Serology testing for SARS-CoV-2 is now available at The Everett Clinic. Unlike well-established viral serologic tests, this assay is in early development and has only been authorized under emergency use authorization (EUA). Whereas this test is specific for COVID-19, there are many unanswered questions regarding the predictive value of testing, including questions about COVID-19 immunity. The World Health Organization states that "there is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection.¹"
Prior to testing, providers and patients need to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of this test and need to be well informed of the utility of this test. It is also important to affirm that serologic testing does not diagnose active disease, it can only demonstrate previous exposure. For diagnosis of active or recent COVID-19, consider RT-PCR COVID-19 or the new Abbott POC test. For diagnosis of active or recent COVID-19, please talk with your provider about our other types of testing.
Please contact your health insurance to understand coverage, as serology testing may not be covered.
What does this antibody test NOT do?
- This test does NOT test for immunity. Information about immunity cannot yet be determined from current IgG serology tests
- This test does NOT determine protection against COVID-19 re-infection
- This test does NOT diagnose active COVID-19 infection
- This test does NOT prove that someone is not contagious
- This test does NOT replace standard effective infection control practices: social distancing, cough hygiene, hand hygiene, minimizing contact with vulnerable populations
What does this antibody test do?
- This test is intended ONLY to confirm prior exposure or infection due to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), (e.g., if exposure or infection occurred greater than approximately 2 weeks in the past)
- This test helps understand background rates of exposure to COVID-19 in our community
- This test helps public health authorities better determine the prevalence and determine public policy