What it’s like to get a $25 rapid COVID-19 antibody test at a Kroger pharmacy

Results take 15 minutes

A health worker processes a COVID-19 rapid antibody test on May 20, 2020 in Quezon city, Metro Manila, Philippines. (Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)
A health worker processes a COVID-19 rapid antibody test on May 20, 2020 in Quezon city, Metro Manila, Philippines. (Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images) (2020 Getty Images)

Kroger pharmacies offer rapid COVID-19 antibody tests for $25.

The test is meant to give people an idea as to if they’ve had a past COVID-19 infection. It’s a simple fingerstick test and the results are ready within 15 minutes.

On Tuesday afternoon I used Kroger’s website to set an appointment for later the same day at my local Kroger store.

Minutes before my appointment, I donned my facemask and went into the store. I was eager to find out if I’ve had COVID-19 at some point and had not experienced any symptoms.

I told the pharmacist at the counter my reason for being there and they gave me some paperwork to fill out. The standard name, date of birth and address type of form. They put that information into the system and then took me to another counter to pay the $25 fee.

After I paid, I was led into another room where they conducted the fingerstick test. A small drop of blood went onto a rectangular plastic tester and I was offered a bandaid and sent on my way. I was told to return in 15 minutes for the result.

I already knew no matter what my result was that I would not change my behavior with regard to precautions I have been taking during the pandemic to protect myself and others.

Overall, the entire process was simple and relatively uneventful.

READ: Kroger pharmacies to offer rapid COVID antibody testing with 15-minute results

The test is for people who believe they have already been infected and are not currently experiencing symptoms. The tests are supplied by Whitmire Medical.

What the CDC says about antibody tests

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said a positive antibody test means a person has been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, at some point in the past. It does not mean they are currently infected.

Antibodies start developing within 1 to 3 weeks after an infection. The CDC doesn’t have enough information to know how protected someone might be from being infected again even if they have antibodies.

There have been rare incidents of confirmed and suspected cases of reinfection. There are also instances of the antibody test coming up with a false positive or false negative result.

Do
Until scientists get more data on how much protection antibodies provide against being infected again with this virus, everyone should continue to take steps to protect themselves and others.
People who wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at work should continue to wear PPE, even if they test positive for antibodies to the virus.
Don’t
Antibody test results should not be used to determine if someone can return to work.
Antibody test results should not be used to group people together in settings such as schools, dormitories, and correctional facilities

Click here to schedule an appointment through Kroger’s website

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan had risen to 442,715 as of Tuesday, including 10,935 deaths, state officials reported.

Tuesday’s update included 4,730 new cases and 183 additional deaths, including 71 from a Vital Records review. On Monday, the state reported a total of 437,985 confirmed cases and 10,752 deaths.

READ: Here’s where you can get a free COVID-19 test in Michigan

Questions about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge


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