GALION — Avita Health System is now offering COVID-19 antibody testing at Bucyrus, Galion, and Ontario hospitals, along with the Bellville and Ontario walk-In clinics.
The COVID-19 antibody test checks a patient’s blood for proteins, called antibodies. Antibodies develop as the body’s response to infection to help the immune system fight disease and build future immunity. If antibodies are present in the blood, it indicates that the body was previously infected, in this case with COVID-19 or a different coronavirus. A positive result signifies a previous infection, while a negative result suggests an infection did not occur or was too mild to produce enough antibodies.
The specificity of Avita’s antibody test is 99.8 percent.
To be tested, patients should enter the facilities through the designated patient entrance and let the front desk or triage staff know that they would like COVID-19 antibody testing. Avita’s universal masking policy is still in effect and all patients must wear a mask upon entry. At the hospitals, patients will need to go through a COVID-19 temperature screening, the standard registration process, and will then have their testing done in the laboratory. At the walk-in clinics, patients will check-in at the desk and testing will occur in a private patient room.
Avita is not requiring a doctor’s order for antibody testing. It costs $55 and the turnaround time for testing is two to three business days. Results will be mailed directly to the patient’s home. Avita is obligated to report positive test results to the local health department. The CDC is using antibody testing to learn more about how the body’s immune system responds to COVID-19 and estimate the total number of people who have been infected with the virus in the United States.
Antibody testing is available at Bucyrus, Galion, and Ontario Hospitals, Monday through Friday frp, 6 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon. The Bellville walk-in clinic is offering testing daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Ontario walk-in clinic is testing daily from 8 a.m.to 8 p.m.
For more information on Avita Health System services or providers, visit avitahealth.org