Expert: Lubbock at-risk for second wave based on antibody tests - FOX34 Lubbock

Expert: Lubbock at-risk for second wave based on antibody tests

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"Antibody testing is a 2 edged sword. We had hoped that perhaps it would provide some clarity, doesn't really provide that much clarity, it may just do more to muddle the waters," C.E.O. of Covenant Health Dr. Michael Robertson said.

The CDC recently updated its guidelines for antibody testing, advising that results should not influence decisions about large gatherings, such as schools, dorms, or jails.

Covenant Health began testing for COVID-19 antibodies in early May.
"We wanted to know how many people really had it. Were there a lot of folks out there, that perhaps had the disease, had been exposed to it, yet had no symptoms?," Dr. Robertson said.

The answer the tests gave. was not many.  Out of 2,059 tests, 56 came back positive. This means, only an estimated 2.7 percent of the local population has been touched by the virus. 

"Consequently, we are still, as a population at a profound risk for the virus coming back, which it will undoubtedly do," Dr. Robertson said.

The CDC also advises that even positive testing results may not mean someone actually has true antibodies.

"With a disease that not very prevalent in the community that the accuracy is lower than it would be otherwise," Dr. Robertson explained.

While knowledge about testing and the virus continues to grow, advice has not changed since antibody testing began.
"A positive test result is not a 'get out of jail free card.' It doesn't mean that you shouldn't do social distancing, certainly doesn't mean that you shouldn't be wearing a mask," Robertson urged. 

The testing site at its 98th and Slide location has seen fewer people in recent days, so Covenant Health has decided to wind down operations on Friday, May 29. Plainview will be the next stop for the antibody testing, for Covenant Health.

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