FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - This week, one Fort Worth lab started offering a new test that can reveal if a person has had COVID-19 in the past, even if they never experienced symptoms.
"I just saw a news flash on my phone about a week ago and I called in to get an appointment," Cheryl Grubbs said. "I was excited because I can get tested and see if I have the antibodies."
Grubbs was one of several dozen patients scheduled to take the COVID-19 antibody test Tuesday at ARCpoint Labs of Southwest Fort Worth.
Grubbs said this is important because she's currently caring for her elderly father.
"I try to be very careful with my father because he's elderly and other people if I go out grocery shopping or whatever I need to do," Grubbs said. "So I'm hoping this is a good breakthrough."
The whole process happens quick. It starts with a finger prick and then you get your test results back within about 15 minutes.
The test looks for two different antibodies in your blood. IgM and IgG.
"If they show up positive for IgM it means they're still in the process of actually trying to fight the virus off, but if they show positive for IgG that means that they have the antibodies," ARCPoint Labs Southwest Fort Worth President Cheryl Gray Grote said.
"I just wanted to see out of curiosity if I have the antibodies to see if I could a donate plasma… I hear that you're giving that to some patients to help them recover," Grubbs said.
"The public has been very good in that they see the benefits of finding the antibodies so that they can help.. because if we're able to find more donors then we're able to actually donate blood to the people that are sick," Grote said. "That helps them to get well."
Anyone who is healthy and has not shown symptoms of COVID-19 in at least seven days can take the test.
Since it's elective, it's not covered by insurance.
The lab we visited charges $65 .
It's not FDA approved, but is now available under the agency's Emergency Use Authorization Guidelines. Clinical testing showed this test to be about 99% accurate in detecting the antibodies.
At the lab we visited right now, medical personnel and first responders are getting first priority to this test.
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