COVID-19 has swept the world and adequate testing is critical in helping to slow the spread. You can get COVID-19 testing and antibody testing at Hope & Esperanza Community Health Center in Newark, New Jersey. Virginia Atieh, FNP, and Selande Charles, FNP, offer these quick tests so you get answers about your current viral status or if you’ve had COVID-19 in the past. Call the office and speak with a friendly team member or use the online tool to schedule.

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What is COVID-19 testing and antibody testing?

COVID-19 testing determines if you are currently positive for this highly contagious virus. It can inform you if it is the cause of your symptoms and whether you need to isolate and quarantine to prevent the spread. 

COVID-19 tests are usually performed with a swab of your nostrils to obtain a sample of your cells that is then sent to a lab for analysis. Results come back within 24-36 hours.

COVID-19 antibody testing is a blood test that looks for certain proteins. These proteins, known as antibodies, are produced as part of your immune response to COVID-19. An antibody test shows that you’ve had COVID-19 in the past but doesn’t tell you if you currently have the virus. 

When do I need COVID-19 testing and antibody testing?

COVID-19 testing is critical if you’re showing symptoms of the virus or you’ve been in contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive. Contact means you’ve been within six feet of them for 15 minutes or longer. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever and chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If your COVID-19 swab is negative, you may benefit from antibody testing. And, if you were sick with the above symptoms a few weeks or months ago, getting an antibody test now helps you determine if you had COVID-19 in the past. 

How does COVID-19 testing and antibody testing work?

COVID-19 testing is simple and quick. The providers follow safety protocols to minimize contact with the technician and other patients. 

Once you’ve filled out a brief form, your technician takes a sample by inserting a swab into both of your nostrils. The whole process takes just a minute or two. For antibody testing, your technician takes a small sample of blood from your arm.

The samples are sent to a lab for analysis. 

What should I do if COVID-19 testing and antibody testing are positive?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if you have a positive COVID-19 test, you should isolate and quarantine for two weeks. That means staying in a specific room or section of your house and keeping away from others you live with. You should not go to work, stores, or on public transportation. 

A positive antibody test doesn’t mean you currently have COVID-19 but that you had it in the past. There is no guarantee, but the presence of antibodies could prevent you from getting COVID-19 again. It is not known how long this protection lasts and you should still follow all protocols like masking and social distancing.

Schedule your COVID-19 testing and antibody testing today by calling Hope & Esperanza Community Health Center or request your appointment online.