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Baton Rouge General begins express antibody testing

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BATON ROUGE- Booked up for the remainder of the week, capital area residents lined up at Express Care locations in Baton Rouge and Dutchtown Wednesday to get their antibodies tested. 

“It has been great. The need in the community is definitely there. We started today with our schedule full, but the number of walk-ups has really been plentiful,” nurse Joni Lemoine said.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, both locations had tested 150 patients with more waiting in line. 

The test, which is not yet covered by insurance, checks for antibodies in your blood that determine if you had the coronavirus.

"I wanted to see if I had the virus," Scott Hanie said. "I was sick in the middle of January, February with symptoms that are very similar, and I just want to see if I have the antibodies."

Nationally, the number of cases is thought to be much higher than reported as many people exhibit little to no symptoms. Officials say finding out just how many people were infected might be the answer to defeating it. 

"People are curious. They want to know if they've been exposed to the virus, and they have a lot of questions still related to it. But there's a lot of willing patients as well that, if they do have the antibody, they're more than willing to offer help to researchers to be able to research this COVID-19 virus," Lemoine said. 

As of now, the tests will run you about $100, and results will take up to three days to come back. Baton Rouge General says they are working with insurance companies to try to get the tests covered soon. 


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