Northern Virginia Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
Internal Medicine & Family Medicine & Pediatrician located in Arlington, VA
COVID-19 Q & A
What is the COVID-19 antibody test?
Antibodies are proteins that you produce when you have an infection; an antibody test checks for antibodies in your blood. Typically, after you have an infection, your blood still contains some of the antibodies you made to fight off the infection.
These lingering antibodies might provide some level of immunity, although experts don’t know exactly how much.
The COVID-19 antibody test can potentially tell you whether you previously had SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, even if you never had any symptoms. An antibody test doesn't show if you have SARS-CoV-2 right now.
A positive test means that you have antibodies from a virus in the coronavirus family, although not necessarily SARS-CoV-2. It can take a couple of weeks to produce antibodies after infection, so a negative test doesn't necessarily mean that you've never had SARS-CoV-2.
What is a PCR COVID-19 test?
This type of COVID-19 test involves a unique laboratory method, polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In this test, your medical provider collects a small sample of nasal fluid or saliva using a swab.
Because Northern Virginia Internal Medicine and Pediatrics offers full lab testing on-site, they can process your sample to determine whether you have SARS-CoV-2. The PCR test reveals whether you have the SARS-CoV-2 virus at the time of testing.
In many cases, having both the PCR and antibody tests is the best choice. The team can help you choose the right test and can refer you for rapid response testing if needed.
When should I have a COVID-19 test?
If you have possible COVID-19 symptoms or think you’ve been around an infected person, you might need a COVID test. Possible symptoms include:
- Breathing difficulties
- Chest pain
- Chest pressure
- Nasal congestion
COVID-19 can have many other symptoms, as well. If you’re worried or concerned, contact Northern Virginia Internal Medicine and Pediatrics to talk about testing.
Does insurance pay for COVID-19 testing?
It depends on your insurance plan. Many companies do cover at least part of the cost of testing.
Northern Virginia Internal Medicine and Pediatrics requires payment up-front only for rapid antigen ($225.00) COVID-19 testing, and the team immediately issues you a receipt to submit to your insurance provider for reimbursement. A confirmatory PCR test is always sent to the lab with no additional cost.
Northern Virginia Internal Medicine and Pediatrics makes COVID-19 testing convenient for their patients, with two different testing options available on-site. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
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