COVID-19 antibody testing is now available at Pick ‘n Save and Metro Market pharmacy locations, Roundy’s Supermarkets Inc. announced Thursday.
The FDA-authorized rapid antibody test helps inform patients if they have previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. One test costs $25, and results are typically available within 15 minutes, according to a press release.
Individuals who believe they have been previously infected with COVID-19 and are not currently experiencing symptoms are eligible for the test, which is conducted by a licensed health professional using a finger-prick blood sample and the Assure COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test Device.
Those interested can register for the test and schedule an appointment through Pick ‘n Save’s website.
The press release notes that research is still being conducted to determine the life span of antibodies following infection and if the presence of antibodies provides protective immunity. It recommends that all patients should continue to follow safety guidelines, including social distancing and wearing face masks, regardless of the antibody test results.
“We are excited for our Pick ‘n Save and Metro Market pharmacy teams to work with Kroger Health to provide rapid antibody testing for the communities we serve,” said Stacy Doyle, vice president of pharmacy for Roundy’s Supermarkets Inc. “Making rapid antibody testing available will not only provide an affordable and convenient testing solution for individuals who want to understand if they have previously been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, but also help clinicians understand the long-term impacts of COVID-19 and potential public health strategies for fighting the disease.”
Roundy’s is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co. and has 94 Pick ‘n Save stores and 12 Metro Market stores in Wisconsin.
The tests, which are supplied by Sumner, Washington-based Whitmire Medical, was first authorized by the FDA for emergency use in July and further authorized for broader point-of-care use in September.
Citing the American Society for Microbiology’s recent finding that 73% of surveyed testing labs experienced a shortage of commercial testing kits for SARS-CoV-2, the company said its rapid antibody tests serve a crucial purpose these days.
“As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in many states, Kroger Health’s rapid antibody test may provide critical information about past infection to patients who believe they may have been exposed to the coronavirus but were unable to access testing at the time of infection,” according to the press release.