ZOOM+Care, the leading provider of on-demand healthcare in the Pacific Northwest, is now offering a test to check for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Tests will be available at the majority of the company’s 48 clinics across Oregon and Washington.
The test is a blood-draw test that looks to detect lgG, IgA, and lgM antibodies developed by the body to fight COVID-19. These antibodies may be present in someone who was previously exposed to COVID-19, even if they never showed symptoms of the virus.
“Right now, our patients have a lot of unanswered questions, says Dr. Erik Vanderlip, MD, Chief Medical Officer at ZOOM+Care. “Many of them are asking us things like, ‘I felt sick a couple of months ago. Was it possible I had the coronavirus?’ Now, we can help provide them with answers. We will be able to determine if symptoms patients have experienced—symptoms that were consistent with COVID-19—may have actually represented a coronavirus infection.”
While the detection of antibodies to COVID-19 is not enough to declare a person immune, Dr. Vanderlip still believes testing to be important and beneficial.
“There are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to antibody testing. Firstly, we don’t know yet if a positive antibody test confers immunity to COVID-19,” says Vanderlip. “That said, testing has numerous benefits. It can be a helpful tool in providing patients with peace of mind. There is a psychological benefit to knowing if you have been exposed to the virus. Also, after testing positive for antibodies, many patients may want to donate their plasma to studies looking at treatments. Some persons, even after significant exposure to COVID-19, may not develop a measurable immune response. So, it’s important to have the help of one of our clinicians in interpreting your results and what they mean for you.”
Vanderlip continued, “Finally, antibody tests can give public health officials a better understanding of this pandemic by helping determine the spread and providing them with a snapshot of how many people have come into contact with the virus.”
Patients who have been symptom-free for at least seven days are eligible to receive COVID-19 antibody testing at ZOOM+Care. To obtain a test, patients must first speak with a ZOOM+Care provider, either virtually through VideoCare™ or in person. Results are usually available within 3-5 days. Learn more at https://www.zoomcare.com/visit/covid-19-antibody-testing