Arizona Tuesday stated it would present coronavirus antibody tests for 250,000 health-care staff and first responders in the biggest such testing in the U.S. to this point.
The blood tests present who have been exposed to the novel coronavirus and efficiently built immunity, the University of Arizona, which can produce and perform the assessments, stated in an announcement.
With experts saying that as much as 50% of people exposed to COVID-19 experience few to no symptoms, figuring out who has developed virus-fighting antibodies is critical to restarting social interaction, said Dr. Michael Dake, senior vice chairman for the University of Arizona Health Sciences.
The state is offering the university $3.5 million in funding to provide the tests, and present results after clinics and hospitals send blood samples of the employees.
Dake anticipated the university to be able to carry out 5,000 tests per day as soon as the program boosts to full speed in early May when some models show Arizona’s outbreak peaking.
First responders and healthcare staff are the first wave of testing, which can move onto other sectors of the population, Dake stated.
The antibody tests, utilizing decades-old ELISA expertise, don’t always pick up early-stage infections; however, they show whether an individual had the virus in the past, even if the person was asymptomatic.