What to Know
- Chester County announced Monday they will begin administering COVID-19 antibody testing for essential service workers this week.
- Chester County is the first county in Pennsylvania to perform the testing.
- The antibody testing will be supplemental to but will not replace ongoing coronavirus testing in the county.
Chester County will be the first county in Pennsylvania to administer COVID-19 antibody testing for essential service workers, officials announced Monday.
“We have just received a shipment of 10,000 blood test kits and are expecting a second shipment of 10,000 more next week,” Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Marian Moskowitz said.
“These kits will be administered to priority individuals - emergency responders, health care workers and staff at long-term care facilities throughout Chester County, to determine those who have developed coronavirus antibodies, with or without symptoms.”
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Officials said the pin-prick blood test will be supplemental to ongoing coronavirus testing in the county.
“It is NOT a replacement test for confirming cases,” Chester County Health Department Director Jeanne Casner said.
“We are undertaking the antibody blood test as another weapon in the fight to control coronavirus. Knowledge of who has developed antibodies to the virus can help us tremendously in our strategy to respond to emergencies, treat patients and care for the elderly.”
The antibody test will not require the use of personal protection equipment, according to Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell.
“We are ensuring PPE needed for testing will not be diverting PPE from those who need it now, around the clock,” Maxwell said.
The county purchased the antibody testing kits from Advaite, a Chester County-based company. Test results are available within 15 minutes.
First level priority testing for the prison, Pocopson Home and Chester County Youth Center will begin this week. Officials also said hospitals and long-term care facilities will administer the test. The county’s health and emergency systems are refining a system of testing for first responders which will also begin this week.
“As we review the results of the antibody blood tests, we will work with first responders, hospitals and long-term care facilities to determine how the results can best be used to manage this crisis,” Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline said. “It is our intention to continue sourcing more of the blood test kits. The more we have, the more people we can test to get a fuller picture of how many have had COVID-19 in Chester County, either knowingly or unknowingly."