Submitted by karen vales,
Clinical Laboratory Scientist
Microbioloist, MCH Laboratory
Our laboratory is excited to announce that we are now offering antibody, or serology testing, to determine if you have been previously infected with COVID-19. We use the Roche Diagnostics Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody test due to its accuracy and reliability.
This test will determine a correct result for the presence or absence of COVID-19 antibodies 99.81 percent of the time, meaning false positives are rare. It has proven 100 percent sensitive for the presence of antibodies 14 days or more after a confirmed infection.
We are running the antibody tests on our cobas e 411 analyzer and, depending on when you have your blood drawn, you will receive results within one to seven days.
Antibody testing must be ordered by a physician, so the first step is to call your healthcare provider and request an order for the test. Then you will register over the phone by calling our Patient Access Department at (909) 436-3002.
The cost of the test is $75. If your insurance is contracted with MCH, we will submit a claim on your behalf. We offer a 40-percent discount for cash-pay patients. If you are paying cash, payment is due on the day of your blood draw.
Antibody tests are great for finding out whether or not you’ve had an infection in the past, but a positive antibody test doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be protected from infection in the future. Since there is still so much that is unknown, it is best to err on the side of caution and continue to take precautions — including wearing a face mask in public, frequently washing your hands and practicing social distancing — to avoid the risk of spreading the virus. I believe we will know a lot more in the coming months.
Antibody testing is different from testing to detect an active infection.
COVID-19 testing supplies are still difficult to come by. Our lab is very fortunate to have a BioFire FilmArray, thanks to generous community donors. The BioFire enables us to run a respiratory panel that includes COVID-19. We are reserving these limited test kits for emergencies and surgeries.
We are still testing local residents who are symptomatic or have had direct contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 through our Rural Health Clinic, but these tests are sent to a lab down the hill, so you can expect to wait up to 10 days for results.
If you are asymptomatic but would like to be tested, you can do that through the county. If you need results quickly, Equaltox Laboratory in Santa Ana can turn around results in 24 to 48 hours. If you have any questions about our lab services, please call (909) 336-3140.
At this time, we have sent out 703 tests. We have received 21 positive tests and 574 negative tests. The remaining tests are either pending or inconclusive. Currently, there are 58 confirmed cases in our communities, from Crestline to Green Valley Lake.