What is an anti-body test?
All social care staff are now eligible for anti-body testing; an antibody test can tell someone whether they have had the virus that causes COVID-19 in the past, by analysing a blood sample.
A positive antibody test demonstrates that someone has developed antibodies to the virus; the presence of antibodies signals that the body has staged an immune response to the virus.
COVID-19 is a new disease, and our understanding of the body’s immune response to it is limited; we do not know, for example, how long an antibody response lasts, nor whether having antibodies means you can’t transmit the virus to others.
Our understanding of the virus will grow as new scientific evidence and studies emerge.
An antibody test result can only tell an individual whether or not they have had the virus in the past; anti-body tests are also being used currently in surveillance studies, to understand what proportion of the population have already had the virus.
It is important to note there is currently no evidence to show that someone cannot be reinfected with the virus, or pass it on to others, or have protective immunity. This means anyone with a positive antibody test will need to continue following government guidelines, such as social distancing and using PPE.
Where you can get an anti-body test
Members of staff will be able to have a blood sample taken at the DBTH phlebotomy service at the Keepmoat stadium, between the hours of 1:00pm and 4:00pm, Tuesday to Thursday; this service will be available from Tuesday 22 September until 13 October 2020.
How to book an anti-body test
All you need to do is be willing to have a blood sample taken and agree that you understand the nature of the test and that you are participating voluntarily.
You will need to complete an Anti-body testing consent form; if you don’t have a printer, you can ask for one to be printed out at the Keepmoat stadium when you arrive. Alternatively, print and present the form before your blood is taken, as well as showing proof of social care employment and providing a valid, correct mobile phone number.
How you will get your anti-body test result
Once you have had your test, the result will be communicated via SMS message to the mobile number provided at the time of the request.