Kingman, Arizona, May 7, 2020 – Beginning Monday, May 11, Kingman Regional Medical Center (KRMC) will offer antibody tests for SARS-CoV-2― the virus that causes COVID-19. The test can possibly detect if someone had COVID-19 in the past.
When someone is infected with COVID-19, their immune system may produce proteins called antibodies to fight the virus. After the person has recovered, an antibody test can usually detect these proteins in their blood.
KRMC Pathologist Dr. Ryan Swapp says the antibody test can help people know if they already had the virus. But, he cautions, “It does not necessarily mean that people who test positive are immune from getting COVID-19 again.”
“Currently, there are no scientific studies that prove one way or the other if the presence of antibodies indicates immunity to COVID-19,” he said. “Therefore, antibody test results should not be used for employment purposes; nor for relaxing personal precautions, such as social distancing.”
Dr. Swapp also stated that the antibody test indicates past infection only and cannot be used to diagnose someone who is currently infected. Diagnosing COVID-19 requires another type of test called a nucleic acid test, which involves using a swab to take a respiratory sample from inside your nose,” he said.
People who have COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and contact their healthcare provider or use KRMC’s telemedicine service―Care Anywhere to determine whether they need further medical care.
Individuals who are eligible for the antibody test are those without any current COVID-19 symptoms who believe they may have already had the virus. An order from a healthcare provider is required.
Individuals who meet criteria for the antibody test can obtain a provider order online using Care Anywhere. There is no charge for a Care Anywhere visit at this time.
People who do not have access to the internet should contact their healthcare provider. Orders for antibody testing will not be available through KRMC Urgent Care or the Emergency Department.
KRMC will provide the antibody test by appointment only. Once a healthcare provider orders antibody testing for an individual, KRMC’s scheduling department will contact the patient to schedule their test.
The antibody test involves drawing a small sample of blood. KRMC will send the blood sample to Mayo Clinic’s laboratory in Rochester, Minnesota for analysis. Results will be available in the patient’s private account on the KRMC Patient Portal within five (5) business days.
There is no out-of-pocket cost for KRMC’s COVID-19 antibody test. If applicable, KRMC will bill the patient’s health insurance. Otherwise, the hospital will waive any remaining costs not covered by insurance.
Care anywhere – https://krmc.zipnosis.com/
Patient portal– https://www.azkrmc.com/krmc-patient-portal
Antibody test – http://www.azkrmc.com/covid-antibody-test
To learn more about the antibody test and how to obtain it, visit KRMC’s website at www.azkrmc.com/covid-antibody-test or contact KRMC’s Coronavirus Call Center at 928-263-3456.