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OGH/BRMC Expand Antibody Testing To General Public

OLEAN — Olean General Hospital and the Bradford Regional Medical Center, member hospitals of Upper Allegheny Health System, are offering expanded COVID-19 testing and antibody tests for anyone in the community.

Antibody testing is being offered at Olean General Hospital, Bradford Regional Medical Center and its laboratory testing centers in Cattaraugus, Allegany and McKean counties.

Antibody testing requires a blood draw and patients must have a primary care provider prescription to receive a test. No appointment is necessary. Patients need to simply come to Olean General Hospital, the Bradford Regional Medical Center or one of their laboratory draw locations during normal business hours. The antibody test is not checking for the virus itself. Instead, it looks to see whether the person’s immune system — the body’s defense against illness — has responded to the infection in the past.

“Giving community members the opportunity to obtain antibody testing will help determine how prevalent the disease is in our community, slow the spread of infection and help keep people safe,” said Dr. William Mills, chief medical officer for Upper Allegheny Health System.

Often called a serology test, it looks for certain things called antibodies in the blood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the body makes these when it fights an infection, like COVID-19. The same thing happens when a person gets a vaccine, like a flu shot.

“Offering community-wide antibody testing will continue to help provide important information about who has had COVID-19,” said Jeff Zewe, president and CEO of the Upper Allegheny Health System, Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital. “From a public health standpoint, that’s important. Previously, we had made the test available to all our employees and area businesses. Now we are pleased to offer antibody testing to the community-at-large. We are doing all that we can to expand testing and ensuring access in the community for anyone who wants or needs to get tested.”

Results will be available through their provider’s patient portal.

For a complete list of UAHS laboratory draw stations go to www.ogh.org/programs-and-services/laboratory or www.ogh.org/programs-and-services/laboratory.

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