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Clinical lab Quest offers COVID-19 antibody tests direct to consumers

Healthcare workers speak with a man before they administer a COVID-19 test in Washington, D.C., on April 21. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Healthcare workers speak with a man before they administer a COVID-19 test in Washington, D.C., on April 21. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

April 28 (UPI) -- Clinical laboratory Quest Diagnostics said Tuesday it's offering self-administered COVID-19 antibody tests direct to consumers online without a need to visit a doctor.

Quest introduced the test last week for doctors, but it's now making them available to individuals by request.

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The New Jersey-based company said the COVID-19 Immune Response test is available through a website administered by its QuestDirect subsidiary. Results are available within two days.

"With the introduction of this test and service, Quest is making it easy for people to access quality testing for antibodies to the virus which causes COVID-19, with access to physician interpretation and steering into needed care," Quest Chief Medical Officer Jay Wohlgemuth said in a statement Tuesday.

The antibody tests, he noted, "may identify people who have likely been exposed to COVID-19 and might have mounted an immune response to the virus."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said having natural antibodies produced by the immune system to fight off COVID-19 does not necessarily mean a person is protected from re-infection. It's also been unknown how long any such protection lasts, but that can be used determine if an individual has been exposed to the coronavirus.

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Walgreens said Monday it's partnering with LabCorp to use its nasal swab diagnostic test to expand testing at locations in 49 states and Puerto Rico. LabCorp is also offering antibody blood testing at more than 100 Walgreens locations.

Walgreens has so far opened 18 drive-through test locations in 11 states and said it expects to have 23 in 15 states by the end of the week.

U.S. copes with COVID-19 pandemic

Bass Pro Shops marketing manager David Smith (R) carries a box of donated face masks into Mercy Health in Chesterfield, Mo., on May 13. The company is donating 1 million FDA-approved ASTM Level 1 Procedure Face Masks to healthcare workers and first responders working on the front lines of the pandemic. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

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