I Got The New COVID-19 Antibody Test And Here’s My Experience
After Quest Diagnostics announced they had a COVID-19 antibody test available, I jumped at the chance to take it. While quarantining at home, I kept wondering to myself "could I have already caught the coronavirus?" Plenty of people have stories of how deathly ill they felt back in the winter and believe they could have caught the coronavirus. Over the new year's holiday, I did get sick for a few days but was it bad enough to be COVID? I really couldn't be sure. My father did get sick for a few weeks in December and spent several days in bed so maybe I caught it from him. Joanna also got sick and couldn't smell or taste, plus she even got her cat sick! So I decided it was worth it to pay for the direct-to-consumer antibody test.
I logged on to the Quest Diagnostics website and headed to the coronavirus page on the site to find out if I was the right candidate for the antibody test. According to the site, the test is available to those not currently experiencing symptoms and haven't experienced them in the past ten days. If not, you're good to take the test. There are two options to get the test- you can visit your doctor to see if he will give you an order to do the test or you can pay out of pocket. I just wanted to get the test done ASAP so I opted to pay for this test out-of-pocket which was $139 including fees.
Before I was allowed to buy the test, I was asked simple questions on the website that included:
- Have you been diagnosed as positive for COVID-19 with a swab test in the past 10 days?
- Do you have a fever of 99.5°F or greater?
- Have you had any COVID-19 symptoms (such as fever, cough, shortness of breath) in the last 3 days?
- Have you been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
After answering no to these questions, I was allowed to purchase the test and schedule my appointment. When scheduling an appointment, I found a location less than a mile from my home and there were appointments available the next day.
When I went into the office, chairs were separated to adhere with social distancing requirements and there were only 2 other people in the office. Everyone, including myself, were wearing masks while in the office. There was no one working at the front desk and I signed in using the touchscreen tablet at the front. When I was called into the back, the mask-wearing phlebotomist asked me again the four questions above before she took my blood. She told me they were averaging about 20 people a day coming in for the antibody test at her office alone. She drew my blood, told me I'd have my results in about 48 hours, and I was allowed to leave after less than 15 minutes in the office.
I went home and wondered just how long I'd be in limbo wondering if I already had been exposed to the virus and had the antibodies in my system. I was shocked to wake up the next morning to see that I had received my test results at 3:45 a.m., less than 24 hours after getting blood drawn. The result? Negative.