How accurate are the COVID-19 tests you use?
We use the most accurate tests available on the market. They are manufactured by internationally known, high quality laboratory companies. The PCR test for the virus has sensitivity and specificity in the 99% range. The serum IgG test manufactured by Abbott, when performed at least two weeks after a patient has first exhibited symptoms, has sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 99.5%
For more information, read this article about Abbott’s antibody test
Who produces your COVID-19 infection and antibody tests?
Thermo-fisher produces our COVID-19 PCR test and Abbott produces the antibody test. Both are authorized by the FDA and also by European labs.
I heard about the FDA's concerns about Abbott’s instant coronavirus test. Do you use this test?
COVID-19 testing performed at WHG does not use Abbott's "instant" coronavirus detection test. We utilize Abbott's proven and reliable serum IgG blood test for antibody testing only, which is a different test and method for detection altogether than the rapid test by Abbott recently scrutinized in the media.
Does the COVID-19 antibody test detect 2 or 3 antibodies?
The test we are using is manufactured by Abbott and is the most accurate test currently on the market with the highest rates of sensitivity and specificity. The test is for the presence of IgG antibodies. These are the antibodies that are formed 7-14 days after becoming exposed or infected and which might indicate immunity in some way.
Does insurance cover the COVID-19 antibody test?
If I’m feeling well, should I still get tested?
You should consider testing for the virus if:
You were exposed to someone with known COVID 19
You were exposed to someone with symptoms consistent with COVID 19 but who did not get tested
You are concerned you may have unknowingly been exposed and want to make sure you are not carrying the virus and are asymptomatic (up to 60% of cases)
You have symptoms consistent with COVID 19.
You should consider testing for the Antibody if:
You were sick with symptoms consistent with COVID 19 and want to know if you had it
You want to know if you have antibodies as they may be protective for future risk
You want to return to work and want to know if you have had the virus already
What are the benefits to getting the COVID-19 antibody test if you have not had any symptoms?
Many cases of COVID-19 virus infection are asymptomatic so it is possible you may have had an infection and already have antibodies to protect you from further infection. Although research is still being done on COVID-19 infection, in general, when people have positive antibodies they are either immune or much less likely to become infected.
Should I get re-tested before I go back to work in two weeks?
It is currently unclear whether sequential testing or repeated testing is necessary. If you are asymptomatic and test negative for both antibody and the virus, then there is probably no need for antibody testing in another 2 weeks.
Current Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control is still unclear. In theory, you could be exposed right after testing. Most laboratories recommend testing every 9 – 14 days if the antibody was not present in the blood when tested due to a delay from the time of exposure to the seroconversion of the antibody that can be detected in the blood test. This seroconversion can to take anywhere from 2 – 14 days. Unfortunately, there could be exposure in the weeks after testing.
Another unknown is how long the antibodies last. Because there is little information with this new virus, if you have antibodies to the virus, we can’t yet guarantee that you won’t get it again. That is why social distancing, hand washing, and face coverings are so important regardless of your test results.
My family member tested positive for COVID-19 and is recovering now. Would these tests benefit him or her?
Once someone has tested positive, then the antibody test will give information that he or she is likely to be resistant to further re-infection. However, we are still researching this. This is the person who is least likely to need either test.