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Frequently Asked Questions

What does an antibody test look for?

Antibody tests look for the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. These antibodies indicate that you have developed an immune response to the virus, either as part of an active infection or a prior infection. Our test looks for the presence of two classes of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, IgM and IgG. IgM antibodies indicate a recent exposure to the virus, likely within the past 7-10 days. IgG antibodies develop later and may help provide some form of long-term immunity, though levels of protection are not yet known. Most patients have detectable IgG antibodies within two to three weeks after symptoms first appear. IgG antibodies may last for several weeks to several months after infection, though it is not yet known how long. It is possible for an individual to test positive for both types of antibodies at the same time, indicating an active phase of the infection. Because this virus is so new, it is not yet known what type of protection these antibodies offer, though people have looked to analogous respiratory viruses such as MERS coronavirus, where antibodies did make individuals resistant to reinfection.

What does a PCR test look for?

Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction tests (PCR tests for short) detect the viral presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. PCR tests are typically conducted to understand who is actively infected with the novel coronavirus, even if symptoms are not yet present. Upper or lower respiratory specimens are collected and tested for target nucleotide sequences that indicate the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The presence of one or more target sequences, along with additional sequencing information, is used to produce results.

Do I need a prescription or to consult my doctor for this test?

BRIO works with a third-party medical supervision provider to aid in the administration of this test. When you register your test, a qualified healthcare professional licensed to practice in your state will review your account and requisition the test with the lab, which authorizes them to process your sample. You do not need to do anything to seek a prescription or doctor's input on your side, other than complete this registration process. A healthcare professional also verifies your test results from the lab before we report them to you.

What does a positive result mean for an antibody test?

Because our antibody test looks for multiple classes of antibodies, there are a few potential combinations of results that can suggest different things:

  1. Detection of only IgM antibodies means you have been recently exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and may be in the early stage of infection. At this stage, you are likely contagious to others.
  2. Detection of both IgG and IgM antibodies means you have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and you are in the active phase of infection. At this stage, you may still be contagious to others.
  3. Detection of only IgG antibodies means that you may have had a past infection and are now recovering.This result means it is less likely, but still possible, that you are still contagious to others.

In all cases, we also advise you to continue to follow all local and federal guidelines around preventing the spread of and exposure to COVID-19. As a reminder, the presence of either IgM and IgG antibodies indicates an immune response to COVID-19, but it is not known at this time if the response is protective against future infections. People have looked to analogous respiratory viruses such as MERS coronavirus, where antibodies did make individuals resistant to reinfection. Furthermore, if you are reinfected by SARS-CoV-2 and do not experience symptoms, you might still spread the virus to others that do not have protective antibodies.

What does a negative result mean for an antibody test?

This means that IgM or IgG antibodies for SARSs-CoV-2 were not present above the test's limit of detection. A negative result does not rule out SARS-CoV-2 infection, particularly for those who have been in contact with the virus. It can take 1-2 weeks after onset of symptoms for the antibodies to develop.

What does a positive result mean for a PCR test?

A positive PCR test means you have an active COVID-19 infection. A licensed healthcare professional will call you to discuss your results and next steps. In the event you do not connect, the physician will call a total of five times to reach you. All screen results will be available in our online portal as well. Additionally, we strongly advise every user of the BRIO COVID-19 screen to abide by local and federal guidelines around COVID-19 at all steps in the process.

What do my results mean for my workplace?

Caution and protective measures are required in all instances, but understanding who has been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and how far out they are from that exposure can help inform your employer's staffing decisions. Test results are not a replacement for precautions, rather they should be used in parallel with other important tools for safe return to work. Medical experts recommend that you discuss your results and plans to return to work with your doctor and employer.

Will my employer know my results?

We are offering employers the option to access team-level test data. If we are sharing this data with your employer, you would have been asked during the account creation process to authorize the release of test results to your employer for one year. In some cases, employers require this for covering the cost of the test. We will provide anonymized, aggregate reporting to employers when there is no waiver.

Who is BRIO?

BRIO is a Boston-based company that was created to offer individuals a science-based platform to better understand their health. Throughout our history we have developed relationships with labs, medical suppliers, and employers—all parties who can work together to broaden access to COVID-19 testing. We have identified resources and relationships that put us in a unique position to help expand testing through the workforce, and we have redirected our existing company efforts to bring this to market.

How does BRIO handle my data?

BRIO will use commercially reasonable security measures designed to maintain the confidentiality of your health screening results. Your health screening results will not be shared or disclosed by BRIO to any third-party without prior permission, other than in a de-identified aggregate data report, or unless you authorized the release of your test data to your employer as part of your onboarding. We maintain administrative, technical, and physical safeguards designed to protect the information you provide against accidental, unlawful, or unauthorized destruction, loss, alteration, access, disclosure, or use. Unfortunately, any data protection methods cannot be guaranteed to be 100% secure, and we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you provide to us. BRIO will also comply with CDC requirements around reporting COVID-19 screen results to public health authorities.

Why is BRIO doing this?

Like everyone we have watched as the COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down. Experts have referenced testing as a critical component to stopping the spread of the disease, yet our country still faces a severe shortage that limits who can get tested. Employees offering critical service at this time are especially at risk, both of contracting the disease and unknowingly spreading it, due to frequent contact with the public. At BRIO, it feels impossible and, frankly, not right, to continue with business as usual in this climate. We have identified resources and relationships that put us in a unique position to help broaden testing through these employers, and we have redirected our existing company efforts to bring this screening to market.

How will I know when my results are ready?

We know it can be stressful, please be patient. Before we can post your results to your secure BRIO account, your test kit must be shipped to a lab and analyzed, and your results must be reviewed by a physician. When your results are ready we'll send you an SMS message to your phone to let you know.

How do I get into my account?

When you create an account, we ask for your mobile phone number and send you a verification code so we can be sure that you're you. Whenever you come back to the website to log in, you'll be asked to enter your mobile number and we'll send a new code to give you access to your results. These codes expire after a few minutes for your security.

If you have any further questions, please send us an email at

For up-to-date COVID-19 guidance, visit: