Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Antibody Testing

With Montgomery County moving into the Yellow stage of reopening, patients may want to learn their status for COVID-19 exposure. Since the virus was only detected in December 2019, critical factors of the virus including symptoms, long-term effects and effective vaccination are still being researched by doctors and scientists worldwide. AFC Urgent Care Cheltenham is offering COVID-19 antibody testing to detect past infection in asymptomatic patients seven days a week.

What is antibody testing?

Antibody testing is a blood test that can detect past infection with the COVID-19 virus by determining the presence of antibodies, an immune response to a virus developed after an infection has healed. Antibodies typically develop between ten to fourteen days after healing, and patients must be asymptomatic for at least fourteen days prior to getting tested. Please wear a protective mask or face covering when visiting our center for testing. 

What does my antibody test mean?

A positive antibody test indicates exposure to COVID-19 and probable infection. While you may have exhibited symptoms earlier in the winter or spring, you could have also been infected with the virus without any symptoms at all. Your body has developed antibodies against the virus, an immune response. Up-to-date information about whether or not antibodies provide an immunity to further infection is available on the CDC website.

A negative antibody test indicates no exposure to COVID-19 and therefore no immune response. However, because antibodies require time to develop, you could have been exposed in the previous ten days and have not had time to develop a response as of your test. 

Whether or not you have antibodies for COVID-19, it is critical to continue practicing city and state health and safety regulations including social distancing, avoiding time in public areas and wearing protective masks.

The difference between COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing

COVID-19 diagnostic testing can be performed on asymptomatic as well as symptomatic patients. Diagnostic testing is performed by taking a nasal swab of the lower nasal cavity, taking only a few moments and leading to no pain for the patient. Results are available in only 48 hours. Antibody testing is performed using a blood sample and can only be performed on asymptomatic patients, detecting previous infection.

COVID-19 Antibody Testing & Telemedicine Screenings in Cheltenham & Wyncote, PA

If you have previously experienced symptoms of COVID-19 and have been asymptomatic and fever-free for at least 14 days, schedule a telemedicine screening with AFC Urgent Care Cheltenham today! Screenings and testing are performed seven days a week. For questions, please call 267-436-0322.