LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Baptist Health Urgent Care now offers the antibody test to inform if a person has already had COVID-19, as well as testing for anyone who has active coronavirus symptoms. The tests are offered at all eight Baptist Health Urgent Care locations in Benton, Bryant, Cabot, Fort Smith, Jacksonville, Little Rock (two centers) and North Little Rock.
“Baptist Health Urgent Care recognizes increased testing is imperative to our community members, as well as businesses,” said Tom Dent, Urgent Team’s CEO and Chairman. “We are dedicated to supporting our communities through this difficult time and providing clarity as to whether a person is currently infected or has been infected by coronavirus. This will help get the economy back on track and our citizens back to work.”
If a person does not have COVID-19 symptoms, but is concerned he or she has previously had COVID-19, Baptist Health Urgent Care can perform a serology test, often called an antibody test. This test, done through a blood draw, checks for the antibodies that develop after exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
It is noted by healthcare professionals that antibody testing should not be the sole basis to diagnose or exclude infection. Results are available within 24 hours from the date the lab picks up the specimen.
This test will assist in identifying patients with previous exposure to COVID-19 and who may have developed an immune response. This antibody typically shows up 7-10 days after symptoms. According to the test manufacturer, Diazyme, the test has a specificity rate of 98 percent, with a 91 percent sensitivity accuracy.
If a person is currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, a nasal swab can be performed to indicate whether a person is currently positive. Testing is limited to people who are actively experiencing symptoms: fever, cough or shortness of breath; have had contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or is awaiting test results; are at high risk due to underlying health issues, such as diabetes or a respiratory illness.
The PCR (polymerise chain reaction) test can detect the genetic information of the virus, the RNA. This is present if the virus is in someone who is actively infected. The PCR test detects the presence of an antigen, rather than the presence of antibodies.
By detecting viral RNA, which will be in the body before antibodies form or symptoms of the disease are present, the test can tell whether someone has the virus very early on.
Results are available within 48 from the date the lab picks up the specimen.
Both tests are offered as part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s notification Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) pathway that was outlined for COVID-19 diagnostic tests.
Employers that want to test employees before returning to work, please contact your local Baptist Health Urgent Care center to discuss onsite testing.
Individuals who want either type of test should call their local Baptist Health Urgent Care center. The PCR test will be taken either inside the center or inside the patient’s car, depending on conditions. Those who want the antibody test should just walk in, no appointment needed. Any patient who comes to a center for either test, must be evaluated by a provider to determine if testing is necessary. At present, most insurance plans cover the cost of these tests and treatment. Please check with your insurance plan.
All Baptist Health Urgent Care’s locations will offer these two types of tests. For a full list of locations, visit BaptistHealthUrgentCare.net.
About Baptist Health Urgent Care
Baptist Health Urgent Care, with eight locations in Arkansas, is an affiliate of Urgent Team, one of the largest independent operators of urgent and family care centers in the Southeast. The Urgent Team Family of Centers provides quality and affordable family healthcare at 62 locations under six brands: Baptist Health Urgent Care, Sherwood Urgent Care and Washington Regional Urgent Care (throughout Arkansas); Urgent Team (throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee); Huntsville Hospital Urgent Care (throughout North Alabama); and Physicians Care (throughout Tennessee and Georgia). Baptist Health Urgent Care’s convenient, walk-in centers provide a range of healthcare services including treatments for injuries and illnesses, occupational health and wellness care. Baptist Health Urgent Care offers 24/7 online scheduling with Hold My Spot. Urgent Team’s company headquarters are located in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit UrgentCareBaptistHealth.com.
About Baptist Health
Baptist Health is Arkansas’ most comprehensive health care organization with more than 200 points of access that include 11 hospitals; urgent care centers; a senior living community and over 100 primary and specialty care clinics in Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. The system additionally offers a college with studies in nursing and allied health; a graduate residency program; and access to virtual care anytime, anywhere. Baptist Health, as the largest not-for-profit health care organization based in Arkansas, provides care to patients wherever they are through the support of approximately 11,000 employees, groundbreaking treatments, renowned physicians and community outreach programs. For more information about Baptist Health, visit baptist-health.com, call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST or download the myBaptistHealth app. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.