The COVID-19 viral swab test:
This test tells you whether or not you currently infected with the virus. If you were exposed in the last 14 days to COVID-19 or you have symptoms of feeling sick, you should have the Viral Swab test.
The COVID-19 antibody test:
This test measures whether or not you have had a COVID-19 infection in the recent past. This test is specifically for patients who have not experienced COVID-19 symptoms or have been symptom-free for 10 days. The Antibody test will need a doctor's order. ATN has a physician on staff who can do a telemedicine visit with you. He/she will then give the order if your situation warrants qualify. Your insurance company will be billed for the telemedicine visit. There will be no copay for that visit.
Antibodies begin to become detectable 7 to 14 days after COVID-19 symptoms appear This test measures the levels of immunoglobulin M and immunoglobulin G in your blood. The purpose of the antibody test is to tell whether or not your body has produced the necessary antibodies to fight the virus. It may not tell you whether you have the virus at the time of testing or if you are over the disease.
COVID-19 ANTIBODY testing is NOT recommended for patients who have had the recent onset of a COVID-19 infection.
--Patients who have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus in the last 14 days
--Patients who have had close contacts with a confirmed case of COVID-19
--Patients who currently feel sick with COVID-19 symptoms
It does not matter whether you have symptoms or not. Testing allows the prevention of infecting others with the virus before any symptoms appear in you.
Remember the virus incubation period can be up to 14 days but usually it is within 5 to 7 days. Therefore, you should not be tested too early after a COVID-19 exposure in order to get the correct test result. The earliest recommended time for testing after exposure is 4-5 days.
Patients who think they have had a COVID-19 infection in the past AND have no active symptoms at the time of testing should receive the ANTIBODY test
If you have a positive COVID-19 test, the CDC recommends you self isolate at home for a period of at least 10 days. After 10 days of isolation, the patient can come back for COVID-19 re-testing. If you test positive for COVID-19 again, you will be asked to do another period of quarantine until a COVID-19 re-test comes back negative which means you are no longer actively infected.
if your COVID-19 test is initially negative, but then develop COVID-19 symptoms, you will be asked to come back and re-test in order to determine whether you are infected.