COVID-19 Response & Antibody Testing

Updated 5/14/2020

Carewell is a community-based health care system, Carewell has no higher priority than the safety of our patients, our employees and our community.

All of our centers are currently performing two types of testing, the PCR (nasal swab) and the Serum Antibody IgG (blood test).  We will also be offering the new SARS Antigen FIA test in a few days.  Please see below for more information on each test.

What are the types of COVID-19 testing available?

  1. PCR (nasal swab) – this test will detect if you are actively infected with COVID-19. Test is sent to our commercial lab partner for analysis which uses the Abbot Architect platform.  This test is FDA Emergency Use Authorization approved.
  2. NOW AVAILABLE: SARS Antigen FIA (nasal swab) – a rapid test (15 minute results) performed with a nasal swab to detect if you are actively infected with Covid-19. Test results are provided by CareWell using the new Sofia 2 analyzer by Quidel which is FDA Emergency Use Authorization approved. Click this link for more information – Quidel Antigen Patient Fact Sheet
  3. Serum Antibody IgG (blood test) – this test will detect if you have had previous exposure Covid-19 and if your body is building antibodies.  Test is sent to our commercial lab partner for analysis which uses the Abbot Architect platform.  This test is FDA Emergency Use Authorization approved.

Does CareWell offer COVID-19 antibody testing?

Yes, as of April 22nd CareWell is a collection site for blood draws for Quest Diagnostics to perform analysis for SARS-COV-2.  For an upfront fee of $50 we will draw a sample of blood to be sent off to Quest Diagnostics.  Within 48 hours you will receive notice of the results.  This will include whether you have been exposed to a virus in the corona group, including COVID-19, and have had it, as well as whether you are building antibodies to the virus.  Quest Diagnostics will bill directly to you, the patient, for the analysis.

  • Now FDA approved under Emergency Use Authorization
  • Negative results do not rule out SARS-COV-2 infection, particularly in those who have been in contact with the virus. Follow up testing with a molecular diagnostic should be considered to rule out infection in these individuals.
  • Results from antibody testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude SARS-COV-2 infection or to inform infection status
  • Positive results may be due to past or present infection with other non-SARSCOV-2, Coronavirus strains.

For more information regarding the antibody blood test please visit the following pages:

Quest Diagnostics press release regarding the test – https://newsroom.questdiagnostics.com/2020-04-21-Quest-Diagnostics-Begins-to-Perform-COVID-19-Antibody-Testing

Abbott press release regarding antibody blood test – https://abbott.mediaroom.com/2020-04-15-Abbott-Launches-Third-COVID-19-Test-a-Laboratory-Based-Antibody-Blood-Test-That-Will-Ship-in-the-U-S-Starting-Tomorrow

Does insurance cover antibody testing?

Currently, most insurance companies are not reimbursing for the antibody test. This is a fluid situation and it will be up to Quest Diagnostics to reimburse through insurance if they are able.  Otherwise there is an additional patient responsibility fee to Quest Diagnostics.

Can I wait in my car until it is time for my appointment?

We have implemented rapid encounter testing. When appropriate, the patient may call in from the car and staff will process the encounter and testing outside the clinic, a modified drive-through testing.

What Are the Signs of COVID-19?

If you have upper respiratory symptoms – cough, fever or shortness of breath and believe you need to be evaluated for COVID-19 – please call first before an urgent care visit to alert the practice and  determine if you need to visit a site for testing.

Is CareWell Accepting Patients with COVID-19 Symptoms?

Carewell is currently accepting visits from all patients without requiring a referral (even Mass Health patients). Our providers will help you navigate to the next appropriate step if testing for COVID-19 is warranted.

Who is Tested for COVID-19?

We follow evidence-based guidelines for testing based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Massachusetts department of public health, and other sources.

Call your provider, or our urgent care facility for evaluation of your symptoms. From there, we work with both commercial and state labs to facilitate the testing

If you are having difficulty breathing or a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency department.

We recognize the local situation continues to change, and we’d like to invite you to visit the CDC website for current updates

Prevention of Coronavirus Disease

We encourage you to follow basic CDC-recommended preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Stay home when you are sick. If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance.
  • Avoid close contact (maintain at least 6 feet of distance) with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Thank you for choosing Carewell for your health care needs.

Below are trusted, credible resources for real-time COVID-19 information:

Resources for employers: