Blood Drive!!!

March 14, 2020

Blood Drive!!!

Key points:

  • In general, a positive antibody test is presumed to mean a person has been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, at some point in the past. It does not mean they are currently infected.
  • Antibodies start developing within 1 to 3 weeks after infection.
  • We currently don’t have enough information yet to say whether someone will definitely be immune and protected from reinfection if they have antibodies to the virus.
  • Healthcare providers who use antibody tests must know how the different tests work and use caution when interpreting test results:
    • If someone tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies but does not really have those specific antibodies, the result is a false positive. Similarly, if someone tests negative for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies but does really have those specific antibodies, the result is a false negative.
    • FDA has authorized antibody tests for this virus that have been submitted for their review. But these tests are not 100% accurate and some false-positive results or false-negative results may occur. False-positive results can be minimized by choosing an antibody test with high specificity and by testing populations and people who are likely to have had COVID-19.
    • Antibody test results should not be used to diagnose someone with an active infection.
    • The Interim Guidance for COVID-19 Antibody Testing in Clinical and Public Health Settings provides detailed information on how to make the best use of antibody tests.
  • People who receive positive results on an antibody test but don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 or have not been around someone who may have COVID-19 are not likely to have a current infection. They can continue with normal activities, including work, but still take steps to protect themselves and others.
  • People who receive positive results on an antibody test and who are currently or recently sick or have been around someone with COVID-19 should follow CDC recommendations on caring for themselves and protecting others, and when they can be around other people again.