CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION

We Will Get Through This

Maxem Health now offers COVID-19 Testing at the Clinic

IGG Antibody

Results in 3 days

$50
ABBOT machine, Pending FDA approval, but EUA approved

IGG/IGM Rapid Antibody

Same Day Results

$60
Cellex, only FDA Approved rapid antibody test

About the Tests?

Two kinds of tests are available for COVID-19 and both tests can be done on ANY patient: viral tests and antibody tests.

  • A viral test tells you if you have a current infection.
  • An antibody test tells you if you had a previous infection.

An antibody test may not be able to show if you have a current infection, because it can take 1-3 weeks after infection to make antibodies. We do not know yet if having antibodies to the virus can protect someone from getting infected with the virus again, or how long that protection might last.

What Is A Coronavirus Antibody Test?

Also known As SARS-Cov-2 AB test checks for presence of antibodies to coronavirus in the blood.

Antibody test is very different from molecular covid19 test, which is done with nasal swab, and is checking for presence of the covid-19 virus itself.

Antibodies are produced by the immune system approximately 10 days after onset of the infection and remain positive long after the infection.

This is why antibody test can be used to detect a past infection with coronavirus.

Doctor will make sure you are 7 days asymptomatic at the time of the blood draw.

Some Background information:

IgG test: Immunoglobulin G is the most common antibody. It protects against bacterial and viral infections.  IgG can take time to form after an infection or immunization (this is the test that attempts to show if the patient has had potential exposure to COVID-19 and perhaps built some immune response to it).

IgM test: Immunoglobulin M is the first antibody the body makes when it fights a new infection (this is the test that may show if the patient is potentially fighting an active COVID-19 infection).

-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 test 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 of infection status.

-Positive results may be due to past or present infection with non-SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus strains, such as Coronavirus HKU1, NL63, or 229E.

Where Is the Covid19 Antibody Test Done?

Maxem Health offers the blood test to asymptomatic patients at any of our locations.

Prior to your blood draw you need a consultation with our doctor.

Doctor will also document the timing and nature of your past symptoms (if any).

Last, but not least, doctor will counsel you on limitation of the test and interpretation of results.

How Long Do Results Take?

Expected turnaround time today is 1-3 business days.

Since the test is very new, this may change with time.

As usually done at Maxem Health, we will email and text you as soon as we have seen/interpreted your results!

Is It FDA Approved?

The answer is NO and YES!

Currently, the Cellex rapid IgM and IgG test is FDA approved.

The Abbott IgM test is pending FDA approval, but IS approved for use under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)
Several assays have “Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)” which is not the same as “FDA Approved”.

These FDA EUA tests vary in their performance characteristics widely.  For more information on Emergency Use Authorization, visit the FDA’s website at https://www.fda.gov/news-events/fda-voices/insight-fdas-revised-policy-antibody-tests-prioritizing-access-and-accuracy

Does Positive Test Mean Immunity?

The answer is NO! Not yet Anyway. Scientific community is actively gathering evidence for it.

The Devil In The Details: Covid-19 IgG Antibody Testing:
In an ideal world we can have a test that is never wrong. Let’s take a crash course on different test specs and later examine what implications these have on covid-19 pandemic:

Sensitivity
Sensitivity is the ability of the test to find the cases.
Simplified & COVIDified: If tests are given to 100 people infected with the virus – how many will come back positive?

Specificity
Specificity is the ability of the test to find the controls.
Simplified & COVIDified: If tests are given to 100 people who never got the virus – how many will come back negative?

In many cases, because of false positives, we will not be able to tell whether particular individual has recovered from covid19 and has developed antibodies / immunity or not. Yet we certainly will be able to see what percentage of people in our general population have fought Covid-19 and built antibodies to it (prevalence).

According to the FDA, “High-quality antibody tests can help us understand a person’s and population’s exposure to COVID-19. A person who has been exposed to, and recovered from, COVID-19 will likely have antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in their blood. These tests may be important for guiding our next steps in the fight against this pandemic, such as by providing information on disease prevalence and the frequency of asymptomatic infection, and also by identifying potential donors of “convalescent plasma,” an approach in which blood plasma containing antibodies from a recovered individual serves as a therapy for an infected patient with severe or immediately life-threatening disease

This is why Maxem Health and all of our patients, as an early adopters of this technology, are working towards helping the scientific community in fighting this Covid virus!

CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing Availability is now at ALL of our Maxem Health Urgent Care locations

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow in the United States, and as Mississippi is beginning to see more and more patients with the coronavirus, we are preparing for the unknowns of the weeks and months to come, Maxem Health Urgent Care has been working throughout the years to aid and help the community, and that doesn’t change with COVID-19. We now have the capabilities, with the help of out lab testing company, to perform the COVID-19 test on patients that feel they may have been exposed to someone that tested positive, or are concerned they may have the virus as well.

The following is a list of facts and information that patients should be aware of prior to seeking testing:

• If you suspect that you have the coronavirus, or are having symptoms of cough, fever, and shortness of breath, please call your local location PRIOR to coming to inside, the phone numbers are listed on the website, Facebook page, as well as on the building . Our staff will perform the necessary phone screen and take the necessary precautions to prepare the Urgent Care for your arrival. DO NOT simply come to the Urgent Care and request testing. Please call ahead! This is for the protection of not only you but the rest of our community, patients, and staff.

• Once you arrive to our clinic, you will be asked to wear a mask, and to immediately sanitize or wash your hands, then you will be placed in an isolation room. You will be tested for the flu, and if your flu test is negative and our clinician feels that you meet the CDC criteria for coronavirus testing, you will then tested. If you are flu positive no further testing will be performed.

• Patients should know that they will not be tested if they do not meet the CDC criteria for testing. This currently includes symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath, as well as travel to or exposure to an individual who has traveled to an area of known community spread of the disease. Patient requests for testing in the absence of the CDC criteria will not be honored, and refunds will not be issued to individuals who are screened, examined, and found not to require testing. The reason for this is because the number of these tests, as well as the resources of the labs that can run them, are very finite. In the interest of public health, we cannot expend the resources necessary for testing on patients who do not meet the criteria.

• The current cost for the coronavirus test from our lab vendor is $130. Our Lab Vendor will bill your insurance directly, Maxem Health Urgent Care does not bill your insurance for this testing.

• Any patient who is tested for the coronavirus will be advised to quarantine themselves pending the results of the test, which typically take 3-5 business days. This means that the patient will have to stay in their home. No excuses will be given to return to work or school until a negative test is received. Any positive tests will be reported to the local health department and the CDC.

Maxem Health Urgent Care is dedicated to providing the best quality health care to the community of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We will continue to do everything we can to lead the way in the plan to protect our community from this and future health threats.

For more information about Maxem Health Urgent Care, please visit our renovated website at www.maxemhealthurgentcare.com, and sign up for our newsletter to get the new up to date information from our clinics.

For more information on COVID-19, visit the CDC website or click here.