Ohio Hills Health Services (OHHS) started offering COVID-19 Antibody Testing  June 3 from 1 to 4 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Barnesville Family Health Center and Monroe Family Health Center. Beginning June 9, COVID-19 Viral Testing will be available at the Barnesville Family Health Center from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday and Thursday. Availability of testing is a result of funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration and will be available to everyone in the OHHS service area.

"OHHS will work with health care providers, local health departments and hospitals to inform them of the results of those tested. OHHS accepts Medicare, Medicaid, most major insurances and offers a sliding fee discount program for those who qualify," said Jeff Britton, CEO, OHHS. "I want to emphasize that no one will be turned away due to inability to pay."

All patients requesting testing must get an order from their medical provider. Their medical provider can help them to determine if testing is warranted and which test is appropriate for them. A patient may bring written orders with them or a provider may FAX orders to 740-421-3234. To make an appointment for testing or for additional information, call 740-239-OHHS (6447).

The viral test consists of a nasal swab and shows if you have a current infection. The antibody test is a blood test and indicates if you had a previous infection. According to the most recent CDC guidelines an antibody test may not be able to show if you have a current infection, because it can take 1-3 weeks after an infection to make antibodies. It is not known if having antibodies to the virus can protect someone from getting infected with the virus again, or how long that protection might last. OHHS has partnered with Lab Corp to provide this testing.

"While testing is an important tool it is only one part of the response to COVID-19," said Carol Davolio, RN, Director of Clinical Services. "Area residents need to continue prevention practices such as good hand washing, social distancing and wearing a mask. This can help to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the community."

Testing allows for those individuals infected with COVID-19 to be identified and isolated and has the potential to decrease a second wave of COVID-19 in the coming months.

OHHS has health centers in Barnesville, Caldwell, Freeport, Quaker City and Woodsfield and provides primary and preventative health, dental and behavioral health services regardless of an individual’s ability to pay.