Shares of Quest Diagnostics  (DGX) - Get Report surged Tuesday after the lab-services company rolled out a widely available coronavirus antibody test aimed at the consumer market.

Quest's stock at last check advanced 3.5% to $120.07 after the company said it had started taking online orders for its new covid-19 antibody test under a new service called QuestDirect.

A consumer ordering the tests from Quest will have the requests reviewed by a physician. If it is deemed appropriate, the consumer will be directed to one of the company's 2,200 patient-service centers to have blood drawn.

The test results are then posted in one or two days on MyQuest, the company's patient portal, with individuals also given the opportunity to speak with a physician to discuss the results.

The tests are designed to measure whether someone had been exposed to covid-19 at some point and had developed antibodies in response. It is not designed to diagnose people who suspect they currently are infected.

A significant percentage of people who contract the coronavirus never exhibit any symptoms and may not even feel ill. 

That's a major quirk in the current pandemic that according to public health experts has eased the spread of the deadly virus.

The rollout of QuestDirect comes on the heels of rival LabCorp's  (LH) - Get Report report last week that it was launching an at-home nasal-swab test for the coronavirus.

While the test is initially limited to health-care workers and emergency responders on the front lines of the epidemic, LabCorp has said it plans to soon make its test widely available for consumers as well.

LabCorp shares were trading up 3.4% at $184.63.