Premier Health begins antibody testing, hundreds turn out for first day

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Premier Health, Fidelity Healthcare and CompuNet Clinical Laboratories are joining with the University of Dayton to offer antibody testing. Monday was their first day at UD Arena.

According to Premier Health officials, you will not need a doctor’s note for the antibody test, but you will need an appointment. The test costs $65 and payment is due by credit card when you arrive for your appointment.

Due to an overwhelming response, the collection site will now be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. 

Click here for more information on making an appointment for the antibody test.

Dr. Joseph Allen with Premier Health says the antibody test takes time which is why an appointment is requireed.

“Because of the blood draw, to kind of control the amount of people that come through, we have to schedule and make sure that [tests] scheduled appropriately,’ said Dr. Allen.

Six people can be tested at a time. Once the patient drives up to the testing site, they must register and get out of their car to receive the blood test. The test results will be received in two business days.

The nasal swab test is still being offered which will detect if a person is currently infected with COVID-19.

Those who believe they are currently infected with COVID-19 should not sign up for the antibody test, but instead get a doctor’s note for the nasal swab test.

The antibody test can detect if a person has had COVID-19 weeks or even months ago. According to Dr. Allen the farthest back a patient has remembered symptoms is 12 weeks.

People may have another reason to take the test than finding out if they once had the virus according to Dr. Allen.

“Another big reason is for the convalescent plasma program that we’re running. If you had the antibodies it may be helpful for the ability for you to donate plasma and help save potentially three or four other lives,” he explained.

Many believe the antibody test could also mean that a person is immune from being infected with COVID-19 again, but Dr. Allen says research is still being done to confirm those claims.

“There are some reports of folks in China and Italy that had it, cleared it and then reacquired it and ended up with symptoms again,” said Dr. Allen. He did go on to say that those symptoms; however, were mild.

But for the most part, Dr. Allen says research and past history shows that the antibodies can offer a certain level of immunity to most who recover from COVID-19.

“[If] the vast majority of us do perform that immune response that we’re supposed to, then we’ll be good to go and we should have some immunity. But we don’t know if that’s longterm, short term. or how that looks in the future,” he said.

So could the antibody be the key to reopening the economy? Dr. Allen says it could provide some insight.

“The antibody testing is a great population health test. As we test more folks and we get a better idea of how many people will actually have these antibodies, it gives us better insight into the herd immunity which is so important [when] we talk about …opening the state and opening up the country,” said Dr. Allen.

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