Fayetteville-based biotech company Namida Lab Inc. announced Thursday (June 18) a partnership with Heartland Pharmacy to offer COVID-19 antibody testing to the public.
Namida Lab announced in April it would provide antibody testing for healthcare workers and large employers before offering the service more broadly. The testing is now available to the public.
The initial collection sites will be at Heartland Pharmacy locations in Fayetteville and Rogers. Other sites are in the works, including locations in central Arkansas and the Fort Smith metro area.
“These antibody testing services are arriving on the heels of Northwest Arkansas’ largest weekly increase in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic,” according to a news release. Antibody testing is unlike the nasal swab or PCR test in that it doesn’t show whether one currently has COVID-19. Instead, antibody testing identifies whether one had COVID-19 in the past and whether one has developed antibodies against the virus. Known exposure to the coronavirus can allow people to make “more educated choices” as the state eases restrictions used to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the release shows.
“Since we started offering our COVID-19 antibody test to large employers last month, we have been inundated with calls from the public inquiring about the availability of the test to individuals,” said Omid Moghadam, CEO of Namida Lab. “Today, we are happy to announce the availability of our test to the public through a partnership with Heartland Pharmacy.”
Link here to make an appointment. Those who receive a test will have their blood drawn at Heartland Pharmacy, according to the Namida website. The results of the test are expected to be mailed within two days of the lab receiving the blood samples. The tests are $99, and testing also is available at Dickson Street Clinic in Fayetteville.
Arkansas has 13,606 cases of COVID-19, and 197 people have died as a result of it, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The United States has 2.16 million cases and 117,832 deaths. Globally, there are 8.39 million cases and 449,898 deaths.