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COVID-19 antibody screenings in high demand

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Many people who were sick in February and March with coronavirus symptoms and were unable to get tested to find out if they had the virus can now be screened for COVD-19 antibodies in several Utah medical labs and even in mobile screenings. The antibody tests, for IgM antibodies that develop early in an infection and IgG antibodies that develop after recovering from the illness, will show if a person has had COVID-19 but does not guarantee immunity to the virus in the future.

Longtime Lehi residents Kaye and Ed Collins went on two different cruises early in the pandemic, one the last week in February and another during the first week of March. A friend on the first cruise was very sick and Kaye came down with a milder case of that illness during their second week at sea. Both Ed and Kaye and everyone in their friend group from the cruise were tested for COVID-19 with a PCR test (a nasal swab to collect a sample from the throat behind the nose) when they got home, but none of them tested positive. “We really thought at least one of us would have it because of the cruise and being sick,” Kaye Collins said. Just to be safe, Kaye and Ed went into quarantine during March and April.

It takes seven to 10 days for COVID-19-related IgG antibodies to be detected in the blood of someone who is infected with the virus. To avoid a false negative test, wait for two weeks after having symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea) or if you were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Ed and Kaye Collins and the group of friends who went on the cruise together were all screened for the COVID-19 antibodies last week. Each of them had their temperature taken and a finger pricked for the blood test, and each test came back negative for COVID-19 antibodies. “Our friend who was so sick on the cruise was disappointed – he really thought it was behind him,” said Kaye Collins. “I will still wear a mask everywhere I go. That’s an easy thing for me to do.”

LabCorp has two locations in Draper (12176 S. 1000 East, Suite 6; and 74 E. Kimball’s Lane, Suite 250) and one in Provo (1900 N. State St., Lower Level) taking appointments for COVID-19 antibody tests. They require a test order from a physician and a current insurance card, although not all insurance covers the test. 

Rapid Screen Solutions (rapidscreenutah.com) schedules drive-through antibody screening appointments in cities all over Utah each week at city parks and movie theater parking lots. The antibody tests cost $79.99 each and the screenings have sold out in Vineyard, Bluffdale, and Riverton. There is a drive-through Rapid Screen Solutions COVID-19 test in the Lehi Library parking lot on Thursday, June 4. Go to their website to reserve an appointment time.

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