Nurse at drive thru testing location

COVID-19 Testing

Future studies may identify more useful tests and evaluate which test provides the best information. This information is current as of April 28, 2020. Please be aware that you may be liable for payment as it is not clear whether testing will be paid for by insurance or Medicare/Medicaid.

  • Swab Testing

    We offer testing to determine whether you are currently infected with COVID-19 through diagnostic molecular testing, or an Active Infection Test. A swab test is appropriate if you:

    • are experiencing and COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or generally feeling weak.
    • have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • Antibody Testing

    In addition, we offer antibody testing to see whether antibodies may be present from previous exposure. It is important to remember that these tests are new and the meaning of the results is not fully understood. You should not use the results of this test to determine if you can safely return to work.

    A positive test may not mean you:

    • are protected from the virus in the future or that you are no longer infectious.
    • were infected by COVID-19 virus; it may detect antibodies to coronaviruses that cause the harmless "common cold," to other viruses, or simply be false ("false positive").

    A negative test does not mean you have not been exposed to the virus or that you cannot infect others.

  • What are antibodies?
    Antibodies are proteins made by your body’s immune system to fight viruses. These antibodies are attacking specific places on the surface of the virus.
  • What if the antibody test is positive?
    A positive test means that you may have been exposed to the virus causing COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). It is possible some of the tests are going to detect other viruses that are common in the community or simply be falsely positive. If you have had an illness compatible with COVID-19 infection, a positive test is more likely to be correct.
  • If I have antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, does that mean I won’t get COVID-19 in the future?
    Not necessarily. We don’t know yet which antibodies protect against getting COVID-19. In addition, some people making these antibodies still have virus in their nose, suggesting they could still be infectious.
  • Does everyone make antibodies to the virus causing COVID-19?
    No. Not all people make antibodies to the virus. The current information suggests that up to 2% of people who had COVID-19 do not make antibodies. Some of these people have weaker immune systems, but some people have normal immune systems and had only mild symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Are all the tests for antibodies the same?
    No. The tests offered in labs and tests across the country are all different. They are looking for different kinds of antibodies recognizing different structures on the virus. Therefore different tests are not equally good at picking up antibodies. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been issuing Emergency Use Authorization to test companies. Emergency authorization means that the FDA and the companies making the tests have not done the comprehensive studies that are normally required before selling to the public or medical professionals.
Download a PDF of our complete statement on serologic (blood) testing for COVID-19 antibodies.
Serologic testing statement

Download the Joint Statement from Infectious Disease Clinical Decision Team and Laboratory Services on Serologic Testing for SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies (COVID-19) for Healthcare Providers. 

Fact sheets for ordering providers

COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

As your trusted health care provider, Providence is committed to helping distribute the vaccines fairly, equitably and as quickly as possible.

Learn more about vaccine eligibility and availability in your community.