COVID-19: Information for Patients

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new virus of global health significance caused by infection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. At BioReference, our priority remains in the health and safety of the physicians, patients and communities we serve, and we are doing our part to deliver answers during these uncertain times.

Transmission and Symptoms

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person in close contact, through respiratory droplets. It is also possible that a person can catch COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it. The CDC reports that some or all of the following symptoms may appear up to 14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Anorexia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sputum production
  • Myalgias

COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 testing is imperative in helping healthcare providers identify infected and exposed patients more quickly. BioReference has been working expeditiously to develop and offer test services that will yield high quality and accurate results, including a molecular test for helping with COVID-19 diagnosis and a serology test to help indicate possible COVID-19 exposure.

Molecular Test For COVID-19 Diagnosis
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What is the COVID-19 RT-PCR Assay?

COVID-19 testing is imperative in aiding healthcare professionals and public health authorities to identify infected patients more quickly. BioReference is pleased to offer a high-quality assay to ensure patients and their healthcare providers have greater access to testing to promote earlier diagnosis and help limit spread of infection.

Who should be tested?

The molecular RT-PCR test if for patients under investigation of COVID-19 and seeking evaluation of active disease infection.

Can I order my own test?

A patient cannot order their own tests. A doctor’s requisition or lab script is required for all testing.

Where are samples collected?

Patients under investigation of COVID-19 and seeking evaluation of active disease infection will not be collected for molecular diagnostic testing via nasal-swab at BioReference Patient Service Centers. Nasal-swabbed specimens should be collected at physician offices, hospitals or other clinic settings.

When will my results be available?

Molecular test results will typically be available within 3 days after the swab sample is received at our facility in New Jersey. However, results may not be available on the patient portal for up to 5-7 days after collection.

Where can I find my results?

Your COVID-19 test results can be viewed in the BioReference Patient Portal once final. Simply click the CREATE AN ACCOUNT button and complete the registration process. Once your results are ready, you can find them by logging back in and clicking the red COVID-19 Results – Swab collection (Active Infection) link at the top of the page.

Please note that family members cannot share a portal account. Adults over the age of 18 should create their own patient portal accounts using separate email addresses. If you are a parent or guardian looking for results for minors under the age of 18, please email us at patientportal@bioreference.com with their name, date of birth and the date their specimen was collected. Minor children cannot register for the self-service portal.

What do my results mean?

If you have any questions about your results, please contact your healthcare provider.

What is the cost?

Along with many of our other clinical tests, COVID-19 molecular and serology testing is available with a self-pay patient price to increase access to comprehensive testing for patients who do not have health insurance or for those who intentionally choose not to submit a claim to their insurance company. The COVID-19 self-pay price is $100 for RT-PCR

Serology Test For COVID-19 Exposure
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What is the COVID-19 Antibody Test?

Antibodies are proteins produced during the body’s immune response to infection.  If you have detectable antibody levels, it means you were likely exposed to the COVID-19 virus in the past.  Most people will have detectable antibody levels by 14 days after symptoms start, and levels are presumed to remain elevated for some time after the infection has resolved. 

Antibody tests play a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 by assessing the antibody response in populations and individuals. It informs you on whether you were exposed to the COVID-19 virus, especially since a large number of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients will not be diagnosed with molecular (swab based) testing. Together with other clinical information and guidance from health authorities, antibody blood testing from BioReference can assist healthcare professionals and public authorities with decisions about people returning to work, and easing social distancing and shelter-in-place measures. 

Who should be tested?

The Antibody test is for patients that may have been exposed to COVID-19 and seeking to measure immune response after COVID-19 infection.

Can I order my own test?

A patient cannot order their own tests. A doctor’s requisition or lab script is required for all testing.

Where are samples collected?

Serology (antibody) testing via blood sample for COVID-19 exposure is now available at all BioReference PSC locations. Please find a location nearest you by visiting our Locations page. Please remember that a patient cannot order their own tests, and a doctor’s requisition or lab script is required for all testing.

When will my results be available?

Antibody test results will typically be available within 3 days after the blood sample is received at our facility in New Jersey. However, results may not be available on the patient portal for up to 5-7 days after collection.

Where can I find my results?

Your COVID-19 test results can be viewed in the BioReference Patient Portal once final. Simply click the CREATE AN ACCOUNT button and complete the registration process. Once your results are ready, you can find them by logging back in and clicking the red COVID-19 Results – Blood collection (Antibodies) link at the top of the page.

Please note that family members cannot share a portal account. Adults over the age of 18 should create their own patient portal accounts using separate email addresses. If you are a parent or guardian looking for results for minors under the age of 18, please email us at patientportal@bioreference.com with their name, date of birth and the date their specimen was collected. Minor children cannot register for the self-service portal.

What do my results mean?

Testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies means you were likely exposed to the COVID-19 virus in the past. It is still unclear if having antibodies to COVID-19 means that you are immune to re-infection.  Studies looking specifically at COVID-19 antibodies are ongoing, and will provide more data on how immunity works for this virus.

If you have any questions about your results, please contact your healthcare provider.

What is the cost?

Along with many of our other clinical tests, COVID-19 molecular and serology testing is available with a self-pay patient price to increase access to comprehensive testing for patients who do not have health insurance or for those who intentionally choose not to submit a claim to their insurance company. The COVID-19 self-pay price is $55 for antibody testing

Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

If you are confirmed to be or believe you are sick with COVID-19, the CDC recommends you follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading.

  • Self-isolate in your home, except to get medical care
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  • Call ahead before visiting your healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19
  • Wear a facemask
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Clean your hands well and often
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces daily
  • Monitor your symptoms and seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening

Frequently Asked Questions

The CDC provides many resources for providers and others to help guide the evaluation and management of patients. Please click here to access a general list of frequently asked questions pertaining to COVID-19.

If you suspect that you have COVID-19 and are seeking evaluation of the disease, please contact your healthcare provider and local or state health department immediately. Click here to download the COVID-19 patient resource for diagnostic testing. Click here to download the COVID-19 patient resource for antibody testing.