DURANGO, Colo., April 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Cedar Diagnostics is now offering two COVID-19 tests to residents of Durango, Cortez and Pagosa Springs. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test determines if an individual is infected by the novel coronavirus, while the antibody test allows patients to discover if they were previously infected with the virus and now have IgG antibodies to it.
The PCR test is intended for people who believe they have recently been exposed to the virus or have active symptoms consistent with COVID-19. The CDC recently updated their list of possible COVID 19-symptoms, including: fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, cough, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and a new loss of taste or smell. The antibody test is for persons who believe they may have had COVID-19 and have now fully recovered.
"The antibody test is a serology or blood test and is very helpful in determining the degree of the spread, or prevalence, of the virus within our community," said Virginia Burdine, MD, PhD, a medical director at Cedar Diagnostics. "Employers, especially essential service providers, are interested in learning which of their employees have had the disease and have now recovered from it."
Cedar Diagnostics uses an antibody test created by Abbott Laboratories to detect the IgG antibody to SARS-CoV-2 . An antibody is a protein the body produces in the late stages of infection to fight off disease, and may remain in a person's body for months, even years, after they have recovered. Since this is a novel virus, it is unclear how long a person has these antibodies circulating.
Cedar Diagnostics Director of Operations Michelle Roach said the new antibody test offered is superior to numerous finger stick antibody tests, many of which have been the subject of controversy due to inconsistent results. The IgG assay offered by Cedar Diagnostics received emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA on April 27th. Cedar Diagnostics has been offering the PCR test since mid-April, also under EUA.
"The antibody test we're offering utilizes a venous blood draw as opposed to a capillary finger stick. We are using only the serum of the patient, as this is where the antibodies are located," Roach said.
Cedar Diagnostics can bill insurers for the test and has received some financial contributions from the community to cover tests for individuals who don't have the ability to pay for their own.
People who believe they have been exposed or infected by the virus should call (970)247-0937 (ext. 2 for Durango and Pagosa Springs, ext. 3 for Cortez) for testing. For more information on the COVID-19 tests offered by Cedar Diagnostics go to cedardx.com and ap2.com/covid-19.
About Cedar Diagnostics and UniPath
Cedar Diagnostics is a full-service clinical laboratory that services Durango, Pagosa Springs and Cortez, Colorado. Cedar Diagnostics is wholly owned by Denver-based UniPath, a leading provider of subspecialty pathology, clinical and molecular testing services. UniPath has a simple mission: Passionately delivering exceptional patient care and laboratory services through teamwork, innovation and an intense focus on our customers. UniPath serves office-based clinicians, surgery centers, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, providing efficient and accurate test results to ensure providers can give their patients the best possible care