Grant County Court Commissioner Sam Palmer said the county has the capacity for 50 coronavirus antibody tests Thursday at the court’s closed meeting that was live-streamed on the Eagle’s Facebook page.
County Health Administrator Kimberly Lindsay said the county’s medical group met Monday to discuss the potential of administering the antibody tests.
“There are more questions than there are answers,” Lindsay said.
Lindsay said scientists still don’t know whether coronavirus antibodies give a person immunity or reduce the risk of reinfection.
She said the test, which is not FDA approved, has an 85% accuracy rate.
“You want a higher efficacy rate in the medical profession,” Lindsay said.
Lindsay said people who are showing COVID-19 antibodies are still getting sick with the virus again, which, for her, poses a problem.
“People make significant decisions around a positive or negative result,” she said.
Lindsay said another concern the group has is that some insurance companies may not pay for the test.
Palmer said he would like to use the antibody test on the person who tested positive for COVID-19 in Grant County and their spouse. He said he would then like to get a sample segment of people who tested negative and a segment of people who had COVID-19 symptoms earlier in the year but were not tested and see how they fall into line
“That would be a great control study group,” Palmer said.
Meanwhile, health officials and corporations across America are pouring money into antibody testing, hoping it will give people confidence to return to work and reopen parts of the economy.
Palmer said these samples would go to Oregon Health & Science University to help get the antibody tests licensed under the FDA.
In other county court news:
• The court voted to leave the courthouse closed to the public through May 15. Grant County Judge Scott Myers said the county has been meeting the needs of the public so far and that for the health of the public they should “leave it as it is.”
• The court voted unanimously to begin the process of seeking grant funding for communications equipment for the Grant County Emergency Communications Agency.