Antibody testing for health care workers begins

Press Releases

Meritus Health will begin limited testing for COVID-19 antibodies in health care professionals and first responders on a voluntary basis Monday, May 18.

“With our advanced capabilities at Meritus Medical Laboratory, this will help us lay the groundwork to better understand this virus’ prevalence in our community,” explains John Newby, M.D., medical director for the lab. “Antibodies are essentially the footprints left behind when the coronavirus has lived in a body. Testing those who have had an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 should give us a good baseline of results.”

The antibody tests will be at no cost to the health care provider or first responder.

During this initial testing phase, Meritus Health will work to streamline the process in preparation for potential community-wide testing in the months to come.

Meritus Medical Laboratory increased safety measures early on in the pandemic and have been serving the community by processing COVID-19 test results for more than a month now.

“We are here and our labs are safe, so no one should be putting off medically necessary lab work out of fear,” says Newby.

Antibody tests do not take the place of COVID-19 screening tests.

“There is a possibility that antibody testing could lead to plasma donations in the future that may help those in our community who have been directly impacted by this coronavirus,” says Newby.

COVID-19 testing continues for all ages, including those who do not currently have symptoms but suspect or are concerned they have been exposed, at both Meritus Health screening centers. The drive-thru center is located at 13620 Crayton Blvd. and open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The walk-thru center is located at 24 N. Walnut St. and is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. No appointments or referrals are required at either of these two screening centers.