Quest Diagnostics, a private lab based in Secaucus, New Jersey, announced Tuesday it will now test for the coronavirus (COVID-19) antibodies using blood samples.
The body’s immune system creates antibodies, proteins found in the blood, to fight off diseases, viruses and other agents, in this case, the coronavirus.
Quest Diagnostics is using tests from Abbott and EUROIMMUN and confirmed both tests help detect immunoglobulin class G antibodies which develop within two weeks after symptoms, according to the company’s news release.
“The Abbott and EUROIMMUN tests are marketed under FDA’s Policy for Diagnostic Tests for Coronavirus Disease-2019,” according to the Quest Diagnostics news release. “Abbott plans to submit for FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and EUROIMMUN is currently seeking EUA.”
While both tests show antibodies are present in blood samples, the results do not prove a person with coronavirus antibodies is immune from the virus.
Kim Gorode, spokeswoman for Quest Diagnostics, wrote in an email Wednesday, patients have to meet certain criteria in order to get tested.
“Test collection is available only to patients who: have a test requisition from a healthcare provider; are asymptomatic; have been asymptomatic for at least 10 days; lack a fever, as assessed by non-contact thermometer checks at time of visit; and are wearing a face mask,” she wrote, adding patients must make an appointment ahead of time.
The test results are expected within one to two days after receiving a blood sample and approximately 2,200 patient centers will provide antibody testing.
“Healthcare providers can also collect blood specimens in their offices for patients for testing by Quest Diagnostics,” Gorode added.
She said the following Quest Diagnostics locations on the Peninsula were performing the tests:
- Quest Diagnostics Newport News, 11717 Jefferson Ave.
- TaylorMade Diagnostics Occupational Health Services, 803 Diligence Drive
- Quest Diagnostics Hampton, 2040 Coliseum Drive, Suite 13
However, when WYDaily looked up all three locations, one Newport News location, TaylorMade Diagnostics, had a message on their website which stated the facility was closed through May 3 and to use their other location in Chesapeake. Google marked the Quest Diagnostics Hampton location as “temporarily closed.”
WYDaily called the Hampton and Newport News Quest locations and both locations’ answering machines went straight to the corporate voicemail and then the regional office’s personalized voicemail.
WYDaily called TaylorMade Diagnostics and spoke to Gina Brantley, account administrator for the Newport News location.
Brantley confirmed the location was closed through May 3 and she was the only one in the office working answering the phones.
“We are the preferred provider for drug collections for Quest,” she said, adding TaylorMade is a standalone office.
Gorode responded about the antibody testing sites in an email later on Wednesday.
“All of our PSCs, patient service centers, are capable of collecting COVID antibody specimen,” she wrote. “Each one has different hours and availability, and this is changing because of COVID.”
She added the Quest’s online appointment tool would should the centers’ updated hours of operation.