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June 16, 2020

Westmed Medical Group Now Offering Antibody Testing

Westmed Medical Group Now Offering Antibody Testing

Westmed Medical Group is now offering antibody testing for COVID-19 to existing patients. Read more below to find out if an antibody test could be right for you, and how to schedule an evaluation with your primary care provider.

When will antibody testing be available at Westmed?

    • COVID-19 antibody testing will be available to active Westmed patients who have a primary care provider (PCP) within the group, starting Wednesday, June 17, 2020.

What is an antibody test?

    • Antibody tests (also referred to as “serological” tests) check your blood for the presence of antibodies (proteins) that your body makes in response to an infection.
    • Having a positive antibody test can tell you if you have been exposed to the coronavirus in the past, and whether your body created antibodies in response.
    • It is important to remember that a positive COVID-19 antibody test does not guarantee immunity to COVID-19.

When is the ideal time to get a COVID-19 antibody test?

    • Antibodies will start to develop within one to three weeks of symptom onset. It is best to wait until at least two weeks after your symptoms start to undergo testing. If you believe you were infected but never developed symptoms, the test can be done at any time.

Who can get an antibody test at Westmed? How do I schedule an antibody test?

    • Westmed is currently offering tests to existing patients of all ages, who have a primary care provider in our practice (Internist, Pediatrician and/or OB/GYN).
    • If you are interested in undergoing COVID-19 antibody testing, you must first schedule a Virtual Visit or an in-person visit with your primary care provider for pre-test counseling.
    • You can discuss your interest in undergoing an antibody test during your next visit with your PCP, or simply schedule a Virtual Visit with your primary care provider online by clicking this link.

Due to high call volumes, we strongly encourage you to schedule a your appointment online, rather than over the phone.

How do I schedule a visit with the lab, after my doctor has entered the antibody test lab order for me?

    • During your Virtual Visit or in-office visit, your doctor will order the test for you, and you can schedule your antibody test at one of Westmed’s lab sites.
    • An online appointment with the lab is recommended for antibody testing, as walk-in volume may be high. Please click this link to schedule your antibody test at one of our nearby labs ONLY  after your in-person or virtual visit evaluation has been completed.

I feel sick and I am worried I have coronavirus. Should I get an antibody test?

    • If you are currently exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, we recommend you get a diagnostic test (not an antibody test), to confirm an active coronavirus infection.
    • This test requires an in-person appointment with your primary care doctor. Make an appointment online or send a secure message through the My Westmed portal if you’d like to make an appointment for diagnostic testing. If you need immediate attention, please call your doctor’s office.

Where is the lab test done?

    • The test is performed as a standard venous blood test (blood draw).
    • You can schedule your visit at any of the Westmed phlebotomy labs after your Virtual Visit or in-office visit has been completed, and your doctor has placed the orders for your antibody test. Those sites include: New Rochelle, Rye, Yonkers, Purchase, Greenwich, White Plains, Norwalk and Stamford.
    • See our lab locations and hours here.

Which vendor is Westmed using to procure and process our COVID-19 antibody test?

    • The test we will be using is an Abbott Laboratories test, available through LabCorp. We have chosen this test because the manufacturer has reported sensitivity and specificity of nearly 100%.
    • Although no test is perfect, your doctor will help you interpret your results in a way that is safe for you.

Will the result of my Antibody test provide me with a titer?

    • A titer is a quantitative measure of antibodies in your blood that helps medical professionals determine your level of immunity to a certain disease. At this time, none of the currently available antibody tests on the market provide accurate titers of neutralizing antibody against COVID-19.

How will I receive my results?

    • Your Westmed primary care provider will call you, or send you a secure message through the My Westmed portal to review your individual lab results within 24 hours of receiving your test results.

If I test positive for antibodies, does this mean I am immune to COVID-19?

    • No, a positive antibody test does not mean you are immune.
    • While none of the currently available antibody tests can guarantee immunity, your provider will interpret your results to help determine whether you have been exposed to the virus, and might have some degree of protection.
    • All current COVID-19 antibody tests may cross-react with other coronaviruses to varying degrees.

Can children get the antibody test? 

    • Yes, testing is available to existing Westmed patients of all ages.