COVID-19 antibody testing now available in Paso Robles
–Starting last week, antibody testing for COVID-19 became available for local medical providers to order for patients in Paso Robles.
The SARS-CoV-2 AB OgG blood-draw test checks for antibodies for the virus that causes the COVID-19 coronavirus disease. A positive test result indicates past infection or exposure and is not an indicator of a current acute infection.
The antibody test is now “widely available so far to Pacific Diagnostics Labs as well as Central Coast Pathology which is now known as Westpac,” said Dr. Justin Davis of Las Tablas Medical Center. “It’s a great thing to do because it allows for a much better recognition of previous infections and gives us a better idea about mortality and morbidity,” he said.
Dr. Davis said he has seen one positive antibody test result come back out of about 20 results received. After a blood draw, test results can take a week to receive. At present, the doctor’s office is ordering for current patients who request it.
While antibody testing is now available, the San Luis Obispo County Health Department is not yet recommending wide-spread testing. In April, San Luis Obispo County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said, We want antibody testing for our community to give us a better understanding of who may have been infected at some point.”
On Wednesday morning, the county’s public health laboratory and department issued a statement saying, “While serology or antibody testing is becoming more available in local physician offices, the Public Health Laboratory and Department do not recommend such testing at this time for individual patients. The predictive value of these tests remain low, especially given the small number of cases of disease in our county. We do not want patients with a positive test result to gain a false sense of security about their risk of disease, nor does a negative result necessarily mean that the person has not been infected at some point.”
Testing for COVID-19 infection is now widely available in the county
Testing for COVID-19 infection is available by appointment, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Paso Robles Veterans Hall, 240 Scott St in Paso Robles, and Ramona Garden Community Center, 993 Ramona Ave in Grover Beach. Appointments will require residents to walk into the facility, not drive through, and will generally take about five minutes.
The following persons are currently eligible to be tested:
- Healthcare workers and first responders
- 65 and older or any age with chronic medical conditions
- Residents or employees of congregate care living facilities
- Persons in essential occupations which includes utilities, grocery, food supply, and public employees
- Any persons exhibiting one or more symptoms of COVID-19
The online registration link can be found on emergencySLO.org/statetesting or you can register by phone at 888-634-1123.
- Follow all Paso Robles COVID-19 coronavirus news updates
- San Luis Obispo County COVID-19 website – readyslo.org