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Quincy Medical Group (QMG) announced that on Monday, April 27th, they will be providing immunoassay antibody testing for SARS-CoV-2(COVID-19). Antibody tests – also known as serological tests – may help identify those who may have been infected and those who have developed antibodies that may protect from future infection as well as identify those still at risk.

QMG Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Schlepphorst said, “This is not a test for current or active COVID-19 patients;  people who have a dry cough, fever or shortness of breath or other COVID-19 symptoms should continue to call the COVID-19 hotlines.”

The antibody test is a physician-ordered blood test, so patients who think that they qualify to be tested should contact their primary care provider. The blood test results will be available to patients within 1-2 business days.

Schlepphorst continued, “There is still a lot to learn about antibody testing but we know that there are people in our community who called the hotline early on with COVID-19 symptoms or those who lived with a positive COVID-19 patient who were told to self-isolate but were never tested. This test allows us to learn if that person was exposed and had COVID-19 and we believe this may be useful to us in further preventing the spread of the virus.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What are antibodies?

When people get an infection, their immune systems make proteins called antibodies that help fight the infection.

Why antibody testing?

When you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, you may or may not have symptoms. Over time, your body can produce antibodies to the virus, even if you are asymptomatic. Abbott’s new serology (blood) test, used at Quincy Medical Group, can detect antibodies that an infected person has produced. This type of testing allows us to determine who has developed antibodies, helping to identify those who have had exposure to the virus.

How reliable is this test?

This test is very reliable and shows evidence of recent COVID-19 infection.

Does it follow CDC guidelines? Is it FDA approved?

Yes. The CDC wants patients to get tested and this is the best way to tell about infections from 2 or more weeks ago.

This test is approved under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Most COVID testing has been approved through this path.

How much does the test cost? Will my Insurance Cover the Cost?

Quincy Medical Group is charging $50 per test.

It is too early to know how insurance claims for this testing will be processed. Codes have just recently been established for billing and much of this information is being constantly updated. As with all laboratory testing, we recommend that you contact your insurance carrier with any questions.

Can anyone be tested or are there certain criteria?

The decision for testing is based upon the ordering provider’s assessment and discretion.

Why is a Doctor's Order Necessary to get this Test?

All laboratory testing requires a doctor’s order.

Do you have to be a QMG Patient to get this test?

No, you do not need to be a patient at QMG to obtain a test. We accept orders from other healthcare providers.

All patients desiring testing will need to come to one of the Quincy Medical Group locations, with their doctor’s order, to have their blood specimen obtained. This is to ensure that specimens are collected and processed according to requirements for testing.

Do I have to come to Quincy to get the test?
How is this test administered?

The test is done by drawing blood from the arm and testing for antibodies in blood to COVID-19.

How long will it take to get results?

Quincy Medical Group laboratory will be performing the testing Monday through Saturday. Depending on when we receive your sample results will be provided to your doctor within one to two business days.

What does it mean if my results come back as positive? if they come back negative?

If your test returns positive, you have Corona antibodies and there is an extremely high probability that you recently had a COVID-19 infection.

If your test is negative, there is a similarly high probability that you have not had a COVID-19 infection prior to the last week or two. It does not rule out that you may have acquired an infection in the last few days for which you have not yet made antibodies.