JUPITER, Fla. (CBS12) — A new kind of coronavirus test is coming to Palm Beach County. Instead of identifying if you currently have the virus, this new, rapid test will tell you if you've ever had the infection.
The new COVID-19 antibody rapid test is designed by Henry Schein, a medical distribution company. About 500 tests will soon be delivered to the Medical Group of South Florida in Jupiter.
The rapid test draws blood from a finger prick, instead of using a nasal swab. Instead of testing for the infection itself, the new test looks at the antibodies in your system; that will determine if your body has built an immunity to the infection, is currently building an immunity, or never been exposed to COVID-19.
"This will be able to tell us, you had the disease, you're done with the disease and now you can move forward," said Dr. Joshua Smith, CEO of the Medical Group.
Medical director Dr. Avishai Mendelson says the test can most benefit those who work with the public on a daily basis.
"You can now feel free to go to work with more confidence, take care of grandma with more confidence, especially if she's sick because you're not worried about getting the infection," said Dr. Mendelson.
According to Dr. Mendelson, once you've contracted the virus and built enough antibodies to no longer be contagious, you are immune to COVID-19. Because of that, this test is not meant to be used to determine if you are currently infected.
Unlike the nasal test, the rapid test is neither free nor is it covered by insurance. Doctors say that's because the test isn't FDA approved yet, but they expect it to be fast-tracked soon; the tests will cost $150.
If you'd like to make an appointment for a test, contact the Medical Group of South Florida at 561-622-6111 or book through its website.