WAND) – Kroger Health is offering rapid antibody testing for COVID-19 in Illinois.
The testing, which uses a finger-prick blood sample, can help a patient learn if they had previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2, or the virus that causes COVID-19. A licensed health professional will collect the sample and use the Assure COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test Device to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
Kroger said it is the first retailer to offer this testing solution for customers. It became available throughout the Kroger family of pharmacies at the end of Noember and costs $25 for customers. The tests are supplied by Whitmore Medical and can give results typically within 15 minutes.
The company said people who believe they could have been previously infected with COVID-19 and do not currently have symptoms are eligible.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Kroger Heath has remained committed to helping people live healthier lives by offering in-clinic and at-home COVID-19 testing solutions supported by our multi-disciplinary team of licensed, trained and experienced healthcare providers,” said Kroger Health President Colleen Lindholz. “Making rapid antibody testing available across our family of pharmacies will not only provide an affordable and convenient testing solution for individuals who want to understand if they have previously been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, but also help clinicians understand the long-term impacts of COVID-19 and potential public health strategies for fighting the disease.”
The FDA had first authorized this test for emergency use in July. It was authorized for broader point-of-care use in September.
Kroger said the Assure test should not be used to diagnose an active COVID-19 infection, as it only detects antibodies developed in response to the virus. Research is still ongoing to figure out how long antibodies are present in a person after COVID-19 infection and if the presence of antibodies can mean protective immunity.
No matter what their test result is, Kroger officials are asking all patients to keep practicing safety guidelines recommended by the FDA, including social distancing and wearing masks.