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Instant antibody testing no longer available, causing prices to more than double

Coronavirus

There is now a test to see if you’ve ever had coronavirus, if you’ve developed antibodies to fight it off, and therefore if you have immunity to it. But some customers say they saw the price more than double in just a few days.

Last Wednesday, ARCpoint Labs started offering an antibody test. It’s still the only place in Kern County where you can have it done.
 
For $85, with a simple finger prick, you were told in ten minutes if you ever had the virus.

By Friday, they had tested more than 500 people.

“March 16th, the FDA approved testing for antibodies and kind of waived the validation process under emergency use,” explained ARCpoint Labs owner, Leslie Elliott. “Then they kind of did a reversal of that.”

That’s where it got more complicated. The FDA did not approve these instant antibody tests, saying the tests needed to be done more thoroughly in a lab.

“But I don’t think that invalidates those results. They fell across what we expected them to fall across,” Elliott said.
 
Per FDA guidelines, ARCpoint put their $85 tests on hold.

They now offer only a test that requires a blood draw and must be sent to a lab. Results take 24 to 48 hours to get back at a cost of $195.

“When we had to pivot and go to a lab-based test, it’s much more complex, also much more expensive,” Elliott explained.

Elliot hopes this explanation puts price gouging accusations to rest.

“85 feels like an affordable peace of mind. 195 feels like it’s overpriced, and I completely understand that,” Elliott added.

The idea is that these tests could be beneficial for businesses with customer-facing employees.

ARCpoint has been doing more than 100 of them a day.

“We’ve had a few people back out and that speaks to the affordable peace of mind, but we’ve also had full days of appointments,” Elliott said.

If you’d like to make an appointment for this test, you can do so online here.

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