COVID-19 Antibody Testing To Be Made Available to the Public In Coming Weeks

CHARLOTTE, NC – An increased push for more testing in North Carolina as employers and employees ready to return to work in Phase One of the state’s reopen plan.

Atrium Health is now offering a new program that will allow people to be tested for COVID19 antibodies. The tests are to determine if someone had COVID19. 

Beginning next week atrium staff will be able to take the test. A week later, businesses and the general public can get the tests as well. 

“This is really to understand whether some people are immune or cannot get infected in the future. That’s really the hope for this test,” said Dr. Catherine Passaretti with Atrium Health. 

She and Dr. Scott Rissmiller spoke on Thursday about the antibody test. They say it will allow them to determine who had COVID19, how bad their symptoms were and what sort of immunity they have. 

“If we find out in a month or two or three that there really is long-lasting immunity there, that would be something that would be very important to know,” said Rissmiller. 

Passaretti says she expects fewer than 10% of the people tested to come up positive. The tests will soon be made widely available. 

“This is not something that we’re looking to restrict. We really want to partner with any businesses, business within our communities,” said Rissmiller. 

The antibody test differs from much of the testing talk lately. Right now, Mecklenburg County health officials are still focused on limiting the spread and determining who currently has COVID19. 

The county is planning to test roughly 55,000 people in Mecklenburg county over the next 30 days. 

“So that we can track infections. Isolate the infected and quarantine those that are exposed. This is the only way that we’re going to keep this under control,” said Dr. Gibbie Harris, the County Health Director. 

The Latest projections run by atrium health show a potential increase in hospital volume in July

“Every time we run the new predictions it gets flatter and further in the future,” said Rissmiller. 

While the flattening curve is positive news; health officials urge people to continue to take coronavirus seriously. Even as people get tested and return to work.