ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Kroger Health has announced that it has launched rapid antibody testing to help individuals know if they have been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The tests, which are supplied by Whitmire Medical, are now available at Kroger pharmacies in California and Michigan and the company reports they will be available at all Kroger pharmacies and clinics by the end of November.
Smith’s Food and Drug supermarkets is a subsidiary of Kroger. The rapid antibody tests are FDA-authorized, use a finger-prick blood sample, and will be available to customers for $25. Results are usually provided within 15 minutes.
Kroger Health reports that individuals who believe they have been previously infected with COVID-19 and are not currently experiencing symptoms are eligible for the test. The Kroger rapid antibody tests are conducted by a licensed health professional and were first authorized in July by the FDA for emergency use.
The test received further authorization for broader point-of-care in September. Kroger states it is the first retailer to offer the testing solution to customers.
According to Kroger Health, research is still ongoing to determine how long antibodies are present after infection, and if the presence of antibodies provides protective immunity. The company states that regardless of the testing result, all patients should continue to practice FDA-recommended safety guidelines such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
The rapid antibody test is urged not to be used to diagnose an active infection as it only detects antibodies that were developed in response to the virus and not the virus itself. Additional information can be found at KrogerHealth.com.