Why coronavirus antibody testing in one Colorado town could provide a way forward
One biotech company in Southwestern Colorado, United Biotech, is working with the 8000 residents of San Miguel County to run a comprehensive program to test for antibodies to the COVID19 virus. What the test will do according to officials is determine through an individual’s blood whether they have been exposed to the virus. Then decisions can be made about further quarantines and restrictions and whether they need to be as widespread as they are right now.
“The goal of this is to show you can predictably get an entire county back to its new normal as quickly as possible by using testing,” said Lou Reese, co-CEO of United Biomedical and its COVAXX subsidiary.
The science behind the testing concept is not complicated. Every person who contracts the coronavirus will develop antibodies in their blood, usually within 10 days, even if the individual has such a mild case that there are no symptoms. Antibodies are proteins that help the body fight off an intruding virus — but they’re also unmistakable forensic evidence of where the virus has been.