COVID-19: Information for healthcare professionals
During the COVID-19 health crisis, fast action and trusted information matter more than ever. At Quest Diagnostics, we’re committed to serving our communities and connecting our customers to answers quickly and reliably every day. Stepping up to meet the ever-evolving demands of the pandemic is what we’re here for.
We work to empower the healthcare heroes like you on the front lines.
You’ve always trusted Quest labs to deliver the crucial insights you need to make the best decisions for your patients. And we know you’re relying on us to continue that same level of accuracy with an even greater sense of urgency today.
This page is updated frequently as new information becomes available and we continue increasing testing capacity to meet your needs.
Quest Diagnostics is receiving SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) specimens and performing testing nationwide.
A molecular test (test code 39448) is available to test symptomatic patients for COVID-19. Through qualitative multi-target molecular diagnostics, this testing option helps to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2.
Quest processes four different molecular tests—the FDA Emergency Use Authorized Quest Diagnostics lab-developed test (LDT), the FDA Emergency Use Authorized Roche Diagnostics test, the FDA Emergency Use Authorized Hologic Panther Fusion test, and the FDA Emergency Use Authorized Hologic Panther Covid-19 molecular assay.
To simplify the test ordering process and further increase capacity, Quest has implemented a one code ordering system (test code 39448) that applies to all molecular tests.
- The IgG antibody test (test code 39504) is a specific test used to detect IgG antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in your blood. The IgG antibody test can help identify recent or prior infection to SARS-CoV-2 (which may be resolved or is still resolving), versus the molecular test which is used to help identify an active infection.
- The IgG antibody tests currently offered by Quest Diagnostics were granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) by the FDA for public health and clinical use—Abbott Architect, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, and EuroImmun. These tests have specificity values of 99.6% to 100% which minimizes false positives, and sensitivity values of approximately 90% to 100%.
- IgG antibody testing must be ordered by a physician. Patients may make an appointment at a Quest patient service center for this test.
It’s flu season, but we’re also still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), influenza (flu), and other respiratory infections can present with similar symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
That’s why it’s important to consider testing for each of these contagious illnesses at the same time—especially for older adults, pregnant women, and people with underlying conditions or compromised immune systems.
New tests from Quest use a single specimen to co-test for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens, which helps expedite diagnosis so you can develop an appropriate treatment/care plan.
New tests include:
- SARS-CoV-2 RNA (COVID-19) and Influenza A and B, Qualitative NAAT (test code 31688)
- SARS-CoV-2 RNA (COVID-19) and Respiratory Pathogen Panel, Qualitative NAAT (test code 31687)
- SARS-CoV-2 RNA (COVID-19) and Respiratory Viral Panel, Qualitative NAAT (test code 31686)
Quest Diagnostics patient service centers are not accepting patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and are not collecting respiratory specimens for COVID-19 molecular testing.
Blood specimens for SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing can be collected by a hospital or health system or in any healthcare setting where a licensed phlebotomist can draw blood. Quest will be collecting serology specimens at patient service centers (PSCs) by appointment across the country, but not during the hours designated for the Peace of Mind program reserved for patients at greatest risk for COVID-19.
The personnel at our PSCs are trained in collecting a range of specimens, including blood and urine, for various medical health conditions, but not respiratory specimens for COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses such as influenza.
Quest recommends individuals who suspect they have COVID-19 contact their healthcare provider directly about COVID-19 testing. Quest laboratories are accepting and performing testing on COVID-19 specimens submitted by healthcare providers across the United States.
Quest Diagnostics has received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use pooled specimens in connection with molecular diagnostic testing for COVID-19. Pooling is an efficient way to evaluate patients in regions or populations with low prevalence of disease (less than 10% positivity). Specimen pooling is a proven laboratory technique that can expand COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing capacity, which is critical to our COVID-19 public health response in the United States. Pooled testing has long been used by the American Red Cross to test donated blood for hepatitis B and C, Zika virus, and HIV. Priority specimens will not be pooled.
A national emergency doesn’t change the fact that your patients may need healthcare and lab services for issues not related to COVID-19. At Quest, we’re carefully enhancing services in our Patient Service Centers (PSCs) to ensure standard patient care can continue.
Support for telemedicine services
Because Quest Diagnostics is committed to doing everything we can to better serve our communities, we’re working with CompuGroup Medical to provide telemedicine offerings to enable engagement with your patients via web, phone, or mobile app.
Learn more about our solutions for telemedicine >
COVID-19 has caused many patients to defer their regular course of care which includes important routine testing. That’s why Quest has introduced a new Back to Patient Care program which provides guidance that can help you:
Make informed decisions about your practice
Minimize risk of exposure in your work environment
Get patients back to routine care
Treat patients in-office, as appropriate
Quest’s new Peace of Mind program gives your most vulnerable patients access to the non-COVID-19 lab testing they need in an environment with enhanced safety measures.
Send your patients who are 60 years of age or older, are pregnant, or have underlying medical conditions to their nearest Quest conditions to their nearest Quest location for VIP care during dedicated time each day.Find Your Closest Quest
The Peace of Mind Program
aims to give our most vulnerable patients access to the lab testing they need with VIP care.
Quest can conduct drug monitoring services for your patients in our PSCs to help maintain regular testing routines during the pandemic.
Contact your Quest representative to help put this system in place for your patients.
Quest Diagnostics provides key insights about COVID-19 status to help people who are thinking about resuming daily routines—such as work, care, school, dining out, sports, etc. Our testing protocols and solutions can help you make clear, actionable suggestions for your patients’ return to work and daily routines.LEARN MORE
As the pandemic evolves and new data accumulates daily, we’re committed to providing you with the most up-to-date testing information and important resources for your practice.
Understanding COVID-19 Testing
SARS-CoV-2 Specimen Stability Study
Testing for COVID-19: what you need to know
Women’s Health COVID-19 Resource Center
Respiratory viral infections and heart health
Important information about COVID-19 antibody testing
The test is designed to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies are proteins that the body produces in response to infections. The antibodies can be produced even if a person has few or no symptoms during the infection.
It generally takes some time after infection for antibodies to be produced and become detectable in blood (sometimes up to 3 weeks). It is important to remember that we do not yet know whether having antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 will prevent against getting the infection again or if you are totally free of the virus. Antibodies are generally detectable in the blood for a period of time after a person has recovered from the infection and after the virus that caused the infection is no longer detectable by laboratory methods.
Sometimes the antibodies developed in response to an infection protect us from getting that same infection again. But, it is important to know that we do not yet know whether this is true for COVID-19. Even if you have recovered and have antibodies, there is a chance that you still have the virus and you can infect others, it is still critical to keep taking measures to avoid getting infected again and/or spreading infection.
The antibody test is not meant for detecting an active infection. The swab test (sometimes also known as a molecular, RNA or PCR test) should be used to test for active infection.
A negative antibody test result means that antibodies were not detected in your blood sample. This can have several possible meanings. It could mean that:
- You have not been infected with SARS-CoV-2, or
- You have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, but your antibodies have not reached a sufficient level for the test to be able to detect them, or
- You have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, but there has not been enough time for antibodies to develop (it can take up to one to three weeks to develop antibodies after someone is infected, sometimes longer).
A positive antibody test result means that antibodies were detected in your blood sample. This can have a couple of possible meanings. It could mean that:
- You have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 at some point in the past, or
- Uncommonly, you may have developed antibodies from an earlier infection with a different virus related to SARS-CoV-2 and the laboratory test cannot distinguish between these other virus antibodies and those antibodies generated in response to SARS-CoV-2.
- The antibody tests have not been FDA cleared or approved.
- The antibody tests have been authorized only for the detection of IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens.
COVID-19 testing statements
- The cobas® SARS-CoV-2 & Influenza A/B Test and the Quest SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test and other molecular tests (“Tests”) have not been FDA cleared or approved.
- The Tests have been authorized by the FDA under an EUA for use by laboratories certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA), 42 U.S.C. § 263a, to perform moderate and high complexity tests. The Roche test has been authorized only for the detection of RNA from SARS-CoV-2 virus, Influenza A virus, and Influenza B virus and not any other viruses or pathogens.
- The Roche test is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorized of the emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for detection and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2 virus, Influenza A, and Influenza B under section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb- 3(b)(1), unless the authorized is terminated or revoked sooner.
- The Quest test and other molecular tests have been authorized only for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens.
- The Quest test and other molecular tests are only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.