FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
About KRMC’s COVID-19 Antibody Test
The COVID-19 antibody test checks if a sample of your blood contains antibodies to COVID-19.
If antibodies are detected, it can mean that you may have been infected by COVID-19 in the past— even if you never had symptoms.
The test CANNOT show if you currently have the virus. It also CANNOT show if you are immune from getting the virus again.
You are eligible for the antibody test if believe you may have had COVID-19 in the past and have NO current symptoms of flu-like illness.
You are NOT eligible for the antibody test if you currently have any of the following COVID-19 symptoms:
- Shortness of Breath
- Body aches
- Sore throat
The antibody test indicates past infection only and cannot be used to diagnose someone who is currently infected. Diagnosing COVID-19 requires another type of test called a nucleic acid test, which involves using a swab to take a respiratory sample from inside your nose.
If you currently have symptoms of COVID-19, STAY HOME and contact your healthcare provider or use KRMC’s telemedicine service―Care Anywhere to obtain further medical advice.
When someone is infected with COVID-19, their immune system may produce proteins called IgG (immunoglobulin G) antibodies to fight the virus. After the person has recovered, an antibody test can usually detect these proteins in their blood.
At KRMC, we will take a small sample of blood and send it to the Mayo Clinic laboratory in Rochester Minnesota for IgG antibody testing. The Mayo laboratory is specially equipped for detecting COVID-19 antibodies in blood serum and is authorized by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to perform approved IgG antibody testing.
You must have an order from a medical provider to get the antibody test. Additionally. The test is by appointment only.
You can obtain a provider order via the Internet using KRMC Care Anywhere. (There is currently no charge for a Care Anywhere visit.)
Please follow these instructions for requesting the antibody test on KRMC Care Anywhere:
- Go to krmc.zipnosis.com
- Log in with your username and password (or register to create an account).
- Start a new E-visit and answer the questions.
- On the screen that reads “What is the reason for this visit” select: COVID-19 (coronavirus), respiratory infections, and allergies.
- Select: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Visit – Evaluation of possible COVID-19 (Coronavirus) by a healthcare provider.
- Answer all the questions regarding your symptoms – as they are now. You do not need to answer for when you felt you may have had the coronavirus.
- When you get to the following question:
“Is there any additional information about symptoms, medications, or other related health conditions the provider should know while reviewing this eVisit? Select "yes" to enter additional information.”
- In the field for additional information, type; “Request COVID-19 antibody test.”
People who do not have access to the Internet should contact their healthcare provider.
PLEASE NOTE: Orders for antibody testing are not available through KRMC Urgent Care or the Emergency Department.
Once your order for the test is approved through KRMC Care Anywhere, the provider will notify KRMC’s scheduling department. The scheduling department will contact you within two business days to schedule your appointment. You do not need to contact scheduling – please wait for a call.
If you get an order from your healthcare provider not using KRMC Care Anywhere, your provider will need to submit the order through KRMC’s electronic medical records system. Once the order is received, KRMC’s Scheduling Department will contact you within two business days to schedule the appointment. If you do not receive a call, please contact your healthcare provider.
KRMC has established a special collection area for the antibody test. This area is set up to protect against the spread of infection. When they call to book your appointment, our scheduling department will explain where to go for the test.
You must WEAR A MASK when you arrive for your appointment. Otherwise, you will not be able to get the test. KRMC is unable to provide masks at this time.
At your appointment, a phlebotomist will take a small sample of blood. The process only takes a few minutes.
There is no out-of-pocket cost for KRMC’s COVID-19 antibody test. If applicable, KRMC will bill your health insurance. Otherwise, the hospital will waive any remaining costs not covered by insurance.
Mayo Clinic will return your antibody test results within five (8-9) business days from the time of your blood draw.
Once KRMC receives your results from Mayo, we will post them on the KRMC Patient Portal, which is a highly-secure medical records system that you can access online.
If you already have a KRMC Patient Portal account, please login and click on “Test Results” to view the outcome of your coronavirus antibody test.
Otherwise, you will need to establish an account on the portal to view your test results:
- Go to www.azkrmc.com
- Click on “Patient Portal”
- Click on “Go to my KRMC Health Portal.” A login window will appear.
- Click on “Sign up” at the bottom of the window. The system will guide you on how to establish your account.
- Once you establish your account, click on “Test Results” to view the outcome of your coronavirus antibody test.
NOTE: You must have a valid email address on file. If you have trouble getting your results through the portal, please contact your healthcare provider or call KRMC Medical Records at (928) 263-4500.
If your antibody test result comes back “positive,” it means that you probably had COVID-19 in the past. No additional medical care is needed unless you become ill.
IMPORTANT, PLEASE NOTE:
- A positive test result DOES NOT necessarily mean that you are immune from getting the virus again. Currently, there are no scientific studies that prove one way or the other if the presence of antibodies indicates immunity. Therefore, positive antibody test results should not be used for employment purposes; nor for relaxing precautions, such as handwashing, social distancing, etc.
- Since positive results cannot prove that you’re immune, it’s possible you could still get sick if you are exposed to the virus. Continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, headache, body aches, trouble breathing). If you do not feel well, STAY HOME and contact your healthcare provider.
- Positive test results DO NOT mean that you are NOT capable of shedding virus that could infect others. It is still important to stay home if you’re sick and practice other precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- It is possible that your test result is a “false positive,” which means that you may not have actually had COVID-19. In populations with a low prevalence of disease, a higher number of false positives will occur. This is true of any test, not just this particular test.
If your antibody test result comes back “negative,” it means that no antibodies were detected in your blood and that you’ve probably never had COVID-19. No additional medical care is needed unless you become ill.
IMPORTANT, PLEASE NOTE:
- You remain susceptible to infection with COVID-19. Therefore, it is important that you take appropriate precautions, such as avoiding people who are sick, social distancing, etc.
- Continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, headache, body aches, trouble breathing). If you do not feel well, STAY HOME and contact your healthcare provider.
- It is possible that your test result is a “false negative,” which means that you had COVID-19 in the past, but the test didn’t detect antibodies in your blood. This can occur if you are tested too soon after being infected and not enough antibodies have built up in your blood. A false negative can also occur in people with a weakened immune system, such as those with certain health conditions (Lupus, HIV/AIDS, etc.) or those who take medications that affect their immune response (cancer patients, organ donor recipients, etc.).
Please contact your healthcare provider if you have questions about your COVID-19 antibody test results.
For general information about the KRMC’s COVID-19 antibody testing process, please contact KRMC’s Coronavirus Call Center at (928) 757-2101.