Where do I go for a COVID-19 test at National Jewish Health?
Testing is administered at our main campus. Please come to the National Jewish Health parking lot between 13th and 14th Avenue on Harrison Street.
IgG Antibody (Serology) Test – You will self-park and proceed to the main entrance across the street. Greeters can direct you to the phlebotomy clinic in the Smith Building lobby area.
Swab (Molecular/PCR) Test - Enter the lot and follow the signs for testing. You will be checked in upon arrival and wait in your car for your turn. A National Jewish Health representative will let you know when it is your turn and will escort you from the car to the testing station.
What should I expect at my testing appointment?
The COVID-19 IgG Antibody (Serology) Test starts with a blood draw. No fasting or dietary restrictions are required. To ensure the safety of our patients and staff, we may refuse to draw your blood if you have had new or worsening fever, cough or shortness of breath within the last two weeks. If you are currently sick, please talk to your doctor about options for testing and care, or contact our scheduling team at 303.398.1355.
The COVID-19 Swab (Molecular/PCR) Test involves analyzing a nasopharyngeal specimen. This is a nasal swab to collect a sample from the top of the throat, behind the nose. This test is administered with a long, cotton swab stick that will be inserted gently into your nose. This can be uncomfortable, but the collection process is very fast.
What should I bring to my coronavirus testing appointment?
How do I set up my portal account for test results?
If you are 18 or older and do not already have a secure, patient portal account, you will automatically receive an email to activate your account with the subject of Activate Your Patient Account Now. Please check your SPAM folder before taking additional steps — this personalized email is the fastest way to access your account and results.
If you do not receive the email to create an online patient account within two hours of registering for the appointment, please click here to request a new account. Your new request will be completed within three business days.
How will I know when my COVID-19 test results are ready?
You will receive an email notifying you when your test results are available.
How do I get my test results?
Your results will be available to you in a secure, online account. Results will only be sent by mail only if specifically requested when you booked the appointment.
If you are 18 or older and do not already have a secure, patient portal account, you will automatically receive an email to activate your account with the subject of Activate Your Patient Account Now. Please check your SPAM folder before taking additional steps — this personalized email is the fastest way to access your account and results. If you are under 18 you will not receive an email.
You will receive an email notifying you when your test results are available. To view test results, log in to your secure, patient account and look for Test Results & More on your personalized dashboard. Click View Test Results and select View Details to download a PDF with your results.
A result status of PENDING indicates that your results are not available yet. Results are typically available within three to five business days.
Results can be accessed from your patient portal dashboard:
How do I access results for another patient?
Access to additional patients must be under an authorized representative’s (parent, guardian, etc.) account.
Are coronavirus tests available for children?
The COVID-19 Swab (molecular/PCR) Test is available for ages two and up and the IgG Antibody (Serology) test is available for ages 10 and up through our drive-through testing area.
For children under these age limits, please to talk with your physician or see a physician through National Jewish Health Department of Pediatrics to receive a test in clinic. Our scheduling department will call patients to set up an appointment once a provider referral is received.
All patients under the age of 18 years must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.
What are the different types of tests? Why would a person want to have a COVID-19 test performed?
To find out if you currently have COVID-19, you will need the swab (molecular/PCR) test. The antibody (serology) test offers a way for a person to know if they have had COVID-19 in the recent past. Some results also may suggest an ongoing infection.
How much to the tests cost? Will my insurance be billed?
Note that this is a self-pay test and advanced payment is required. Pricing can be found on our Testing Appointment booking page.
National Jewish Health does not bill insurance for self-referral testing appointments without a physician order. If you choose this option, your insurance will not be billed by National Jewish Health. If you want your insurance to be billed for the test, please ask your physician for a referral. Your physician will need to submit an order on your behalf, and we will contact you schedule the testing appointment.
Please note that National Jewish Health does not determine insurance coverage. Contact your insurance provider to understand your antibody testing coverage and to confirm that National Jewish Health is an in-network hospital laboratory.
Can I cancel my coronavirus testing appointment?
Yes, appointments can be cancelled. If you find you need to cancel your COVID-19 antibody test, please do so at least 48 hours before the appointment and complete the cancellation form.
Can I change my COVID-19 testing appointment time?
If you wish to reschedule, please book a new available appointment time AND submit the cancellation form at least 48 hours before the appointment (we cannot change your scheduled time in one step).
You will pay for your new appointment and receive a refund for the cancelled one(s), subject to the cancellation policy above.
If I have a positive COVID-19 test, am I protected against future infections?
The presence of antibodies indicates that your immune system has seen the COVID-19 virus and begun to fight it. For many diseases, the presence of antibodies indicates resistance to future infections or less severe disease if an infection does occur. The length and strength of the protection can vary depending upon the disease and severity of infection. Protection after initial infection has not yet been proven for COVID-19. Patients should not reduce their infection control efforts if they have had positive antibody testing results.
What do my test results mean?
The SARS-CoV-2 assay is a real-time test that uses the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This test detects genetic material of the COVID-19 virus using nasal swabs and washings and sputum and bronchial washings. The results of these tests are being shared with the Colorado Department of Public Health.
Detected result means that you currently have an active infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. If you have a “detected” result, contact your health care provider immediately. Take steps to care for yourself. Avoid spreading the virus to others. Self-isolate until you meet all three of these conditions: Your symptoms have improved. It has been 24 hours since you’ve had a fever without taking fever reducing medication. It has been at least 10 days since your symptoms first appeared. People with compromised immune systems may need to isolate longer. Follow your doctor’s advice.
Not Detected result means that you likely weren’t infected with the COVID-19 virus. You can become infected in the future. It is important to follow guidelines for social distancing, face mask use and hand-washing. Your doctor may recommend repeat testing if you continue to have symptoms.
Indeterminate result means that the test was inconclusive. It could not tell if viral genetic material was or was not present. An indeterminate result may occur if not enough genetic material was present.
Your COVID-19 antibody test results will have one of four findings: Pending, Not Detected, Borderline or Detected.
Pending: The laboratory is still processing your blood sample.
Not Detected: Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were not detected in your blood. When antibodies are not detected the test result is considered negative. Negative results for antibodies do not rule out a SARS-CoV-2 infection, particularly in people who have been in contact with the virus. Your immune function may have been suppressed by other health issues or the antibody level is too low for this test to detect.
Borderline: Borderline results show that the test detected some antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, but the antibody level was too low to determine that you have had a past infection. Borderline results may indicate a very early infection or a prior infection with other Coronaviruses. It is recommended that the test be repeated at a later date.
Detected: Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were detected in your blood. These results indicate a recent or prior infection with SARS-CoV-2. Rarely, a false positive result can occur due to a prior infection with other human Coronaviruses.
What do I do if I have follow-up questions?
Any follow-up questions should be referred to an individual’s physician. If you do not already have a physician, you can make an appointment with a doctor at National Jewish Health at 303.398.1355.
How does the coronavirus antibody test offered by National Jewish Health differ from the point of care pinprick test?
The pinprick test is a self-contained kit similar to a pregnancy test that provides a yes or no answer within minutes. Accuracy of these coronavirus antibody tests has been widely questioned.
The National Jewish Health antibody test requires a blood draw and is performed in the National Jewish Health Advanced Diagnostic Laboratories, a high-complexity, CLIA-approved laboratory. The test is manufactured by Epitope Diagnostics and has been refined and validated at National Jewish Health. In most cases, results are reported within 24 hours.
Are the COVID-19 antibody tests accurate?
National Jewish Health purchased the basic test from Epitope Diagnostics and then refined and validated the tests within our own labs. National Jewish Health Advanced Diagnostic Laboratories is a high-complexity CLIA-approved laboratory with extensive experience conducting and developing novel antibody tests for health care and pharmaceutical companies.
We validated our antibody tests against more than 60 samples from known COVID-positive patients; serum drawn from 20 patients in 2017, before COVID-19 existed; and five samples from patients infected with non-COVID coronaviruses. We have submitted that validation date to the U.S. FDA.
No test is perfect. There is always a chance of false positive results, false negatives and cross-reactivity with non-COVID coronaviruses. However, our expertise, experience and validation results indicate our antibody tests are among the most accurate available. When the tests are administered eight to 40 days after exposure, we estimate that the clinical sensitivity for the IgG test is 96 percent. Specificity is greater than 99 percent. Tests from five patients with non-COVID coronavirus infections show no cross reactivity with the COVID-19 antibody tests.
Learn more about COVID-19 and how it affects specific health conditions in these printable patient education materials.
Download COVID-19 Materials