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Spectrum Health now offering antibody testing

The testing is only available at Spectrum Health laboratories and is not restricted to a specific patient population.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Health officials will now have even more support when it comes to figuring out just how widespread the coronavirus is in West Michigan.

Spectrum Health is now offering COVID-19 antibody testing to the general public. The blood test detects a previous COVID-19 infection through the presence of disease-fighting antibodies.      

Susan Smith, Senior Director of Laboratory Services at Spectrum Health says there is a difference between the testing Spectrum Health is conducting and other antibody tests which have recently come under scrutiny. 

"This antibody test is a two-tiered test, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which targets the IgG antibody specific to the virus that causes COVID-19. This test improves accuracy by confirming results using two different mechanisms," she said. 

The testing is only available at Spectrum Health laboratories and is not restricted to a specific patient population, but does require an order from a doctor and is not intended for a diagnosis for COVID-19.

Spectrum Health cautions that the presence of antibodies does not mean you are immune from contracting COVID-19, nor does it support easing behaviors such as social distancing, wearing a face mask and regularly washing your hands.

Anyone can get the test as long as they have a doctor's order. The cost is $45 but should be covered by your insurance.

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