GREENVILLE — Beginning Tuesday, May 26, Wayne HealthCare will offer COVID-19 antibody testing to the public. No appointment is necessary, and a physician’s order is not required for the walk-in test.
The test, which is a blood draw, detects whether antibodies to the coronavirus are present in the blood. It’s intended for those individuals who feel well and do not have current symptoms but suspect they may have recovered from a COVID-19 infection earlier this year.
“Offering antibody testing at Wayne HealthCare is important for a number of reasons,” said Kim Freeman, vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer at Wayne HealthCare. “Not only will it provide answers to those curious if an unexplained illness they had earlier in the year was COVID-19, it will provide us, as a hospital, with a better understanding of the virus’s prevalence throughout Darke County and surrounding communities. Plus, it also provides valuable information to those individuals who may wish to donate convalescent plasma to help others currently fighting the virus,” added Freeman.
The specific test Wayne HealthCare is offering is the COVID-19 IgG antibody test. “We like this test because IgG antibodies are those antibodies that the body produces in the latter stages of an infection and tend to provide long-term immunity against a virus,” said Matt Kiehl, administrative director of Laboratory Services at Wayne HealthCare. “So, this test will tell us if you have these antibodies. Unfortunately, because this is a new strain of coronavirus, what it won’t tell us is what levels of antibodies are needed for lasting immunity.”
Those interested in being tested should come to the Outpatient Lab during normal business hours. Everyone entering the hospital must pass a mandatory health screening. The lab is located inside the hospital at 835 Sweitzer Street in Greenville and is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday. Testing is walk-in only.
The test costs $65 and payment is due at the time of service. Results typically take between two to four days to process and will be mailed to the patient’s home address. Testing positive for the IgG antibody does not necessarily imply immunity from COVID-19. Individuals should continue to follow all federal, state and local health guidance aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19.
The antibody test is not intended to determine if a patient has a current infection.