PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – If you want to get a COVID-19 antibody test, you don’t need an order from a doctor. Sonora Quest Laboratories is offering a direct-to-consumer test through its My Lab ReQuest service. It costs $99.
The antibody test, also known as serology testing, does not diagnose active COVID-19 like a nasal or throat swab does. Rather, it’s a blood test to that determine if your body has developed antibodies to the virus. If you have antibodies, then you have been exposed to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
“[T]ests like these will provide us with a clearer picture of the prevalence of the virus within our community and allow for better insight into the development of protective immunity,” Brian Mochon, a microbiologist with Sonora Quest, explained in a news release.
The antibody test Sonora Quest uses was developed by EUROIMMUN, a PerkinElmer company, and green-lit by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use by labs like Sonora Quest. The test is most reliable when the blood draw is done at least 10 to 14 days after symptoms start, and it becomes increasingly reliable as more time since exposure passes.
If you have an active infection, you need to be fever-free for at least three days before you go in for your blood draw. You also will need to wear a face mask during your appointment.
The test results, at this point, are pretty general. Yes, you have antibodies. Or no, you don't.
While some antibody tests require only a finger stick (similar to a blood sugar test) the Sonora Quest test requires a larger sample, according to the company's website, so it is a blood draw.
For more information about antibody testing, visit SonoraQuest.com/antibody. To schedule a COVID-19 antibody test, go to MyLabRequest.com on your computer or mobile device. Sonora Quest says you should have your results in three to six days, depending on the demand. The company said it expects to run up to 3,000 tests per day and scale up from there.