UCHealth expanded antibody testing to its patients and anyone in the general public about a week ago in order to determine whether someone has been exposed to or previously sickened from the virus.
Since UCHealth began providing antibody tests to anyone, there have been over 12,400 people opting in for the tests. With about 12,438 tests performed as of Wednesday, June 3, 466 tests came back positive. Nevertheless, the test data shows a very low positive rate for UCHealth staff and providers, at just 2.3 percent with all other antibody tests having a positive rate of 3.7 percent.
“While one might expect health care workers in hospitals would have higher rates of exposure, the results that we’ve seen so far indicate our employees and providers have lower rates of infection,” said Rob Welch, UCHealth’s lead laboratory director.
The antibody tests, done by a blood draw, are one of few that have been evaluated and authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), exceeding requirements for accuracy and specificity.
While positive rates are low, medical professionals are encouraging everyone to continue to be mindful of the many steps people can take to reduce exposure to and the transmission of COVID-19.
“It’s imperative to remember we are still in the midst of a pandemic, and my message to everyone is: Don’t let your guard down. Don’t change your behavior. Continue to practice physical distancing, wash your hands often and wear a mask when appropriate,” said Dr. Michelle Barron, medical director of infection prevention and control at the UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital.
For more information about UCHealth or to schedule a test, visit UCHealth.org/COVID19-testing.