SAQ: Is there a test that can tell you if you’ve had COVID-19 and recovered?

The test is in limited use now, but could be more common soon

SAN ANTONIOSAQ: Is there a test that can tell you if you’ve had COVID-19 and recovered?

Methodist Hospital emergency room physician, Dr. Robert Frolichstein said some antibody testing capabilities exist right now but in very limited use.

“We’re still in the very early stages,” Frolichstein said.

The ER doctor said he believes the tests will be much more available in the coming weeks.

“But (right now) we don’t know if those results will tell you if you have life-long immunity, which is what we’re hoping,” Frolichstein said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a laboratory test is being developed to determine how much of the U.S. population has been exposed to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

“The serology test will look for the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections. Antibodies can be found in the blood and in other tissues of those who are tested after infection. The antibodies detected by this test indicate that a person had an immune response to SARS-CoV-2, whether symptoms developed from infection or the infection was asymptomatic. Antibody test results are important in detecting infections with few or no symptoms.”

Find more answers and ask your own questions on our SAQ page. Watch anchor Steve Spriester ask local leaders your questions weeknights at 6 p.m. on KSAT12 and 9 p.m. on KSAT-TV and You can also sign up for our free SAQ newsletter to get answers to the most common questions in your inbox.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.


About the Authors:

Steve Spriester started at KSAT in 1995 as a general assignments reporter. Now, he anchors the station's top-rated 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.