More people seeking COVID-19 Antibody tests

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – More than 4,500 Utahns came down with COVID-19 this month. That’s according to data from the Utah Department of Health. And as testing for the virus reaches a record high Wednesday of 7,007 tests, many more Utahns are seeing out tests that could tell them if they’ve already had the virus.

Utah’s major hospital systems, along with the Red Cross, are testing for COVID-19 antibodies and it’s providing much-needed analytics.

“It is our understanding that that will be broadly used to help map and be broadly aware of where the virus has been,” said the Executive Director for Red Cross Central & Southern Utah Chapter Adam Whitaker.

While data is still being gathered on antibody testing.

A new study out of China and data from a doctor in California is finding antibodies fade around eight weeks after recovery.

“Over time, you can see how his antibody profile changes and I was a bit surprised to hear that,” said Pulmonologist Dr. George Yu.

He says we don’t have evidence to show recovered patients are protected from COVID-19 either.

“There are very few cases of people that have been shown to be re-infected,” he adds.

For now, the antibody testing is doing one thing, providing peace of mind.

“It does inform personal health history and allows each individual donor to know if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19,” said Whitaker. “And this is just one way to give an indication that, that may have been the case.”

Each unit of blood is tested and results can take up to ten days.

For more information on how you can donate blood or sign up for an appointment visit Red Cross Utah.

There may be wait times as long as two weeks because of demand.

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Jason Nguyen
Jason Nguyen is an award-winning reporter and photojournalist who is back with ABC4 News as the lead reporter on Good Morning Utah, bringing over a decade of news experience to the team.

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