Quest Diagnostics allowing residents to order COVID-19 antibody tests online

PHILADELPHIA -- Quest Diagnostics is rolling out an antibody test consumers can order online before ever going to the doctor's office.

The test is supposed to show whether someone has had or has been potentially exposed to the virus and has developed antibodies to protect against a future infection.

"While the science on COVID-19 is evolving, testing for antibodies may identify people who have likely been exposed to COVID-19 and might have mounted an immune response to the virus," Jay Wohlegemuth, M.D., Quest Diagnostics' senior vice president and chief medical officer, said in a statement.

The FDA does warn that it doesn't know for sure yet whether having antibodies for the virus means you're immune.

The test can be purchased online at GetQuestTest.com. Once customers fill out the questionnaire, a physician will review it and send them to one of the 2,200 locations across the country for a blood test.

One of the requirements for the Quest Diagnostics antibody test is that the person getting it has been symptom-free for 10 days.

"Our goal is to empower individuals and their physicians to make informed decisions about their risk of infection and of spreading the virus," said Wohlegemuth.

The test costs $119. Orders are not permitted in Alaska, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Arizona or Indiana.

6abc spoke with several people in Philadelphia who expressed interest in the test.

"I want to make sure I'm safe and I want to make sure people around me are safe," said Tyrone Williams of North Philadelphia.

The company said if a doctors order a test, a patient's insurance should pay for it, otherwise, the service is self-pay.

The city said it is working to make testing for the virus more accessible. A site at 11th and Parish streets will be open Tuesdays for anyone who wants to get tested, regardless if they have symptoms or a doctor's note.

Rite Aid is also starting onsite testing at some of its stores, including one in Philadelphia at 7401 Ogontz Avenue.

"Everybody wants to find out and if you don't know you should get checked out as soon as possible," said Braden Ellison of South Philadelphia.
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