COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- UCHealth is now offering antibody tests to anyone in Colorado. The antibody test helps determine if someone has been exposed to or has been sickened from COVID-19 in the past. Antibody testing is a blood draw test.
For anyone interested in getting a COVID-19 antibody test, UCHealth charges $100. Most insurance carriers will cover the testing costs, although patients are encouraged to check their insurance for coverage details.
To order a test, there are two options: Any UCHealth provider can order the tests for their patients. For anyone who isn’t a current UCHealth patient, he or she can create an account through My Health Connection and schedule testing.
With many people contracting COVID-19, people are wondering if they have been exposed to the virus and have antibodies, but didn't have symptoms.
According to UCHealth, "Antibodies are molecules in your body that react to a foreign substance. If you get infected with a virus or bacteria, your body produces antibodies to fight that infection, and those antibodies may still be present years after an infection."
“Many people have been interested in getting antibody tested because they want to know if they have been exposed to COVID-19 or they want to know if they are possibly immune to COVID-19. Unfortunately, for now, the only thing we can tell you is that if you have antibodies, you have been exposed to COVID-19. We cannot tell you yet whether you are immune to it,” said UCHealth Chief Innovation Officer Richard Zane, M.D., who is also the professor and chair of emergency medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
The antibody test administered with UCHealth has been evaluated by the FDA and exceeds the agency's requirements for accuracy. The test that UCHealth offers is >98% specific, meaning that there are fewer than 1 in 1000 errors.
If someone finds they have the antibodies they are encouraged to not change their behavior. It's encouraged to still physically distance from others, wear a mask and wash hands often. Dr. Zane says, "It's very important that you do not change your behaviors because we don't know if the presence of antibodies will prevent you from potentially getting sick from COVID-19 again."