Blanchard Valley Health System is now offering antibody testing for COVID-19.
People who would like to know if they have had the coronavirus should contact their primary care provider who will then order a test through the BVHS outpatient laboratory.
Officials say, unlike the nasal swabs that test for active COVID-19 infections, the antibody test is taken through a blood draw.
The antibodies will typically show-up about one to two weeks after someone has been infected with COVID-19.
“We do not know for certain that having COVID-19 antibodies gives people immunity, but this testing will give us a better idea of how many people within our community have been infected,” said Bonnie VanSchoik, director of laboratory services.
“We do not want to give people the idea that they are now protected. Everyone should continue to use precautions such as wearing a mask in public, social distancing and washing hands regularly.”
She said anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as cough, difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell, should seek diagnostic nasal swab testing.
People call the BVHS Triage & Testing Center at 419-423-7890 to initiate pre-screening efforts.
If it’s an emergency, people should dial 911.
In addition, Blanchard Valley Health System has been accepted and registered as a participating site in Mayo Clinics Expanded Access Protocol for Convalescent Plasma Program for treatment of patients with COVID-19.