COVID-19 antibody tests available at Sturgis Rally

STURGIS, S.D. (KOTA) – A national vendor is offering COVID-19 antibody tests at the Sturgis Rally and they’re offering them to anyone who wants one.

The company says they are working with another Black Hills area company to offer 27,000 of the antibody tests.

Tests cost $45 and involve taking a blood sample, usually from the finger of the person being tested. It takes approximately 2-3 minutes for the test to show either I.G.M. or I.G.G. antibodies. The company says someone with only so-called I.G.G. antibodies would no longer have the virus or be contagious.

An antibody test is different than a COVID-19 test. The Mayo Clinic says antibody testing, also known as serology testing, is done after a full recovery from COVID-19. The test is to determine whether you’ve developed antibodies against the virus. The immune system produces these antibodies – proteins that are critical for fighting and clearning out the virus.

If test results show that you have antibodies, it indicates that you were likely infected with COVID-19 at some time in the past. It may also mean that you have some immunity. But, the World Health Organization cautions that there’s a lack of evidence on whether having antibodies means you’re protected against reinfection with COVID-19.

As for an actual COVID-19 test, Mayo Clinic says there are two types – a Molecular Test or an Antigen Test. Both tests rely on a nasal or throat swab to get a fluid sample.

The company offering the antibody testing in Sturgis is located in the Liberty Motors parking lot. The company is planning a second location across from the carnival set up on Lazelle Street.

Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie says they will provide COVID-19 testing for city employees, local business employees, members of the Meade 46-1 School District and Sturgis residents after the Rally. Tests will be conducted by Monument Health.

Ainslie says 550 tests are available for asymptomatic Sturgis residents and applications for them are currently being taken. Those who are symptomatic, or showing signs of COVID-19, can already get tested.