fbpx
COVID-19 antibody test

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Serology (Antibody) Testing: What you Need to Know

The Coronavirus [COVID-19] Antibody (IgG) Test is now available. This COVID-19 Antibody (IgG), Immunoassay test is not a test for an active infection. We have implemented a set of screening questions to help protect you from the unnecessary ordering of this test. Please read the complete information located on the test page carefully before ordering this test.

It usually takes around 10 to 18 days to produce enough antibodies to be detected in the blood. Please consider this should you decide to order this test. If you are tested too early, you may receive back a test result that is titled “Equivocal.” If your test results are equivocal, the laboratory is unable to confirm if you have IgG antibodies in the sample you provided. Equivocal means that the results were neither positive nor negative. You will need to be retested (purchase a new test) in order to confirm whether or not you have IgG antibodies in your blood. An equivocal result can happen if you do not have enough antibodies for the test to detect, such as if you test too soon after becoming infected.

Click here to order the COVID-19 Antibody (IgG), Immunoassay test.

Is this test FDA authorized?

Yes, the FDA has authorized the COVID-19 Antibody tests performed by Quest Diagnostics. Quest uses testing from two respected manufacturers for the Antibody test – Abbott Laboratories and Euroimmun US. These two tests are among the small amount of antibody tests that the FDA has authorized; and they are run in accordance with Quest’s CLIA certification. See, https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/emergency-situations-medical-devices/emergency-use-authorizations#covid19ivd

Who Can Get Tested?

Immune response testing is available only to patients who are not currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and have not experienced symptoms within ten days. Common COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

How The Test Works?

This type of test detects antibodies that show if you have already been exposed to and produced an immune response to COVID-19, even if you never experienced symptoms. Previous exposure means you may now have some level of immunity to the virus. Understanding your immune response gives you and your doctor the information to assist in making an informed decision about returning to work or activity. See our Serology (Antibody) Test FAQs for more information.

Where To Get Tested?

During the order process, you will select a patient service center that will best fit your needs. Each patient service center will have its own set of hours of operation. Appointments must be made to have your specimen collected. Walk-in service for the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test will not be available. After you have placed your order, you may make an appointment through your patient portal on Ulta Lab Test. Once you arrive for your appointment, a phlebotomist will draw your blood, and the specimen is then sent to Quest Diagnostics laboratories for processing.

How Long Before I See My Results?

Test results for the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test are usually returned in 2-3 days, but turnaround time can vary due to high demand. Ulta Lab Tests will notify you the moment we have received your results from the lab. We will notify you through our HIPAA compliant email system.

*The COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test is intended for use as an aid in identifying individuals with an adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2, indicating recent or prior infection. Results are for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are generally detectable in the blood several days after the initial infection. However, the duration of time antibodies are present post-infection is not well characterized. At this time, it is unknown for how long antibodies persist following infection and if the presence of antibodies confers protective immunity.

What is a COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test?

This test checks for a type of antibody called immunoglobulin G (IgG) that is the result of past or recent exposure to COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus. The human body produces IgG antibodies as part of the immune response to the virus. It usually takes around 10 to 18 days to produce enough antibodies to be detected in the blood.

Test results may help identify if you were previously exposed to the virus and, if exposed, can check whether your body has produced antibodies. Antibodies typically suggest protective immunity after you have recovered or been exposed to COVID-19. However, the evidence is still being collected to determine if IgG antibodies provide protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 infection.

  • If you were never diagnosed with COVID-19, this test could help determine if you may have been previously exposed to the virus.
  • If you were diagnosed with COVID-19, this test could check whether or not your body has produced antibodies.

Multiple sources, including the CDC and healthcare experts, recommend you discuss your test results and whether to return to work with your healthcare provider and employer.

When should I have the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test?

You should have the COVID 19 Immune response test when directed by your physician. Have had a positive test for COVID-19, and it has been at least 7 days, and you want to know if you have detectable levels of IgG antibodies. You have not experienced a fever or felt feverish in the last 3 days. You have not experienced new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 10 days: loss of smell or taste, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, feeling weak or lethargic, lightheadedness or dizziness, vomiting or diarrhea, slurred speech, and/or seizures.

When should I not have the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test?

If you are feeling sick or have had a fever within the last 3 full days, please contact a healthcare provider. Trying to diagnose COVID-19, please contact a healthcare provider. It’s been less than 7 days since being tested for and diagnosed with COVID-19. Directly exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days. A person with a compromised immune system, a condition that makes it difficult to fight infections.

What can the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test tell me?

Antibody serology tests are intended for use as an aid in identifying individuals with an adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2, indicating recent or prior infection. Results are for the detection of SARS CoV-2 antibodies. IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are generally detectable in the blood several days after the initial infection. However, the duration of time antibodies are present post-infection is not well characterized. Currently, it is unknown how long antibodies persist following infection and if the presence of antibodies confers protective immunity. Individuals may have detectable virus present for several weeks following having IgG antibodies. See the Serology (Antibody) Test FAQs section for more information.

According to the FDA, results from antibody testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude SARS-CoV-2 infection or to inform infection status. Negative results do not rule out acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. Testing with a SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR should be considered if an acute infection is suspected or otherwise to rule out infection. Positive results may be due to past or present infection with non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strains. The serology antibody tests run by Quest Diagnostics are either approved by the FDA under an emergency use authorization, or were released for use under the FDA guidance, “Policy for Diagnostic Tests for Coronavirus Disease – 2019 during the Public Health Emergency,” updated March 16, 2020, and have not been reviewed by the FDA.

 

This test may be helpful if you:

  • Have had a positive test for COVID-19, and it has been at least 7 days, and you want to know if you have detectable levels of IgG antibodies.
  • Have not experienced a fever or felt feverish in the last 3 days.
  • Have not experienced new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 10 days: loss of smell or taste, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, feeling weak or lethargic, lightheadedness or dizziness, vomiting or diarrhea, slurred speech, and/or seizures.

This test may NOT be helpful if you are:

  • Feeling sick or have had a fever within the last 3 full days, please contact a healthcare provider.
  • Trying to diagnose COVID-19, please contact a healthcare provider.
  • Less than 7 days since being tested for and diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Directly exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days
  • A person with a compromised immune system, a condition that makes it difficult to fight infections

Note: This test can sometimes detect antibodies from other coronaviruses, which can cause a false-positive result if you have been previously diagnosed with or exposed to other types of coronaviruses. Additionally, if you test too soon, your body may not have produced enough IgG antibodies to be detected by the test yet, which can lead to a false-negative result. At this time, antibody testing is mainly used in studies to determine how much of the population has been exposed to COVID-19. There is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future COVID-19 infection. Positive or negative antibody tests do not rule out the possibility of COVID-19 infection. Results also do not provide any information on whether you can spread the virus to others.

Who will be processing my test?

Quest Diagnostics provides both molecular diagnostic and antibody serology tests to aid in the diagnosis of COVID-19 and immune response. Quest is providing the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test services under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. Quest provides data on COVID-19 testing to various federal and state public health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and participates in studies with government and private institutions, aiding COVID-19 public health response and research.

COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test

Antibody serology tests are intended for use as an aid in identifying individuals with an adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2, indicating recent or prior infection. Results are for the detection of SARS CoV-2 antibodies. IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are generally detectable in the blood several days after the initial infection. However, the duration of time antibodies are present post-infection is not well characterized. Currently, it is unknown how long antibodies persist following infection and if the presence of antibodies confers protective immunity. Individuals may have detectable virus present for several weeks following having IgG antibodies. See the Serology (Antibody) Test FAQs section for more information.

According to the FDA, results from antibody testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude SARS-CoV-2 infection or to inform infection status. Negative results do not rule out acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. Testing with a SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR should be considered if an acute infection is suspected or otherwise to rule out infection. Positive results may be due to past or present infection with non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strains. The serology antibody tests run by Quest Diagnostics are either approved by the FDA under an emergency use authorization, or were released for use under the FDA guidance, “Policy for Diagnostic Tests for Coronavirus Disease – 2019 during the Public Health Emergency,” updated March 16, 2020, and have not been reviewed by the FDA.

Does the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test detect other antibodies?

This test can sometimes detect antibodies from other coronaviruses, which can cause a false-positive result if you have been previously diagnosed with or exposed to other types of coronaviruses. Additionally, if you test too soon, your body may not have produced enough IgG antibodies to be detected by the test yet, which can lead to a false-negative result.

At this time, antibody testing is mainly used in studies to determine how much of the population has been exposed to COVID-19. There is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future COVID-19 infection. Positive or negative antibody tests do not rule out the possibility of COVID-19 infection. Results also do not provide any information on whether you can spread the virus to others.

How accurate is the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test?

Quest Diagnostics ensures that tests offered for SARS-CoV-2 IgG are highly specific and have validated accuracy. Quest uses laboratory-based immunoassays from manufacturers who have demonstrated robust validation of their kits.

Highlights of the manufacturers’ validation include:

  • Clinical performance of approximately 90% to 100% (assessed as percent agreement of serology results on known COVID-19 PCR positive cases).
  • Specificity of approximately 99% to 100%. This was assessed by performing cross-reactivity studies utilizing serum samples positive for antibodies to other respiratory viruses, as well as panels of samples from pre-COVID times (2010, 2017, and 2019).

Quest verifies the performance characteristics of the kits by doing CLIA/CAP-required in-laboratory validations using stringent acceptability criteria for precision, reproducibility, accuracy, method comparison, cross-reactivity, and clinical performance before starting patient testing.

Who created or manufactured the tests that Quest is providing?

The Abbott and EUROIMMUN tests are marketed under FDA’s Policy for Diagnostic Tests for Coronavirus Disease-2019. Quest is providing the service based on tests from Abbott and EUROIMMUN, a PerkinElmer company. Quest Diagnostics has completed independent validation studies on both tests.

Is this the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test FDA approved?

The IgG antibody serology test has not been reviewed by the FDA. Negative results do not rule out SARS-CoV-2 infection, particularly in those who have been in contact with the virus. Follow-up testing with a molecular diagnostic should be considered to rule out infection in these individuals.

  • Results from antibody testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude SARS-CoV-2 infection or to inform infection status.
  • Positive results may be due to past or present infection with non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strains, such as coronavirus HKU1, NL63, OC43, or 229E.

How Long Before I See My Results?

Test results for the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test are usually returned in 2-3 days, but turnaround time can vary due to high demand. Ulta Lab Tests will notify you the moment we have received your results from the lab. We will notify you through our HIPAA compliant email system.

Will my insurance cover the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test?

To keep prices low, Ulta Lab Tests does not accept insurance. Please note that CHARGES FROM ULTA LAB TESTS MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED TO ANY INSURANCE OR OTHER HEALTH CARE BENEFITS PROGRAM OR PAYOR. This prohibition applies whether the insurance program is private (such as Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Health Care, etc.) or public (such as Medicare or Medicaid or any other state or federally funded health plan or program).

Does this COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test get shipped to our home?

This test is not designed for home testing and must be collected in a Quest Patient Service Center. Click here to locate the nearest Quest Patient Service Center.

What is a serology (antibody) test?

A serology test looks for antibodies in the blood. Your immune system makes antibody proteins to help fight infections. If you were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, a serology test will show whether or not you’ve developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. These antibodies usually reach detectable levels in the blood about 10 to 18 days after symptoms start.

Which antibodies can a serology test detect?

Currently, a serology test can measure two antibodies: IgM and IgG.

  • Immunoglobulin M (IgM) is produced as the body’s first response to a SARS-CoV-2

infection. Generally, IgM may provide short-term protection and can help tell if an individual has been recently infected. However, there is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgM antibodies are protected against future SARS-CoV-2 infections.

  • Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is the most common type of antibody. It’s made several days to weeks after being exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Generally, IgG remains in the body and may provide long-term protection against future exposure. However, there is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future SARS-CoV-2 infections.

When do IgG antibodies develop?

Based on the most current research, IgG antibodies develop around 10 to 18 days after infection from SARS-CoV-2.

Are there any limitations to IgG antibody tests?

It usually takes around 10 to 18 days after being infected with SARS-CoV-2 for your body to produce enough antibodies for detection in the blood. Getting an IgG antibody test too soon after being infected may cause a negative result that is false (false negative). Additionally, IgG antibody tests may detect IgG antibodies from previous exposure to coronaviruses other than SARS-CoV-2. This can cause a positive result that is false (false positive). There is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future SARS-CoV-2 infections.

What can an IgG antibody test tell me?

An IgG antibody test can tell whether you’ve been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and whether or not your immune system has responded by making IgG antibodies.

Can serology (antibody) tests help diagnose COVID-19?

Serology (antibody) tests cannot be used to diagnose COVID-19. IgG antibody tests can help us understand how the immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2 and how many people have been infected. In the future, IgG antibody tests may be able to tell us whether an individual has immunity against SARS-CoV-2.

What is the difference between a serology (antibody) test and a molecular (PCR) test?

Serology tests check to see if you’ve developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, which occurs after being exposed to the virus. Serology tests do not show whether a person is currently infected. Molecular tests, also called PCR (polymerase chain reaction), show if you’re currently infected and can spread SARS-CoV-2 to others.

When would I get a molecular (PCR) test vs. a serology (antibody) test?

If you’re having symptoms of COVID-19 or have been recently exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, you would get a molecular (PCR) test to see if you have an active infection. If you want to check to see if you’ve been previously exposed to SARS-CoV-2, then you would get a serology (antibody) test.

Can IgG antibody tests be used together with molecular (PCR) tests?

Yes. IgG antibody tests can complement molecular (PCR) tests by providing information about exposure and how the immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2 infections.

How are serology (antibody) and molecular (PCR) tests performed?

Serology tests are collected through a blood sample (such as from a finger prick or needle draw). Molecular (PCR) tests are collected through the nose with a swab. The swab takes nasal secretions from the back of the nose and throat. This can also be done by a saliva test.

If I’m having symptoms of COVID-19 or believe I’ve been exposed to it, should I get a serology (antibody) test?

No. If you’re currently having symptoms of COVID-19 or have recently been exposed, you should get a molecular PCR test to see if you’re currently infected. Serology tests check to see if you’ve developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, which occurs after being exposed to the virus. A serology test cannot tell you whether you have a current infection.

My serology (antibody) test was positive, but I’m still having symptoms. What should I do?

If you’re having symptoms of COVID-19, contact your doctor or local health department to get tested for active infection. The serology (antibody) test can only tell you if you’ve been exposed and have developed an immune response, but it cannot say whether you have an active infection. For that, you’ll need a molecular (PCR) test.

If my IgG antibody test is positive, can I get sick again with COVID-19?

At this time, there is not enough evidence to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future SARS-CoV-2 infections.

Can I take a serology (antibody) test to see if I can stop isolating?

No. There is no test that can tell you when to stop isolating. Check with your primary healthcare provider or local health department to help determine when it’s right to stop isolation. Be sure to continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing and isolation.

Can I take a serology (antibody) test to determine when I can visit someone who is at risk for more severe symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e., those 65 years of age or older or someone with an underlying medical condition)?

No. There is no test that can tell you when you can visit someone who is at risk for more severe symptoms of COVID-19. Check with your primary healthcare provider or local health department to help determine when the time is right to make such visits. Be sure to continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing and isolation.

How do I prepare for the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test?

To have your specimen collected at the patient service centers, you will need to wear a face mask, consent to a non-contact thermometer check at the time of visit, and most patient service centers require a scheduled appointment. There is no other special preparation other than the requirements to receive this test that is restricted to only to patients who: are asymptomatic; have been asymptomatic for at least 10 days; lack a fever (as assessed by non-contact thermometer check at the time of visit); and are wearing a face mask.

Where do I have my specimen collected?

During the order process, you will select a patient service center that will best fit your needs. Each patient service center will have its own set of hours of operation. Appointments must be made to have your specimen collected for the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test. Walk-in service for the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test will not be available. After you have placed your order, you may make an appointment through your patient portal on Ulta Lab Test. Once you arrive for your appointment, a phlebotomist will draw your blood, and the specimen is then sent to Quest Diagnostics laboratories for processing.

What precautions are being taken at the PSC’s?

“Quest’s new Peace of Mind program makes it easier and safer to access the routine testing you need from the Patient Service Centers. Whether you are managing diabetes or another chronic illness or continuing to monitor your health through necessary testing.”

“Wait by Text” notification at PSC’s

Starting in May, Quest will begin to allow patients to wait for their appointment wherever you want by opting in for their “Wait by Text” program. When registering for your appointment on a self-service kiosk in their patient service centers, select the option to request a text when it’s your turn to come inside. This allows you to wait for your lab appointment in your car, outside in the fresh air, or wherever you feel the most comfortable.

Hours for vulnerable patients at PSC’s

Quest is offering the most vulnerable patients’ special access to the non-COVID-19 lab testing they need in an environment with enhanced safety measures.

Those who are 60 years of age or older, are pregnant, or have underlying medical conditions are invited to their nearest Quest location during the first hour of each day for VIP care. Patients may schedule an appointment or walk-in without an appointment.

Social distancing at PSC’s

Added space between chairs and limiting the number of people in the waiting room of our patient service centers will help everyone practice social distancing guidelines.
Additionally, patients who suspect they have COVID-19 are directed to contact their doctor or an authorized healthcare provider for testing information and not come to Quest patient service centers.

Face Masks required at PSC’s

Face masks are required for both patients and employees. Gloves and hand sanitizer are provided at check-in. At some locations, a greeter may use a no-contact technique to take your temperature when you enter. Plus, our medical staff will be wearing added protective face masks and clothing.

More frequent cleaning occurring at PSC’s

All Quest patient service centers have implemented more frequent cleaning routines, including sanitizing between each patient and daily deep cleaning. And all employees are washing their hands more frequently for at least 20 seconds.

Testing for active COVID-19 infection is not performed at Quest patient service centers

If you suspect you have COVID-19, contact your doctor or an authorized healthcare provider. Your doctor will direct you to where to get tested for an active infection. This type of test includes collecting your test specimens, usually through a nose or throat swab. Those respiratory specimens are then sent to labs like Quest to process the tests.

If you may have already been exposed to COVID-19, you may be eligible for antibody testing. If those results are positive, it indicates whether you have developed an immune response to the virus. If you have been symptom-free for at least 10 days, you may be able to submit an order for immune response testing and purchase the test online through Ulta Lab Tests. Then make an appointment at a Quest patient service center for a blood test through the Ulta Lab Tests patient portal.

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus disease (also called COVID-19) is a serious respiratory illness. It is caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus), one of the most recently discovered types of coronaviruses. It was first identified in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019 and has spread globally, becoming a worldwide pandemic. Those who have this disease may or may not experience symptoms, which range from mild to severe.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, loss of smell, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, feeling weak or lethargic, chills, muscle pain, lightheadedness or dizziness, headache, vomiting or diarrhea, slurred speech, and/or seizures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers many resources on COVID-19, including symptoms. Click here for more information from the CDC.

How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

There are currently no vaccines for COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid situations in which you may be exposed to the virus. Everyday actions can help protect you and prevent the spread of respiratory diseases such as COVID-19.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Restrict any activities outside your home and maintain a safe distance (around 6 feet) between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This includes avoiding crowded areas, shopping malls, religious gatherings, public transportation, etc.
  • Wear simple cloth face coverings in public settings (like grocery stores and pharmacies) where social distancing is difficult, especially in areas where COVID-19 is spreading.
  • Stay home when you are sick, unless you are seeking medical care.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t available
  • Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

When should I seek medical care?

If you think you have been exposed, it is important to closely monitor for symptoms. Most mild cases of COVID-19 resolve within 2 weeks without treatment. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop severe symptoms, especially if you experience any of the following:

  • Severe trouble breathing (such as being unable to talk without gasping for air)
  • Continuous pain or pressure in your chest
  • Feeling confused
  • Blue-colored lips or face
  • Severe and continuous dizziness or lightheadedness

If you seek medical attention, be sure to call ahead before visiting the facility. This will help the facility keep other people from possibly getting infected or exposed.

  • Tell any healthcare provider that you may have COVID-19.
  • Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Put on a facemask before you enter any healthcare facility.

What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. It is one of the best ways to avoid being exposed and to help slow the spread of the virus, especially if you are in an area where COVID-19 is widespread. It is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Social or physical distancing includes:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people
  • Not gathering in groups

Staying out of crowded places and avoiding mass gatherings

Should I self-quarantine or self-isolate? How does it work?

If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, it is very important to stay home and limit your interaction with others in your household and in public.

  • If you have not been tested but may have been exposed to COVID-19, self-monitoring and self-quarantine is recommended to see if you get sick.
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19, self-isolation is recommended so that you do not pass the virus to others.

For more information on self-isolation and self-quarantine, click here.

If you are a healthcare professional, first responder, frontline worker, or critical infrastructure worker and believe you have been directly exposed while at work, you should consult your place of work for specific occupational health guidance about whether to stay home or continue working. You should adhere to recommendations set forth by your employer or the department of health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines.

What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Isolation and quarantine are both ways to limit your interaction with others to prevent the spread of disease.

  • Isolation is separating individuals with COVID-19 from people who are not sick. Individuals are separated for a period of time until they are no longer infectious.
  • Quarantine is separating individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 but haven’t been tested. They are separated for a brief period of time (14 days after possible exposure) to see if they develop symptoms.

For more information on self-isolation and self-quarantine, click here.

If you are a healthcare professional, first responder, frontline worker, or critical infrastructure worker and believe you have been directly exposed while at work, you should consult your place of work for specific occupational health guidance about whether to stay home or continue working. You should adhere to recommendations set forth by your employer or the department of health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines.

When can I stop in-home isolation?

The decision to discontinue in-home isolation for patients with COVID-19 should be made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with your healthcare provider. Follow-up with your healthcare provider to discuss when to stop in-home isolation. See the CDC website for more information.

If you are a healthcare professional, first responder, frontline worker, or critical infrastructure worker and believe you have been directly exposed while at work, you should consult your place of work for specific occupational health guidance about whether to stay home or continue working. You should adhere to recommendations set forth by your employer or the department of health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines.

Can someone who has had COVID-19 become infected again?

At this time, it is not known whether someone who has been infected with SARS-CoV-2 can become infected again after recovering.

How do I know if I have COVID-19?

If you suspect you may have COVID-19, contact your doctor or an authorized healthcare provider immediately for guidance. Your doctor can review your symptoms to determine what testing is appropriate. If COVID-19 diagnostic testing for active infection makes sense for you, your doctor will direct you where to get tested. Diagnostic testing includes collecting your specimens (for example, nose or throat swab). Your respiratory specimens will be sent to Quest for advanced testing to determine if you are positive for COVID-19 or not.

How do I know if I'm recovered from COVID-19?

Recovery from COVID-19 is typically considered after it has been at least 7 days from the start of your first symptoms, and at least 3 days without a fever, and all other symptoms have improved. Additionally, an antibody test may be able to detect if you have already been exposed to and produced an immune response to COVID-19, even if you never experienced symptoms. Previous exposure means you may now have some level of immunity to the virus.

At this time, it is unknown for how long antibodies will last after infection and if the antibodies will give you protective immunity. Even if you have antibodies, you may still have the virus and be able to infect others for a few weeks.

Where can I learn more about COVID-19?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Serology (Antibody) blood test now available

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Serology (Antibody) Testing: What you Need to Know
The Coronavirus [COVID-19] Antibody (IgG) Test is now available. This COVID-19 Antibody (IgG) test is not a test for an active infection. We have implemented a set of screening questions to help protect you from the unnecessary ordering of this test. Please read the complete information located on the test page carefully before ordering this test.

It usually takes around 10 to 18 days to produce enough antibodies to be detected in the blood. Please consider this should you decide to order this test. If you are tested too early, you may receive back a test result that is titled “Equivocal.” If your test results are equivocal, the laboratory is unable to confirm if you have IgG antibodies in the sample you provided. Equivocal means that the results were neither positive nor negative. You will need to be retested (purchase a new test) in order to confirm whether or not you have IgG antibodies in your blood. An equivocal result can happen if you do not have enough antibodies for the test to detect, such as if you test too soon after becoming infected.

Click here to order the COVID-19 Antibody (IgG), Immunoassay test.

Is this test FDA authorized?

Yes, the FDA has authorized the COVID-19 Antibody tests performed by Quest Diagnostics.  Quest uses testing from two respected manufacturers for the Antibody test – Abbott Laboratories and Euroimmun US.  These two tests are among the small amount of antibody tests that the FDA has authorized; and they are run in accordance with Quest’s CLIA certification.  See, https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/emergency-situations-medical-devices/emergency-use-authorizations#covid19ivd

Who can get tested?

Immune response testing is available only to patients who are not currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and have not experienced symptoms within ten days. Common COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

How the test works?

This type of test detects antibodies that show if you have already been exposed to and produced an immune response to COVID-19, even if you never experienced symptoms. Previous exposure means you may now have some level of immunity to the virus. Understanding your immune response gives you and your doctor the information to assist in making an informed decision about returning to work or activity. See our Serology (Antibody) Test FAQs for more information.

Where to get tested?

During the order process, you will select a patient service center that will best fit your needs. Each patient service center will have its own set of hours of operation. Appointments must be made to have your specimen collected. Walk-in service for the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test will not be available. After you have placed your order, you may make an appointment through your patient portal on Ulta Lab Test. Once you arrive for your appointment, a phlebotomist will draw your blood, and the specimen is then sent to Quest Diagnostics laboratories for processing.

How long before I see my results?

Test results for the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test are usually returned in 2-3 days, but turnaround time can vary due to high demand. Ulta Lab Tests will notify you the moment we have received your results from the lab. We will notify you through our HIPAA compliant email system.

*The COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test is intended for use as an aid in identifying individuals with an adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2, indicating recent or prior infection. Results are for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are generally detectable in the blood several days after the initial infection. However, the duration of time antibodies are present post-infection is not well characterized. At this time, it is unknown for how long antibodies persist following infection and if the presence of antibodies confers protective immunity.

What is a COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test?

This test checks for a type of antibody called immunoglobulin G (IgG) that is the result of past or recent exposure to COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus. The human body produces IgG antibodies as part of the immune response to the virus. It usually takes around 10 to 18 days to produce enough antibodies to be detected in the blood.

Test results may help identify if you were previously exposed to the virus and, if exposed, can check whether your body has produced antibodies. Antibodies typically suggest protective immunity after you have recovered or been exposed to COVID-19. However, the evidence is still being collected to determine if IgG antibodies provide protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 infection.

  • If you were never diagnosed with COVID-19, this test could help determine if you may have been previously exposed to the virus.
  • If you were diagnosed with COVID-19, this test could check whether  or not your body has produced antibodies.

Multiple sources, including the CDC and healthcare experts, recommend you discuss your test results and whether to return to work with your healthcare provider and employer.

When should I have the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test?

You should have the COVID 19 Immune response test when directed by your physician. Have had a positive test for COVID-19, and it has been at least 7 days, and you want to know if you have detectable levels of IgG antibodies. You have not experienced a fever or felt feverish in the last 3 days. You have not experienced new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 10 days: loss of smell or taste, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, feeling weak or lethargic, lightheadedness or dizziness, vomiting or diarrhea, slurred speech, and/or seizures.

When should I not have the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test?

If you are feeling sick or have had a fever within the last 3 full days, please contact a healthcare provider. Trying to diagnose COVID-19, please contact a healthcare provider. It’s been less than 7 days since being tested for and diagnosed with COVID-19. Directly exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days. A person with a compromised immune system, a condition that makes it difficult to fight infections.

This test may be helpful if you:

  • Have had a positive test for COVID-19, and it has been at least 7 days, and you want to know if you have detectable levels of IgG antibodies.
  • Have not experienced a fever or felt feverish in the last 3 days.
  • Have not experienced new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 10 days: loss of smell or taste, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, feeling weak or lethargic, lightheadedness or dizziness, vomiting or diarrhea, slurred speech, and/or seizures.

This test may NOT be helpful if you are:

  • Feeling sick or have had a fever within the last 3 full days, please contact a healthcare provider.
  • Trying to diagnose COVID-19, please contact a healthcare provider.
  • Less than 7 days since being tested for and diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Directly exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days
  • A person with a compromised immune system, a condition that makes it difficult to fight infections

Note: This test can sometimes detect antibodies from other coronaviruses, which can cause a false-positive result if you have been previously diagnosed with or exposed to other types of coronaviruses. Additionally, if you test too soon, your body may not have produced enough IgG antibodies to be detected by the test yet, which can lead to a false-negative result. At this time, antibody testing is mainly used in studies to determine how much of the population has been exposed to COVID-19. There is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future COVID-19 infection. Positive or negative antibody tests do not rule out the possibility of COVID-19 infection. Results also do not provide any information on whether you can spread the virus to others.

Who will be processing my test?

Quest Diagnostics provides both molecular diagnostic and antibody serology tests to aid in the diagnosis of COVID-19 and immune response. Quest is providing the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test services under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. Quest provides data on COVID-19 testing to various federal and state public health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and participates in studies with government and private institutions, aiding COVID-19 public health response and research.

What is the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test?

Antibody serology tests are intended for use as an aid in identifying individuals with an adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2, indicating recent or prior infection. Results are for the detection of SARS CoV-2 antibodies. IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are generally detectable in the blood several days after the initial infection. However, the duration of time antibodies are present post-infection is not well characterized. Currently, it is unknown how long antibodies persist following infection and if the presence of antibodies confers protective immunity. Individuals may have detectable virus present for several weeks following having IgG antibodies. See the Serology (Antibody) Test FAQs section for more information.

According to the FDA, results from antibody testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude SARS-CoV-2 infection or to inform infection status. Negative results do not rule out acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. Testing with a SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR should be considered if an acute infection is suspected or otherwise to rule out infection. Positive results may be due to past or present infection with non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strains. The serology antibody tests run by Quest Diagnostics are either approved by the FDA under an emergency use authorization, or were released for use under the FDA guidance, “Policy for Diagnostic Tests for Coronavirus Disease – 2019 during the Public Health Emergency,” updated March 16, 2020, and have not been reviewed by the FDA.

Does the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test detect other antibodies?

This test can sometimes detect antibodies from other coronaviruses, which can cause a false-positive result if you have been previously diagnosed with or exposed to other types of coronaviruses. Additionally, if you test too soon, your body may not have produced enough IgG antibodies to be detected by the test yet, which can lead to a false-negative result.

At this time, antibody testing is mainly used in studies to determine how much of the population has been exposed to COVID-19. There is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future COVID-19 infection. Positive or negative antibody tests do not rule out the possibility of COVID-19 infection. Results also do not provide any information on whether you can spread the virus to others.

How accurate is the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test?

Quest Diagnostics ensures that tests offered for SARS-CoV-2 IgG are highly specific and have validated accuracy. Quest uses laboratory-based immunoassays from manufacturers who have demonstrated robust validation of their kits.

Highlights of the manufacturers’ validation include:

  • Clinical performance of approximately 90% to 100% (assessed as percent agreement of serology results on known COVID-19 PCR positive cases).
  • Specificity of approximately 99% to 100%. This was assessed by performing cross-reactivity studies utilizing serum samples positive for antibodies to other respiratory viruses, as well as panels of samples from pre-COVID times (2010, 2017, and 2019).

Quest verifies the performance characteristics of the kits by doing CLIA/CAP-required in-laboratory validations using stringent acceptability criteria for precision, reproducibility, accuracy, method comparison, cross-reactivity, and clinical performance before starting patient testing.

Who created or manufactured the tests that Quest is providing?

The Abbott and EUROIMMUN tests are marketed under FDA’s Policy for Diagnostic Tests for Coronavirus Disease-2019. Quest is providing the service based on tests from Abbott and EUROIMMUN, a PerkinElmer company. Quest Diagnostics has completed independent validation studies on both tests.

Is this the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test FDA approved?

The IgG antibody serology test has not been reviewed by the FDA. Negative results do not rule out SARS-CoV-2 infection, particularly in those who have been in contact with the virus. Follow-up testing with a molecular diagnostic should be considered to rule out infection in these individuals.

Results from antibody testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude SARS-CoV-2 infection or to inform infection status.

Positive results may be due to past or present infection with non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strains, such as coronavirus HKU1, NL63, OC43, or 229E.

How long before I see my results?

Test results are usually returned in 2-3 days, but turnaround time can vary due to high demand. Ulta Lab Tests will notify you the moment we have received your results from the lab. We will notify you through our HIPAA compliant email system.

Will my insurance cover the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test?

To keep prices low, Ulta Lab Tests does not accept insurance. Please note that CHARGES FROM ULTA LAB TESTS MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED TO ANY INSURANCE OR OTHER HEALTH CARE BENEFITS PROGRAM OR PAYOR. This prohibition applies whether the insurance program is private (such as Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Health Care, etc.) or public (such as Medicare or Medicaid or any other state or federally funded health plan or program).

Does this COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test get shipped to our home?

This test is not designed for home testing and must be collected in a Quest Patient Service Center. Click here to locate the nearest Quest Patient Service Center.

Serology (Antibody) Test FAQs

What is a serology (antibody) test?

A serology test looks for antibodies in the blood. Your immune system makes antibody proteins to help fight infections. If you were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, a serology test will show whether or not you’ve developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. These antibodies usually reach detectable levels in the blood about 10 to 18 days after symptoms start.

Which antibodies can a serology test detect?

Currently, a serology test can measure two antibodies: IgM and IgG.

  • Immunoglobulin M (IgM) is produced as the body’s first response to a SARS-CoV-2

infection. Generally, IgM may provide short-term protection and can help tell if an individual has been recently infected. However, there is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgM antibodies are protected against future SARS-CoV-2 infections.

  • Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is the most common type of antibody. It’s made several days to weeks after being exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Generally, IgG remains in the body and may provide long-term protection against future exposure. However, there is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future SARS-CoV-2 infections.

When do IgG antibodies develop?

Based on the most current research, IgG antibodies develop around 10 to 18 days after infection from SARS-CoV-2.

Are there any limitations to IgG antibody tests?

It usually takes around 10 to 18 days after being infected with SARS-CoV-2 for your body to produce enough antibodies for detection in the blood. Getting an IgG antibody test too soon after being infected may cause a negative result that is false (false negative). Additionally, IgG antibody tests may detect IgG antibodies from previous exposure to coronaviruses other than SARS-CoV-2. This can cause a positive result that is false (false positive). There is not enough evidence at this time to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future SARS-CoV-2 infections.

What can an IgG antibody test tell me?

An IgG antibody test can tell whether you’ve been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and whether or not your immune system has responded by making IgG antibodies.

Can serology (antibody) tests help diagnose COVID-19?

Serology (antibody) tests cannot be used to diagnose COVID-19. IgG antibody tests can help us understand how the immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2 and how many people have been infected. In the future, IgG antibody tests may be able to tell us whether an individual has immunity against SARS-CoV-2.

What is the difference between a serology (antibody) test and a molecular (PCR) test?

Serology tests check to see if you’ve developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, which occurs after being exposed to the virus. Serology tests do not show whether a person is currently infected. Molecular tests, also called PCR (polymerase chain reaction), show if you’re currently infected and can spread SARS-CoV-2 to others.

When would I get a molecular (PCR) test vs. a serology (antibody) test?

If you’re having symptoms of COVID-19 or have been recently exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, you would get a molecular (PCR) test to see if you have an active infection. If you want to check to see if you’ve been previously exposed to SARS-CoV-2, then you would get a serology (antibody) test.

Can IgG antibody tests be used instead of molecular (PCR) tests to diagnose COVID-19?

IgG antibody tests do not show whether a person is currently infected. Therefore it should not be used in place of a molecular (PCR) test to diagnose a current infection.

Can IgG antibody tests be used together with molecular (PCR) tests?

Yes. IgG antibody tests can complement molecular (PCR) tests by providing information about exposure and how the immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2 infections.

How are serology (antibody) and molecular (PCR) tests performed?

Serology tests are collected through a blood sample (such as from a finger prick or needle draw). Molecular (PCR) tests are collected through the nose with a swab. The swab takes nasal secretions from the back of the nose and throat. This can also be done by a saliva test.

If I’m having symptoms of COVID-19 or believe I’ve been exposed to it, should I get a serology (antibody) test?

No. If you’re currently having symptoms of COVID-19 or have recently been exposed, you should get a molecular PCR test to see if you’re currently infected. Serology tests check to see if you’ve developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, which occurs after being exposed to the virus. A serology test cannot tell you whether you have a current infection.

My serology (antibody) test was positive, but I’m still having symptoms. What should I do?

If you’re having symptoms of COVID-19, contact your doctor or local health department to get tested for active infection. The serology (antibody) test can only tell you if you’ve been exposed and have developed an immune response, but it cannot say whether you have an active infection. For that, you’ll need a molecular (PCR) test.

If my IgG antibody test is positive, can I get sick again with COVID-19?

At this time, there is not enough evidence to suggest that people who have IgG antibodies are protected against future SARS-CoV-2 infections.

Can I take a serology (antibody) test to see if I can stop isolating?

No. There is no test that can tell you when to stop isolating. Check with your primary healthcare provider or local health department to help determine when it’s right to stop isolation. Be sure to continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing and isolation.

Can I take a serology (antibody) test to determine when I can visit someone who is at risk for more severe symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e., those 65 years of age or older or someone with an underlying medical condition)?

No. There is no test that can tell you when you can visit someone who is at risk for more severe symptoms of COVID-19. Check with your primary healthcare provider or local health department to help determine when the time is right to make such visits. Be sure to continue to follow federal, state, and local government guidance regarding social distancing and isolation.

Specimen Collections at Patient Service Centers (PSC’s)

How do I prepare for the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test?

To have your specimen collected at the patient service centers, you will need to wear a face mask, consent to a non-contact thermometer check at the time of visit, and most patient service centers require a scheduled appointment. There is no other special preparation other than the requirements to receive this test that is restricted to only to patients who: are asymptomatic; have been asymptomatic for at least 10 days; lack a fever (as assessed by non-contact thermometer check at the time of visit); and are wearing a face mask.

Where do I have my specimen collected?

During the order process, you will select a patient service center that will best fit your needs. Each patient service center will have its own set of hours of operation. Appointments must be made to have your specimen collected for the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test. Walk-in service for the COVID-19 IgG Immune Response blood test will not be available. After you have placed your order, you may make an appointment through your patient portal on Ulta Lab Test. Once you arrive for your appointment, a phlebotomist will draw your blood, and the specimen is then sent to Quest Diagnostics laboratories for processing.

What precautions are being taken at the PSC’s?

“Quest’s new Peace of Mind program makes it easier and safer to access the routine testing you need from the Patient Service Centers. Whether you are managing diabetes or another chronic illness or continuing to monitor your health through necessary testing.”

“Wait by Text” notification at PSC’s

Starting in May, Quest will begin to allow patients to wait for their appointment wherever you want by opting in for their “Wait by Text” program. When registering for your appointment on a self-service kiosk in their patient service centers, select the option to request a text when it’s your turn to come inside. This allows you to wait for your lab appointment in your car, outside in the fresh air, or wherever you feel the most comfortable.

Hours for vulnerable patients at PSC’s

Quest is offering the most vulnerable patients’ special access to the non-COVID-19 lab testing they need in an environment with enhanced safety measures.

Those who are 60 years of age or older, are pregnant, or have underlying medical conditions are invited to their nearest Quest location during the first hour of each day for VIP care. Patients may schedule an appointment or walk-in without an appointment.

Social distancing at PSC’s

Added space between chairs and limiting the number of people in the waiting room of our patient service centers will help everyone practice social distancing guidelines.

Additionally, patients who suspect they have COVID-19 are directed to contact their doctor or an authorized healthcare provider for testing information and not come to Quest patient service centers.

Face Masks required at PSC’s

Face masks are required for both patients and employees. Gloves and hand sanitizer are provided at check-in. At some locations, a greeter may use a no-contact technique to take your temperature when you enter. Plus, our medical staff will be wearing added protective face masks and clothing.

More frequent cleaning occurring at PSC’s

All Quest patient service centers have implemented more frequent cleaning routines, including sanitizing between each patient and daily deep cleaning. And all employees are washing their hands more frequently for at least 20 seconds.

Testing for active COVID-19 infection is not performed at Quest patient service centers.

If you suspect you have COVID-19, contact your doctor or an authorized healthcare provider. Your doctor will direct you to where to get tested for an active infection. This type of test includes collecting your test specimens, usually through a nose or throat swab. Those respiratory specimens are then sent to labs like Quest to process the tests.

If you may have already been exposed to COVID-19, you may be eligible for antibody testing. If those results are positive, it indicates whether you have developed an immune response to the virus. If you have been symptom-free for at least 10 days, you may be able to submit an order for immune response testing and purchase the test online through Ulta Lab Tests. Then make an appointment at a Quest patient service center for a blood test through the Ulta Lab Tests patient portal.

General FAQs

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus disease (also called COVID-19) is a serious respiratory illness. It is caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus), one of the most recently discovered types of coronaviruses. It was first identified in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019 and has spread globally, becoming a worldwide pandemic. Those who have this disease may or may not experience symptoms, which range from mild to severe.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, loss of smell, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, feeling weak or lethargic, chills, muscle pain, lightheadedness or dizziness, headache, vomiting or diarrhea, slurred speech, and/or seizures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers many resources on COVID-19, including symptoms. Click here for more information from the CDC.

How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

There are currently no vaccines for COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid situations in which you may be exposed to the virus. Everyday actions can help protect you and prevent the spread of respiratory diseases such as COVID-19.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Restrict any activities outside your home and maintain a safe distance (around 6 feet) between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This includes avoiding crowded areas, shopping malls, religious gatherings, public transportation, etc.
  • Wear simple cloth face coverings in public settings (like grocery stores and pharmacies) where social distancing is difficult, especially in areas where COVID-19 is spreading.
  • Stay home when you are sick, unless you are seeking medical care.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t available
  • Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

When should I seek medical care?

If you think you have been exposed, it is important to closely monitor for symptoms. Most mild cases of COVID-19 resolve within 2 weeks without treatment. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop severe symptoms, especially if you experience any of the following:

  • Severe trouble breathing (such as being unable to talk without gasping for air)
  • Continuous pain or pressure in your chest
  • Feeling confused
  • Blue-colored lips or face
  • Severe and continuous dizziness or lightheadedness

If you seek medical attention, be sure to call ahead before visiting the facility. This will help the facility keep other people from possibly getting infected or exposed.

  • Tell any healthcare provider that you may have COVID-19.
  • Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Put on a facemask before you enter any healthcare facility.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. It is one of the best ways to avoid being exposed and to help slow the spread of the virus, especially if you are in an area where COVID-19 is widespread. It is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Social or physical distancing includes:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people
  • Not gathering in groups
  • Staying out of crowded places and avoiding mass gatherings

Should I self-quarantine or self-isolate? How does it work?

If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, it is very important to stay home and limit your interaction with others in your household and in public.

  • If you have not been tested but may have been exposed to COVID-19, self-monitoring and self-quarantine is recommended to see if you get sick.
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19, self-isolation is recommended so that you do not pass the virus to others.

For more information on self-isolation and self-quarantine, click here.

If you are a healthcare professional, first responder, frontline worker, or critical infrastructure worker and believe you have been directly exposed while at work, you should consult your place of work for specific occupational health guidance about whether to stay home or continue working. You should adhere to recommendations set forth by your employer or the department of health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines.

What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Isolation and quarantine are both ways to limit your interaction with others to prevent the spread of disease.

  • Isolation is separating individuals with COVID-19 from people who are not sick. Individuals are separated for a period of time until they are no longer infectious.
  • Quarantine is separating individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 but haven’t been tested. They are separated for a brief period of time (14 days after possible exposure) to see if they develop symptoms.

For more information on self-isolation and self-quarantine, click here.

If you are a healthcare professional, first responder, frontline worker, or critical infrastructure worker and believe you have been directly exposed while at work, you should consult your place of work for specific occupational health guidance about whether to stay home or continue working. You should adhere to recommendations set forth by your employer or the department of health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines.

When can I stop in-home isolation?

The decision to discontinue in-home isolation for patients with COVID-19 should be made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with your healthcare provider. Follow-up with your healthcare provider to discuss when to stop in-home isolation. See the CDC website for more information.

If you are a healthcare professional, first responder, frontline worker, or critical infrastructure worker and believe you have been directly exposed while at work, you should consult your place of work for specific occupational health guidance about whether to stay home or continue working. You should adhere to recommendations set forth by your employer or the department of health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines.

Can someone who has had COVID-19 become infected again?

At this time, it is not known whether someone who has been infected with SARS-CoV-2 can become infected again after recovering.

How do I know if I have COVID-19?

If you suspect you may have COVID-19, contact your doctor or an authorized healthcare provider immediately for guidance. Your doctor can review your symptoms to determine what testing is appropriate. If COVID-19 diagnostic testing for active infection makes sense for you, your doctor will direct you where to get tested. Diagnostic testing includes collecting your specimens (for example, nose or throat swab). Your respiratory specimens will be sent to Quest for advanced testing to determine if you are positive for COVID-19 or not.

How do I know if I’m recovered from COVID-19?

Recovery from COVID-19 is typically considered after it has been at least 7 days from the start of your first symptoms, and at least 3 days without a fever, and all other symptoms have improved. Additionally, an antibody test may be able to detect if you have already been exposed to and produced an immune response to COVID-19, even if you never experienced symptoms. Previous exposure means you may now have some level of immunity to the virus.

At this time, it is unknown for how long antibodies will last after infection and if the antibodies will give you protective immunity. Even if you have antibodies, you may still have the virus and be able to infect others for a few weeks.

Where can I learn more about COVID-19?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak