Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Antibody Testing

As businesses across Philadelphia prepare to reopen, patients and local business owners may be looking for more information about their exposure to COVID-19. Because so much is still unknown about the virus, one of the ways employers can make sure workers are being kept safe is by scheduling antibody testing. AFC Urgent Care Northern Liberties is offering COVID-19 antibody testing to asymptomatic patients seven days a week so patients can learn if they have been previously infected with the novel coronavirus.

How does antibody testing work?

Antibody testing is performed by taking a blood draw and testing it for the presence of antibodies. Antibodies are formed after an infection and act as an immune response to a virus. Patients who are eligible for antibody testing must be asymptomatic and fever-free for at least 14 days prior to testing, which provides time for antibodies to develop. When visiting our center, please wear a mask or protective face covering. 

Interpreting the results of an antibody test

Regardless of what the results of your antibody test indicate, it is important to continue following city and state health and safety guidelines, including limiting time in public areas, wearing protective masks over your nose and mouth and continuing to practice social distancing, putting at least six feet of distance between yourself and others in public. 

Positive antibody test results indicate exposure and probably infection with COVID-19, though you may not have experienced outward symptoms, or felt them on a lower scale. You have developed antibodies against COVID-19 and likely have developed an immune response to the virus. Information regarding the probability of immunity against COVID-19 is still being determined. For the latest information, please visit the CDC website.

A negative antibody test result indicates that you have not been exposed to COVID-19 and have therefore not developed an immune response. However, you may have been exposed to the virus in the past ten days and should continue practicing social distancing. 

What’s the difference between COVID-19 diagnostic testing and antibody testing?

Diagnostic testing can detect the active COVID-19 virus and be administered to both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. Testing is performed by taking a swab of the lower nasal cavity. The test takes only a few moments to gather the sample and is painless to the patient. Results are typically available within 48 hours depending on lab capacity. Antibody testing is performed by taking a blood draw. The test is designed to detect past infection with COVID-19 by determining the presence of antibodies, an immune response to a virus. Antibodies are developed between ten and fourteen days after an infection has subsided. You must be asymptomatic for at least fourteen days, including fever-free, before your antibody test.

COVID-19 Diagnostic & Antibody Testing in Northern Liberties & Fishtown, Philadelphia, PA

If you are preparing to return to your workplace or have been experiencing or previously exhibited symptoms of COVID-19, visit AFC Urgent Care Northern Liberties today. Our center is open seven days a week and offers telemedicine screenings before testing. For questions, please call 267-319-8047.

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