- College of Medicine
Starting Thursday, May 28, antibody testing will be added to the COVID-19 testing site at Garage A at UCF’s main campus as part of an ongoing partnership with Aventus Biolabs.
Antibody tests will tell people whether they have been exposed to COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it is currently unclear whether antibodies provide immunity to COVID-19. However, the tests can help individuals understand if they had the virus previously – especially if they had no symptoms.
The Garage A site, in addition to the testing site at UCF’s College of Medicine in Lake Nona, will continue to offer COVID-19 testing. Antibody testing is expected to be added to the College of Medicine location in the coming weeks.
Public health officials continue to say that more widespread testing is key in getting our community, state and nation back to “normal.”
How The Antibody Test Works
Patients can obtain tests for antibodies and COVID-19 during the same visit to the Garage A testing site.
Patients will be able to remain in their cars while phlebotomists draw a blood sample from their arm. For safety reasons, there will be a mandatory park and wait period of 15 minutes following a blood draw of the vehicle’s driver. Results can be expected within the same day.
A positive antibody test result shows that a patient has been exposed to COVID-19 and that their body has developed antibodies to the virus.
Because COVID-19 is so new, medical experts are unsure if being exposed to the virus gives a person immunity – or if so, for how long. Unlike other viruses, people infected with COVID-19 may not have symptoms, and therefore, may have gone about their daily business unaware they were infected. While some individuals become seriously ill from COVID-19, others have minor symptoms they might attribute to a cold or minor respiratory ailment.
A positive antibody test can help address those uncertainties, but it does not indicate that individuals are protected from the virus. Even those who test positive should continue to practice physical distancing and other safety measures such as wearing a face covering while in public and practicing good hand hygiene.
If testing shows an individual has antibodies, they also can contact a blood donation center about possible donation of plasma to treat patients suffering from the virus.
How to Obtain a Test
In order to obtain either or both tests, patients must have an order from a physician and then schedule an appointment for testing.
These are the numbers to call:
· UCF students: Student Health Services, 407-823-2701
· UCF faculty and staff: UCF Health, 407-266-3627
· Community members who need to schedule an appointment or speak with a physician: Aventus Biolabs, 407-986-0133
Both testing sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday by appointment only until all appointments are filled.
Insurance providers will cover the costs of the telehealth visit and the COVID-19 and antibody tests. Funding from a federal grant will cover these costs for the uninsured.
UCF’s first COVID-19 testing site opened at Garage A on April 6. The site is a partnership between UCF and Aventus Biolabs, a private genetics testing lab owned and operated by Aventus Health, a healthcare company with headquarters in Orlando.
On April 29, a second testing site opened in Lake Nona as a partnership among UCF’s College of Medicine, Aventus Health and Tavistock.
Nearly 5,000 patients have been tested at the sites to date, according to Aventus.
More information about testing and UCF’s response to COVID-19 is available here: https://www.ucf.edu/coronavirus/.