Free COVID-19 antibody tests offered to health care workers, first responders in Arizona
Denelle Confair | News 4 Tucson KVOA | May 18, 2020 | Watch (2min:2sec)
TUCSON - The University of Arizona is ramping up antibody testing for Arizona health care workers and first responders. On Monday, dozens of testing sites throughout Arizona were offering the blood-drawn antibody test for free. The state used $3.5 million to fund the antibody tests. This will test about 250,000 health care workers and first responders.
“We started the statewide testing of the antibody tests this week,” said Dr. Daniel Derksen with the University of Arizona.
“We’re in over 30 sites and in all over 15 Arizona counties,” said Derksen. “The plan is to do 250,000 tests over the next two to three months, prioritizing first responders and licensed health care professionals.”
The goal is to give state health officials a better grip on how wide the virus has spread. Tests are by appointment only. Once the test is done, the blood is taken by a courier service to the labs at the University of Arizona. It may take two to three days to get test results back.
How accurate is the test? “The specificity is very high. So, if you have a positive result, it’s a true positive,” Derksen said. “It’s designed in such a way that if you have the antibodies, they are very specific to the COVID-19 antibodies that form,” he said. “So that means that you’ve had the COVID-19 infection, you’ve developed an immune response and you developed the antibodies to fight the infection.”
» For more information on antibody testing, click here.