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mch laboratory logoThe COVID-19 Antibody test is a lab test performed on blood that may determine if an individual has produced an antibody to the COVID-19 virus (also called SARS-CoV-2 virus). Your result will be available to be picked up within a week of your blood draw. There will be two disclaimers at the bottom of your lab report that are mandatory per the FDA, since this antibody test was released as “emergency use authorization” and has not yet received formal FDA approval.

What is an Antibody?

An antibody is a tiny blood protein that our bodies produce to help fight disease-causing viruses, bacteria, or fungi. We all have millions of antibodies in our blood that have been made since you were born. Antibodies give you immunity to these germs that can cause infections.

Research suggests that the COVID-19 antibody develops approximately two weeks after the virus is first detectable in your nasopharynx swab test. So, there is a chance you are positive for live virus and positive for COVID-19 antibodies. If you have developed respiratory symptoms since the phone questionnaire or have had physical contact with a known positive virus individual, please seek advice from your primary care physician to determine if you need PCR COVID-19 virus testing.

What Does it Mean if I Have COVID Antibodies?

Learning if you have COVID-19 antibodies will let you know if you have been exposed to COVID-19 and if you developed an immune response. This immunity may protect you from COVID-19 re-infection and make you eligible to donate your plasma to critically ill COVID-19 patients. The preliminary testing performed in our region shows that the test is very accurate in identifying small amounts of COVID-19 antibodies. However, not all individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 produce antibodies. Even patients with mild respiratory symptoms who tested positive for COVID-19 virus may not produce many antibodies.

Early local studies by MCH and Ector County suggest that a positive result strongly indicates you were exposed to COVID-19, because the other SARS viruses have not been prevalent in this region. MCHS employees/providers must report a positive test result to Employee Health & Wellness and contact their PCP. A positive test result will require the employee/provider to submit to a COVID-19 PCR test. The negative result means you have not made a measurable amount of COVID-19 antibody in your blood. Either you have never been exposed to the virus OR you may have been exposed/sick but your body did not mount a measurable immune response. Negative patients may get the virus and cannot donate their plasma.

Make a COVID Antibody Test Appointment:

  • No appointment is needed for COVID-19 antibody testing.
  • COVID-19 antibody testing will cost $20 by cash, check or credit card.

Please call the MCH Regional Lab’s dedicated voicemail line at (432) 640-3924 with questions. A team member is monitoring these calls throughout the day.

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