COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Antibody testing is part of the national discussion when it comes to the country dealing with COVID-19.

That testing is now available in central Ohio, with OhioHealth starting antibody testing Friday.

But the testing is not available to just anyone who wants it.

To get the test, people need an order from their healthcare provider, then each individual patient needs to review those results with their healthcare provider. 

Right now, OhioHealth can do about 500 to 600 antibody tests a day.

A few states are doing more community wide antibody testing, but that’s not what Ohio is doing. 

Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, system medical director of infectious disease for OhioHealth, said to think of antibodies as what your body produces to respond to infections. 

Some infections have been studied for many, many years so there is a much better idea if the antibodies make us immune or not.

According to Gastaldo, the coronavirus produces an antibody, but because COVID-19 is so new, it’s too early to tell exactly what it does. He said there’s speculation the antibody provides some protection, but it’s too soon to tell for sure.

“An antibody test definitively cannot be used alone to say someone has had COVID-19, number 1,” Gastaldo said. “Number 2, an antibody test at this time, we are not certain it provides any type of immunity, meaning that you cannot get it again. We still have to wait for further data and studies to come out on that.”

Another thing Gastaldo wants to make sure people know is that just because someone has a positive antibody test is not any reason for them to take social distancing less seriously.

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