Thursday, 18 June 2020 12:38

Antibody Testing Now Available

Photo provided. Photo provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Hospital offers COVID-19 antibody testing at all outpatient laboratory locations, including Malta Med Emergent Care, Saratoga Hospital Urgent Care – Wilton and Saratoga Hospital Urgent Care – Adirondack. 

Antibody tests are blood tests that look for proteins that have developed in response to an infection, in this case the new coronavirus. A positive test result means that a patient has had and has recovered from COVID-19. Antibodies could offer some protection against future COVID-19 infection by preventing reinfection or helping the immune system fight the virus faster or more effectively.

Test results could provide helpful information to the broader community. If enough people are tested, antibody status could offer insights on how widespread COVID-19 has been in the region. The tests can also identify potential donors for convalescent plasma therapy, which uses blood and antibodies from those who have recovered from COVID-19 to help patients who have the virus. 

Over a six-week period, from May 1 to June 13, the state initiated 12,000 randomly conducted antibody tests. The results, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed June 16, show that 13.4 % of those tested across the state had at some point had the virus. In the greater Capital Region specifically, 2.5% of those tested were shown to have at some point had the virus.    

Tests must be ordered by a healthcare provider. Results are usually reported to patients by their provider or Saratoga Hospital in three to five days. There is no copay.

How to get an antibody test:

A provider order is required for antibody tests at all Saratoga Hospital outpatient lab locations.
Given their extended hours, Malta Med Emergent Care, Urgent Care – Adirondack, and the outpatient lab at Wilton Medical Arts will be the preferred option for many patients.
Patients who do not have an order can come to Urgent Care: Wilton and Urgent Care: Adirondack during normal business hours or Malta Med Emergent Care 24/7 for a screening to determine their eligibility. Those who qualify will be tested. Patients will be charged a copay for the screening but not for the test.

All tests are processed by Saratoga Hospital, which meets the latest Food and Drug Administration validation criteria.

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