Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) began offering antibody testing for COVID-19 through our clinic on May 13. More than 900 people in Mesa County have shown interest in finding out if they have been exposed to COVID-19.
The results of antibody testing have been added to the COVID-19 data dashboard on our website and show of the 494 results so far, antibody reaction was present in 15 people or about four percent (4%). Data so far shows illness onset was on or around the same time the first COVID-19 positive case was identified through diagnostic testing in mid-March.
The antibody test is done on serum from a blood draw. The test looks for the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (commonly known as COVID-19). If the test shows antibodies, it means a patient was exposed to COVID-19 and developed an antibody response to the virus. Even if antibodies are present, it does not indicate immunity, nor does it give an indication of when or where the patient was exposed. Mesa County Public Health has followed up with all patients with antibody presence (15), to obtain information about their illness. Patients who show antibody response can be offered a diagnostic test in addition. There have been no additional positive cases identified through the antibody testing results.
Antibody testing is not a diagnostic tool, Mesa County Public Health is using the results of these samples as a way to better understand how COVID-19 is impacting our community. Initial results indicate that exposure to this virus in our community remains extremely low, therefore it is crucial for residents to take action to prevent the spread of illness.
We ask our community to continue being part of the solution to maintain low levels of illness in Mesa County. Your actions keep our community safe:
- Maintain 6 feet of physical distance between you and others.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
- Wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth in public.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Get tested if symptoms appear.
The cost of the antibody test has recently changed, we are able to bill insurance for the test. We recommend you check with your insurer on coverage prior, if you do not want to use insurance the cost is $50. If you are interested in antibody testing, you can fill out this form and we will contact you for scheduling, or you can call the COVID-19 hotline at 970-638-2300.