I Got Tested for COVID-19 Antibodies; Here’s What It Was Like
Last week, we told you this opportunity was coming to the Treasure Valley. After being wicked sick in early January, I decided to take advantage of it.
Crush the Curve Idaho is now able to offer COVID-19 Serologic Testing to anyone in the Treasure Valley who would like to have the test done. It looks for the presence of antibodies for SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, in a patient's blood sample. While there's no current evidence that the presence of these antibodies will make someone immune to the virus, a positive test does indicate that you were likely exposed to the virus weeks ago and quite possibly before Idaho's first confirmed case became public knowledge. Research continues to see if antibodies for this virus will provide immunity to it in the future, similar to the way antibodies from chickenpox prevent people from getting it twice.
With all of that in mind, I decided to have the testing done to possibly provide myself with some peace of mind. Since COVID-19 became a major headline in the United States, I've had a nagging voice in the back of my mind saying "Did you already have it? Remember back in January when you had to gasp for air after turning off the microphone? That wasn't normal." So I began the process with Crust the Curve Idaho.
I took their online assessment (a requirement if you'd like testing done) and received an e-mail telling me what I needed to know to get to their antibody testing only site. On the day of my test, I followed the signs and was greeted by volunteers in masks. They handed me some paperwork to fill out after I parked in the spot that I was directed to. The paperwork was pretty easy. It contained general consent information and asked for things like your name, address, birthday, e-mail address and health insurance information.
Once you complete your paperwork, you put it on your dashboard and a volunteer will hold up a sign telling you it's now safe for you to exit your vehicle and proceed to a tent where they make a label for your blood sample vial.
After receiving your label, you stand in a queue line marked for proper social distancing until one of Saltzer Health's staff is ready to take your blood sample. Inside the sampling tent, there are small rooms curtained off where the provider sits you down, describes what they're going to do and then fills a small vial of blood. The woman doing my testing was great with me. I told her that I was scared of needles and she asked me if I'd be more comfortable with her counting down to the prick or just going for it. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be!
After leaving the testing tent, they have you go to a final tent where they make a copy of your ID and health insurance card. No payment is required at this time. You'll be billed in the future. After that you're given some information about what the test you just had looks for and what negative and positive results mean. That final information sheet told me that within one business day I'd get an e-mail from Saltzer Health with instructions on how to access the Patient Portal where your results will got once they're available. I was tested around 3:30 on Tuesday afternoon and got that e-mail at 10:38 this morning. My results are expected to be in in 24-48 hours.
The whole process only took me about 25 minutes. The volunteers and staff were so kind and were working like a well oiled machine just two days after this testing site opened.
Want to have the testing done for yourself? Click HERE to take the online assessment and get started. Make sure you remember your ID and health insurance information when you show up for testing.
I'll let you guys know what I find out when the results are in!