South Carolina lab administers COVID-19 antibody screenings

South Carolina News

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – While some people are being tested to see if they currently have COVID-19, others are being tested to see if they already had it and just didn’t know. 7 News spoke with those performing these particular tests.

“We’re providing a way for people to understand what’s going on with their body, with the possibility of being exposed to COVID-19,” Byron Berry said.

Byron Berry is the president of ARCpoint Labs in Greenville and Anderson.

On a usual day, they’re performing drug tests and DNA tests. But now, due to COVID-19, they’ve added another test to the list.

“We stick a finger with a lancet–just like we’ve all had done when we were growing up,” Berry said. “And, then, the drop of blood is applied to the test and the screen returns the response in about 15 minutes.”

That test is an antibody screening. It’s for those who aren’t currently showing symptoms of COVID-19 and haven’t had symptoms of the virus for at least 14 days.

“Loss of taste, loss of smell, have extended higher temperatures,” Berry said.

But it’s for those who want to know if they’ve possibly been exposed to the virus in the past.

“Being that it’s flu season, a lot of people feel like they’ve maybe had the symptoms,” Berry said.

The screening looks for antibodies that are produced in response to the virus, which makes it different from the current diagnostic test.

“It’s usually a nasal swab or a throat swab,” Berry said about the viral RNA test. “It’s then taken to a lab and the analytical tests are run and an analysis is done to determine if that person has COVID-19 or not.”

Berry told 7 News people who may benefit from an antibody screening are those who work in high-risk professions.

“We want to help those people who are first responders and healthcare workers get back into the workforce, and understand, if they do possibly have the antibodies built up in their system, then they may be less susceptible to getting the COVID-19 virus again,” he said.

Others may just want that peace of mind.

“A lot of people come in here and want to know that they’ve actually had the virus and have, basically, built up the immunity,” Berry said.

The antibody screenings cost $70 out-of-pocket.

For more information about ARCpoint Labs and how to make an appointment for a screening, click here.

Berry told 7 News the screenings are for asymptomatic people only, and they are about 97-99% accurate.

ARCpoint Labs in Spartanburg will begin this same kind of testing next week.

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