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What an Antibody Test Can Reveal About a Past COVID-19 Infection

Over the last year or so, people around the world have struggled with many mysteries connected to the novel coronavirus. We’ve learned a lot about COVID-19, including how to deter spread with masks, social distancing, and better ventilation indoors.

Many people who may have had COVID-19 earlier this year, or at some point last year, were not able to get testing to confirm their diagnosis at the time. If you’ve recovered, but want to know for sure if you had COVID-19 in the past, antibody testing may be able to help.

At GatherWell Rapid COVID Testing of Ham Lake, Otsego, and Edina, Minnesota, our team offers prompt, accurate testing to get you the information you need to know in order to protect your and your loved ones’ health. In addition to rapid testing to check for current COVID-19 infection, we also offer on-site antibody testing to tell you if you had COVID-19 in the past. Here’s how antibody testing works.

Looking for clues

Even after you’ve recovered from a COVID-19 infection, there are clues in your body that can tell us if you’ve had this disease. With antibody testing, we check for the presence of the specific types of antibodies produced to fight off COVID-19.

Your antibodies are a natural part of your immune system. In order to defend you from infectious germs, your body produces specific types of antibodies. If you’ve fought off COVID-19, antibodies might still be present in your blood, showing that you had this disease.

If you think you could have had COVID-19 in the past, or had COVID-19 symptoms like shortness of breath, fever, and loss of sense of smell, you could benefit from antibody testing. We use a blood sample for your antibody test. Just a simple finger prick can give you information on the presence of COVID-19 antibodies in your blood.

Interpreting your results

We’re still learning about post-recovery immunity from COVID-19. The presence of COVID-19-related antibodies in your blood might indicate that you have some degree of temporary immunity. Antibody testing can also tell you if you could be a good candidate to donate convalescent plasma.

Antibody testing doesn’t provide information about a present COVID-19 infection, so you might want to get an antigen or PCR test to find out your current status.

Even if you have immunity to COVID-19, including after vaccination, continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing. These behaviors are still recommended this spring to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Getting the information you need

The global COVID-19 pandemic has thrown all of our lives into uncertainty, delaying plans and changing trajectories. Uncertainty can be stressful, and lack of information about your COVID-19 status can make it hard to keep track of the right safety precautions to take. 

When you know your present and past positivity for COVID-19, you and your health care provider can make the right choices for your long-term health and wellness.

The GatherWell team provides in-office and on-site antibody testing, with results often available within just 20 minutes. To schedule your testing appointment, call our offices today, or go online to book.