based on ​data from New York City​, Black and Hispanic people have more cases of COVID-19, as well as higher rates of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19 than White and Asian people. More studies are underway to confirm this data and reduce the impact of COVID-19 on these communities.

Whether or not you get infected with COVID-19 depends on a number of factors. The good news is that you can control many of these factors. Visit the ​CDC website​ for more information.

Why are certain racial and ethnic minority groups impacted more by COVID-19?
Recent data suggests that COVID-19 has a greater impact on certain racial and ethnic minority groups. Health differences are often due to social and economic conditions. In public health emergencies, these conditions can isolate people from the resources they need to prepare for and respond to outbreaks.

Some conditions contribute to a higher risk of getting sick with COVID-19 for certain racial and ethnic minority groups. These conditions include:

  • Some racial and ethnic minority groups are more likely to live in densely populated areas and have multi-generational households, making it difficult to practice prevention and social distancing.
  • Racially segregated and medically underserved neighborhoods are linked to more underlying health conditions. These groups have higher rates of chronic conditions — such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease — that increase the severity of COVID-19.
  • Some racial and ethnic minority groups are less likely to have health insurance and have distrust of the medical system, making them less likely to seek care when they are sick.
  • Some racial and ethnic minority groups are critical workers or work jobs where they do not receive paid sick leave, making it more likely they will continue to work even when they are sick.
  • Some racial and ethnic minority groups are overrepresented in jails, prisons, and detention centers, which have specific risks due to close living quarters, shared food services, etc.
  • Some racial and ethnic minority groups don’t speak English or speak English as a second language, sometimes creating a barrier when it comes to access to care.

What is being done to help lower illness and death rates in certain racial and ethnic minority groups?
Researchers as well as state and federal governments are currently monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases, complications, and deaths in minority groups, which will help improve the management of patients, distribution of resources, and public health information.

Additionally, there are many resources available within the community, such as free and low-cost health services, grocery delivery services, and educational materials. Please contact your healthcare provider or local health department for more information.

I am Black and/or Hispanic. What can I do to lower my chances of getting COVID-19?
The best way to protect yourself is to avoid situations in which you may be exposed to the virus. If you or someone you care for is at higher risk of getting sick with COVID-19, ​take steps​ to protect them, as well as yourself, from getting sick. These steps include:

  • Stay home and follow isolation practices
  • Wash your hands often
  • Stay away from people you know are sick
  • Wear simple cloth face coverings in public settings

How does COVID-19 affect pregnant women?
COVID-19 can affect pregnant women as well as nonpregnant women. There is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that pregnant women have a higher risk of getting COVID-19. However, studies show that pregnant women may have a higher risk of developing more severe illness. There may also be an increased risk of issues during pregnancy, such as premature birth.

What should I do if I am pregnant and believe I have COVID-19?
If you’re pregnant and think you may have COVID-19, you should contact your healthcare provider to discuss next steps in your care. If you’re in labor and think you have COVID-19, call ahead and notify your hospital or birthing center prior to your arrival so that the healthcare professionals at the facility can take proper precautions to protect you, workers, and other patients.

Should I breastfeed if I have COVID-19?
Recent research suggests that breast milk isn’t likely to spread the virus to babies. However, it’s best to contact your healthcare provider in order to determine if you should continue breastfeeding. You should also​ take the following precautions during your period of ​home isolation​:

  • Wash your hands using soap and water before touching your child. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Wear a mask when you are less than six feet from your child (including when feeding them)
  • Clean and sanitize breast pumps

Your child is considered a ​close contact​ and should quarantine for the duration of your home isolation and for 14 days afterwards, as recommended by the CDC, unless otherwise specified. In some situations, this time period may be shorter than 14 days. For more information, see the ​CDC website​.

What are hospitals and birthing centers doing for women who develop COVID-19 symptoms while still in their facility?
Hospitals and birthing centers should implement proper disease control practices to help control and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Practices should include testing pregnant women or women who have recently given birth who develop symptoms of COVID-19 while in the hospital. These healthcare facilities should limit the number of visitors to pregnant women or women who have recently given birth who have or are suspected of having COVID-19. Visitors should also be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to entry.

Are people with HIV at higher risk for COVID-19 infection than other people?
Based on limited data at this time, people with HIV who are on effective HIV treatment have the same risk for COVID-19 infection as people who do not have HIV.

Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at increased risk​ for severe illness from COVID-19. This includes people who have weakened immune systems. Individuals with HIV are at greater risk of getting very sick if they have a low CD4 cell count or are not on effective HIV treatment.

What can people with HIV do to protect themselves from COVID-19?
The best way to prevent getting sick is to avoid exposure to the virus. If you have HIV, it’s important to continue taking your HIV medicine and follow the advice of your healthcare provider. You should also eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and ​reduce your stress as much as possible​. Staying healthy helps your immune system fight off infection. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, you should also take ​these everyday preventive actions​.

If I have HIV and also have a higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, what can I do to protect myself?
People with HIV have higher rates of certain underlying health conditions. These conditions, as well as older age, can ​increase the risk​ for more severe illness if people with HIV get COVID-19. This is especially true for people with advanced HIV.

In addition to following the same recommended safety precautions as everyone else, people with HIV should also take the following steps:

  • Keep a 30- to 90-day supply of your HIV medicine on hand, as well as any other medicines or medical supplies you need for managing HIV. Ask your healthcare provider if you can receive your medicine by mail.
  • Make sure you get all necessary vaccinations, including ​seasonal flu​ and bacterial pneumonia, as these conditions affect people with HIV more often.
  • In case you need to isolate, ask your healthcare provider about telemedicine and other remote care options.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about what happens if you do become infected by COVID-19. Make a plan for how you will delay your routine medical and lab visits until follow-up testing and monitoring are possible.

What are the differences between COVID-19 and seasonal allergies?
COVID-19 and seasonal allergies do share some of the same symptoms, which may make it difficult to tell the difference between the two. However, COVID-19 can cause fever and chills, muscle aches, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, whereas seasonal allergies usually don’t. Seasonal allergies can cause itchy or watery eyes and sneezing, whereas COVID-19 usually doesn’t. If you have any questions about any of your symptoms, be sure to follow up with your healthcare provider. Visit the ​Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website​ for more information.

I have asthma. How can I protect myself against COVID-19?
If you have moderate-to-severe asthma, you may be at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. The virus could cause an asthma attack and possibly lead to pneumonia or acute respiratory disease.​ But there are steps you can take to protect yourself. These steps include:

  • Keep your asthma under control by following ​your asthma action plan​.
  • Keep taking your medications as prescribed and don’t make any changes without talking to your healthcare provider first.
  • Avoid your ​asthma triggers​.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about creating an emergency supply of prescription medications, such as asthma inhalers. Make sure that you have 30 days of non-prescription medications in case you need to stay home for a long time.

Can the cleaning agents I use to prevent COVID-19 trigger my asthma?
Some disinfectants can trigger an asthma attack. To reduce the chance of an asthma attack while disinfecting to prevent COVID-19, you can try the following tips:

  • Ask an adult without asthma to clean and disinfect for you.
  • Step outside or into a different room during and right after a cleaning.
  • Only use disinfectant when it’s needed. Some surfaces, such as those not touched often, may only need to be cleaned with soap and water and will not need extra disinfecting.
  • If you have an asthma attack, move away from the disinfectant or the area that was disinfected. Follow your ​asthma action plan​. For medical emergencies, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room.
  • When cleaning and disinfecting, you or the person who is cleaning should:

Quarantine and Isolation FAQs

Should I self-quarantine or self-isolate? How does it work?
If you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should quarantine and monitor your symptoms to see if you get sick.

If you have symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19, you should isolate so that you do not pass the virus to others.

If you think you may have been exposed or test positive for COVID-19, it is very important to stay home and limit your interaction with others in your household and in public as much as possible. Stay at least six feet apart from others and avoid having any unnecessary visitors, especially people who are at high risk of severe illness.

If you have previously tested positive for COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to three months, as long as you do not develop symptoms. Additionally, you do not need to quarantine if you have been vaccinated, it’s been two weeks to three months since your last dose, and you do not have symptoms. However, you should still monitor for symptoms for up to 14 days after your exposure.

If you have questions about whether or not you should quarantine, contact your healthcare provider.

If you believe you have symptoms of COVID-19 or that you have been exposed to the virus, you should consult your place of work for specific guidance about whether to stay home or continue working.​ ​You should adhere to recommendations set forth by your employer or the department of health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines.

Visit the ​CDC website​ for more information.

What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation?
Isolation and quarantine are both ways to limit your interaction with others to prevent the spread of disease.

  • Isolation is separating individuals with COVID-19 from people who are not sick. Individuals are separated for a period of time until they are no longer infectious.
  • Quarantine is separating individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 from people who are not sick. They are separated for a period of time to see if they develop symptoms.

For more information on self-isolation and self-quarantine, click here.

If you believe you have symptoms of COVID-19 or that you have been exposed to the virus, you should consult your place of work for specific guidance about whether to stay home or continue working.​ ​You should adhere to recommendations set forth by your employer or the department of health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines.

If someone in my household has to quarantine, should I quarantine as well?
If someone in your household is told to quarantine because they’ve been exposed to COVID-19, you should quarantine as well. This is especially true if you’ve been in close contact with that person. It’s possible for you to have the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

You do not need to quarantine if you have had COVID-19 in the last three months, have recovered, and do not have symptoms. Additionally, you do not need to quarantine if you have been vaccinated, it’s been two weeks to three months since your last dose, and you do not have symptoms. However, you should still monitor for symptoms for up to 14 days after your exposure.

If you have questions about whether or not you should quarantine, contact your healthcare provider.

Visit the ​CDC website​ for more information.

Is there a difference between stopping isolation vs. stopping quarantine?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ​guidelines recommend considering different factors when deciding to stop isolation or quarantine:

  • Those who have been​ ​infected with COVID-19​ should isolate. They may be able to stop isolating once symptoms have improved, and it has been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared. ​Some symptoms such as loss of taste or smell may last for weeks or months and should not delay ending isolation. ​Those who have never had symptoms may be able to stop isolating 10 days after testing. However, those who had severe illness from COVID-19, or people with a weakened immune system, may need to isolate longer than 10 days or may require testing to determine when they can be around others.
  • Those who have​ been possibly​ exposed to COVID-19​ should quarantine. They may be able to stop quarantining if they don’t develop symptoms, and it has been at least 14 days after possible exposure. ​Although 14 days is recommended, the CDC suggests that some individuals may be able to quarantine for a shorter period of time. Individuals without symptoms can end quarantine at day 10 without testing, or at day 7 if they receive a negative test result on day 5 or later. The length of time to quarantine may be decided by your state or local department of health. You should adhere to recommendations set forth by the department of health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines. ​Those who’ve been possibly exposed to COVID-19 but ​have already had COVID-19 in the last three months, recovered, and do not have symptoms, do not need to quarantine. Additionally, you do not need to quarantine if you have been vaccinated, it’s been two weeks to three months since your last dose, and you do not have symptoms. However, you should still monitor for symptoms for up to 14 days after your exposure.

Please note that it’s possible for a person ​diagnosed w​ ith COVID-19 to stop isolation before someone ​possibly exposed​ can stop quarantining.

For more information on self-isolation and self-quarantine, click here​.

Who should quarantine?
Anyone who may have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should quarantine. Close contact includes:

  • Being within six feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period
  • Providing care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • Direct physical contact with someone who has COVID-19 (hugged or kissed them)
  • Sharing eating or drinking utensils with someone who has COVID-19
  • Being exposed to respiratory droplets from someone who has COVID-19 (being sneezed or coughed on) People up to three months, as long as they do not develop symptoms.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to three months, as long as they do not develop symptoms.

Anyone who has been vaccinated does not need to quarantine after being exposed to someone with COVID-19 if they:

  • Are fully vaccinated and it has been at least two weeks since their last dose AND
  • Are within three months following their last dose AND
  • Have not experienced symptoms since exposure

If they do not meet all t​hree of the criteria above, they should continue to follow quarantine guidance.

I’m traveling soon. Do I need to quarantine?
Depending on where you’re going, you may need to quarantine at your destination if there are entry requirements and restrictions. Be sure to check ​state, territorial​, ​tribal​ and local public health websites for more information on travel quarantines. International travelers should check with the Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or the ​US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information page​ for more details.

When should I start and end quarantine?
If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, you should quarantine for 14 days. This period begins from the last close contact you had with someone who has COVID-19, even if you test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy. Although 14 days is recommended, the CDC suggests that some individuals may be able to quarantine for a shorter period of time. Individuals without symptoms can end quarantine at day 10 without testing, or at day 7 if they receive a negative test result on day 5 or later. The length of time to quarantine may be decided by your state or local department of health. You should adhere to recommendations set forth by the department of health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines.

If you live in a household where you cannot avoid close contact with the person who has COVID-19, ​you should quarantine immediately. You will need to continue to quarantine for 14 days after the person meets ​criteria to end home isolation​, as recommended by the CDC, unless otherwise specified. In some situations, this time period may be shorter than 14 days.

For additional questions about when to start or stop quarantine, be sure to contact your healthcare provider.

If I have been vaccinated, do I still need to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19?
You do not need to quarantine after being exposed to someone with COVID-19 if you:

  • Are fully vaccinated and it has been at least two weeks since your last dose AND
  • Are within three months following your last dose AND
  • Have not experienced symptoms since exposure

However, you should still monitor for symptoms for up to 14 days after your exposure.

If you do not meet all three of the criteria above, you should continue to follow quarantine guidance.

When can I stop in-home isolation?
If you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19, please check with your primary healthcare provider or local health department to help determine when it’s right to stop isolation. Typically this is done when fever and symptoms improve and 10 days have passed since symptoms started. Some symptoms, such as loss of taste or smell, may last for weeks or months and should not delay ending isolation. If you do not have symptoms, you may be able to stop isolating 10 days after your test was performed. Be sure to continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing and isolation. For more information, please visit the ​CDC website​.

Antibody Test-Specific FAQs

What is the purpose of COVID-19 antibody testing?
On an individual level, an antibody test looks for antibodies in the blood. Your immune system makes antibody proteins to help fight infections. If you were exposed to COVID-19, an antibody test will show whether or not you’ve developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. An antibody test cannot tell you whether you have a current COVID-19 infection.

On a population level, antibody testing can give researchers a sense of how many people have been exposed to and infected by COVID-19. In the future, antibody testing may show whether someone has immunity against COVID-19, meaning that they cannot get infected again. If antibodies make people immune to COVID-19, it can help inform leaders and public health officials about whether the population has reached herd immunity. Herd immunity is when a l​arge percentage of a population has become immune to COVID-19, which can protect those people who are not immune.

What are the different types of antibodies? Do they offer different types of immunity?
There are three different types of antibodies: IgM, IgG, and IgA.

  • Immunoglobulin M (IgM) is usually produced as the body’s first response to an infection. However, for COVID-19, IgM antibodies are produced around the same time as IgG antibodies. Generally, IgM may provide short-term protection and can help tell if an individual has been recently infected.
  • Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is the most common type of antibody. It’s usually made several days to weeks after most infections. However, for COVID-19, IgG antibodies are produced around the same time as IgM antibodies. Generally, IgG remains in the body and may provide long-term protection against future exposure.
  • Immunoglobulin A (IgA) is found in the blood, sinuses, lungs, and stomach. Generally, IgA helps protect these areas from infection. However, it’s unknown what role these antibodies play in determining exposure or immunity to COVID-19.

There is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have these antibodies are protected against future COVID-19 infections. Additionally, antibody testing by itself should not be used to establish the presence or absence of COVID-19 infection or reinfection. Visit the ​CDC website​ for further information.

When do antibodies develop?
Based on the most current research, antibodies develop around 1 to 3 weeks after infection from COVID-19. However, this varies by individual, and some people may take a longer time to develop antibodies.

Do all COVID-19 antibody tests look for the same types of antibodies? Is there any advantage in getting one type of antibody test over another?
All COVID-19 antibody tests look for antibodies in the blood specific to the virus. There are antibody tests that look for one specific antibody (such as an IgG test). Other antibody tests look for the presence of multiple antibodies (such as a total antibody test). Both types of tests are helpful when trying to check if you have been exposed to the virus. At this time there is no advantage in checking for one antibody versus another. IgM and IgG antibodies are most useful when checking for past exposure to COVID-19. The CDC does not recommend testing for IgA antibodies.

Can antibody tests be used to diagnose a COVID-19 infection?
Antibody tests do not show whether a person is currently infected. A molecular (PCR) test is a more reliable indicator of current COVID-19 infection.

Antibody testing by itself should not be used to establish the presence or absence of COVID-19 infection or reinfection. Individuals might get tested too early before antibodies develop, and some individuals never develop detectable antibodies following infection. Additionally, having antibodies may indicate a previous infection and may be unrelated to the current illness.

Can I use a semi-quantitative COVID-19 antibody test to determine my level of immunity?
A semi-quantitative antibody test can help identify individuals who have developed an immune response after exposure to COVID-19 or vaccination. However, it should not be used to determine the level of immunity you have. However, evidence is still being collected to determine if antibodies provide protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) specifically. Follow up with your healthcare provider for additional guidance on how to interpret your test results.

Can I use a semi-quantitative COVID-19 antibody test to track my antibody levels over time?
This test provides a numerical value that helps determine whether or not you have antibodies at the time of testing. However, it is still unknown whether or not it is useful to track antibody levels over time. Follow up with your healthcare provider for additional guidance on how to interpret your test results.

My COVID-19 antibody test was positive, but I’m still having symptoms. What should I do?
If you’re having symptoms of COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider or local health department to get tested for active infection. The antibody test can only tell you if you’ve been exposed and have developed an immune response, but it cannot say whether you have an active infection.

My COVID-19 antibody test was negative, but I previously tested positive for COVID-19 or was exposed. Is my result incorrect?
Getting an antibody test too soon after being infected may cause a false negative result. It usually takes around 1 to 3 weeks after being infected with COVID-19 for your body to produce enough antibodies to be detected in the blood. However, current research shows it may be best to wait 3 to 4 weeks after infection to get tested for antibodies. Some people may take even longer to develop antibodies or may not develop enough antibodies to be detected by the test. It is recommended that you contact your healthcare provider or local health department to see if retesting is needed.

If my COVID-19 antibody test is positive, can I get sick again with COVID-19?
If your test results show that you’re positive for COVID-19 antibodies in the blood, it means you’ve likely been exposed to 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 these antibodies are protected against future COVID-19 infections.

What is the chance that my COVID-19 antibody test result was a false positive?
False positives occur when a person tests positive even though they DO NOT have the antibodies for COVID-19. There is a small chance that the result could be a false positive. Manufacturers must demonstrate a high specificity of approximately 99% to 100% to ensure validation of their test. ​If you have additional questions, please contact the lab directly for more information.

If I had more severe symptoms of COVID-19, will I have a higher antibody level?
Some studies have shown that individuals with more severe symptoms develop higher antibody levels. However, although having antibodies usually gives immunity from future infection, there is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have higher amounts of these antibodies are better protected against future COVID-19 infections.

Can I have antibodies if I did not have any symptoms of COVID-19?
You can have antibodies from an asymptomatic COVID-19 infection. An asymptomatic infection is when you are infected but do not show any symptoms.

Can my antibody value change over time?
It usually takes 1 to 3 weeks for antibodies to be detected in your blood. Because antibodies develop over time, it’s possible that your antibody levels can change depending on when you tested.

My antibody value is low. Should I get retested to see if my result will change?
It usually takes 1 to 3 weeks for antibodies to be detected in your blood. Because antibodies develop over time, it’s possible that your antibody levels can change depending on when you tested. However, this varies by individual. Talk with your healthcare provider or local health department about your results to see if retesting is advised.

What does an indeterminate COVID-19 antibody test result mean?
If your test result is indeterminate for COVID-19 antibodies in the blood, this means that the results were neither positive nor negative. You will likely need to be retested in order to confirm whether or not you have antibodies in the blood. An indeterminate result can happen if you do not have enough antibodies in your blood for the test to detect, such as if you test too soon after becoming infected. This result can also happen if there was a problem with your sample or the test itself.

Based on the results of my antibody test, do I need to continue social distancing and/or wearing a mask? Can I visit someone who is at risk for severe symptoms of the virus?
At this time, there is no test that can tell you when to stop social distancing or isolating. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider about next steps and continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing and COVID-19 safety precautions. You should also use caution or avoid visiting at-risk individuals like those above the age of 65 or with pre-existing medical conditions.

If I have antibodies, am I a good candidate for donating plasma?
People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are encouraged to consider donating plasma. You must be completely recovered from symptoms for at least 14 days prior to donation. If you have additional questions, please contact the donation center directly for more information.

Should I get an antibody test to check if I’m immune before or after a COVID-19 vaccination?
At this time there is no recommendation to get an antibody test to check your immune status. As your body develops an immune response from the vaccine, you may test positive on some antibody tests​. Antibody tests indicate you may have been previously exposed to the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.

General Test FAQs

How do I know if the COVID-19 test is accurate and reliable?
PWNHealth only uses COVID-19 tests that have received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). These authorized​ ​tests minimize the chance of inaccurate, false positive, or false negative results. The FDA has found that tests that meet certain standards are of superior quality and have high sensitivity and specificity* (measurements of accuracy).

PWNHealth will not use tests that have been shown to have low sensitivity and specificity.​ ​For additional information, please reach out to the lab directly.

*​Actual sensitivity and specificity may vary between test manufacturers. A sample that is not properly collected may also result in an inaccurate result.

What is the difference between an antibody test and a PCR test?
An antibody test checks to see if you’ve developed antibodies against COVID-19, which occurs after being exposed to the virus. Antibody tests do not show whether a person is currently infected.

PCR tests check for genetic material (viral RNA) produced by the virus. It determines if you’re currently infected and can spread COVID-19 to others.

When would I get an antibody test vs. a PCR test?
You should get an antibody test if you’ve been previously exposed or believe you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and want to see if you think you have an active COVID-19 infection.

Visit the ​CDC website​ for more information.

If I’m having symptoms of COVID-19 or believe I’ve been exposed to it, what type of test should I get?
If you’re currently having symptoms of COVID-19 or have recently been exposed, you should get a PCR test to see if you’re currently infected.

Can an antibody test be used instead of a PCR test to diagnose COVID-19?
Antibody tests do not show whether a person is currently infected. Therefore, they should not be used in place of a PCR test to diagnose a current infection.

Can an antibody test be used together with a PCR test?
Antibody tests can complement PCR tests by providing information about exposure and how the immune system responds to ​COVID-19​ infections.

Can a COVID-19 test tell me when I can visit someone who is at risk for severe symptoms of the virus?
There is no test that can tell you when you can visit someone who is at risk for more severe symptoms of COVID-19. Check with your primary healthcare provider or local health department to help determine when the time is right to make such visits. Be sure to continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing and COVID-19 safety precautions.

What is the difference between Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval?
The FDA has the authority to grant Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to diagnostic tests that have not yet received formal approval in times of a public health emergency. The FDA has granted EUA for certain tests during the COVID-19 pandemic to help detect or diagnose COVID-19.

Like full FDA approval, EUA relies on strict standards. However, EUA is completed more quickly based on the limited data that is available, unlike full FDA approval.

For more information, please visit the ​FDA website​.

Have COVID-19 tests been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?
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);

The FDA has authorized the use of some tests by certain laboratories under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA);

The antibody tests have been authorized for the detection of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 only, and not for the detection of any other viruses or pathogens;

The molecular (PCR) tests have been authorized for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 only, and not for the detection of any other viruses or pathogens; and,

Tests are only authorized for as long as the circumstances exist to justify the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.

What does “sensitivity” mean? What does “specificity” mean?
Sensitivity and specificity are different and complementary measures to inform doctors and patients about the accuracy of a test. A good test has both high sensitivity and high specificity.

Sensitivity​ is a measure of how well a test is able to detect people who are infected (positive cases). If a person has an infection, a test with 100% sensitivity can accurately detect it with a positive result.

Specificity​ is a measure of how well a test can detect people who are NOT infected (negative cases). If a person does not have an infection, a test with 100% specificity can accurately detect it with a negative result.

What are false positives and false negatives?
A positive result that is incorrect is called a false positive. False positives occur when a person tests positive even though they do not have the infection.

A negative result that is incorrect is called a false negative. False negatives occur when a person tests negative even though they do have the infection.

False negatives and positives can worsen the COVID-19 pandemic by providing false reassurance to those who have the infection or by causing those who do not have it to use critical resources.

Description

The detection of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) IgG antibodies that indicate exposure. It normally takes IgG at least ten days to hit measurable levels after the onset of the symptoms. An IgG positive outcome may indicate an immune response to a primary SARS-CoV-2 infection, but the relationship between IgG positive and SARS-CoV-2 immunity has not yet been firmly defined. 

Antibody studies were not shown to reliably diagnose or exclude infection with SARS-CoV-2. Positive findings can also be due to past or current infection with non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus types, such as HKU1, NL63, OC43, or 229E coronavirus. COVID-19 diagnosis is made using molecular test methods to identify SARS-CoV-2 RNA, consistent with a patient's clinical findings.

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