A quick antibody test requires a finger prick blood sample to determine if anyone has previously been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
Kroger Co. announced that it will become the first retailer in the United States to provide rapid antibody testing for its customers nationwide.
The Ohio-based supermarket chain said the FDA-authorized test will be available in all Kroger pharmacies and clinics by the end of November.
The antibody test provided by Whitmire Medical involves a finger prick blood sample to detect antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-1
Kroger already offers rapid antibody tests in its California and Michigan stores.
The antibody test looks for proteins produced by the body to fight infections in the human blood. Antibodies indicate that a person has previously had COVID-19. One of the biggest mysteries of the pandemic is whether the coronavirus helps prevent future infections and for how long. Some previous smaller studies have shown that antibodies disappear quickly, and some people with few or no symptoms may not have antibodies at all.
People who think they currently have COVID-19 should not undergo an antibody test, because it can only detect antibodies developed against the virus, not the virus itself.
Kroger has more than 2,200 pharmacies and 220 clinics in 35 states. Kroger’s grocery stores include Kroger, Harris Teeter, Ralphs, King Sooper’s, Fry’s, Fred Meyer, etc.
Related: What are the different types of coronavirus tests?
Related: Extensive research finds that COVID-19 antibodies can last at least 4 months
Related: One-third of COVID-19 patients report symptoms after a few weeks