Prairie Lakes Healthcare System (PLHS) now offers direct access IgG Antibody Testing for the virus associated with COVID-19. It is only advised for people who believe they had COVID-19 at a minimum of 8–10 days ago. This test is not intended to be used to diagnose a current infection of COVID-19.
An antibody test detects the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins called immunoglobulins made by the body in response to infections. The presence of antibodies indicates that an individual has been exposed to (infected with) that particular infectious agent, such as the virus associated with COVID-19.
“It is not yet know if someone who tests positive for an antibody test is immune to the virus; at the same time, we understand the reassurance the test can bring to individuals who suspect they had COVID-19," said K.C. DeBoer, President and CEO.
The cost is $70 and will be collected at the time of testing. The fastest method is payment by check. Insurance does not cover this test without a physician’s order. This test requires a blood draw, which will be done in the Laboratory at Prairie Lakes Healthcare System.
- A mask is required. Please bring a mask or face covering with you to help us preserve PPE.
- No scheduling is necessary and testing is available Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- During testing hours, enter through the Main Lobby and proceed to the Laboratory.
What does a test result mean for me?
- Results are informational only
- An IgG test is not used to diagnose a current COVID-19 infection.
- If you test positive
- A positive test result shows you have antibodies that likely resulted from an infection with SARS-CoV-2, or possibly a related coronavirus.o It’s unclear if those antibodies can provide protection (immunity) against getting infected again. This means that we do not know at this time if antibodies make you immune to the virus.
- If you test nagative
- You probably did not have a previous COVID-19 infection. It’s possible you could still get sick if you have been exposed to the virus recently, since antibodies don’t show up for 1 to 3 weeks after infection. This means you could still spread the virus.
- Some people may take even longer to develop antibodies, and some people may not develop antibodies.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms now.
Individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms are not candidates for this test. The most recent symptoms list may be found from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If community members have developed symptoms and aren’t sure what to do, they are encouraged to call the COVID Hotline organized by the Watertown Area Task Force at 605-753-1408. Hours: Monday – Friday 9 am – 9 pm, Saturday 9 am – 1 pm, and Sunday 1 – 5 pm.