As New Jersey shows signs of flattening the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, antibody testing has become more widespread at hospitals across the state.
Hudson Regional Hospital (HRH) in Secaucus is now providing COVID-19 antibody testing to determine whether someone has been exposed to, or potentially had the virus, and developed the antibodies to fight the infection.
HRH’s laboratory is accepting walk-ins with and without a physician’s prescription. The testing is available between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., from Monday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, testing is available between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
The cost for those who come to their appointment without a prescription or insurance is $95, according to Hudson Regional Hospital. The fee will be collected at the time of test.
The hospital will go through patients’ insurance for those who have a prescription and insurance.
What is antibody testing?
The test involves a phlebotomist drawing blood from the patient. Antibodies effective at fighting the virus are found in the plasma of the blood of COVID-19 survivors.
The results will be faxed to the ordering physician. For those without a script, the results can be faxed, mailed or emailed to the patient directly, within one to two days.
HRH reiterated world health officials warning that the antibody test does not guarantee immunity.
However, some physicians report that positive antibody test indicates that a patient may have some level of protection against reinfection. These physicians believe that antibodies could hold the key to developing a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19.
Dr. Nizar Kifaieh, President and CEO of HRH, detailed the testing at the hospital.
“Those who get tested can give the medical community a better understanding of how many people were truly affected and can provide a broader picture of who remains vulnerable,” Dr. Nizar Kifaieh said. “The test is one of many factors being analyzed by our elected officials to determine a safe timeframe to begin resumption of business.”
According to Dr. Kifaieh, U.S. officials and corporations across America are pouring money into antibody testing in hopes it will give people confidence to return to work and reopen parts of the economy.
HRH is the designated COVID-19 testing site for Hudson County. The hospital has been collaborating with the county and Secaucus leadership to secure needed equipment and PPE’s for its staff and patients throughout the pandemic.
Any patients currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are advised to go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.