VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. -- Antibody testing is set to begin in Volusia County.
- COVID-19 antibody testing to begin in Volusia County next month
- A new testing site will be set up at the Volusia County Fairgrounds
- About 500 tests are expected to be available the first day
It’s a move state leaders believe will give them a better understanding of how to return to normal.
Family Health Source will pack up its COVID-19 testing locations in Deltona and Daytona Beach to open a new location at the Volusia County Fairground on May 4. There they will offer both COVID-19 and antibody tests.
The first day, they plan to offer 500 blood tests.
“The tests will be available to anyone, and remember the antibodies test is not to determine whether you have the virus at the time, it’s only to determine whether you’ve been exposed to the virus and if you have the antibodies,” State Representative David Santiago said.
Results will be available five days later and can show whether you’ve had COVID-19 and fought it off. According to FDA, the results gathered here can also identify who qualifies to donate plasma to help those who are seriously ill and still fighting COVID-19.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood plans to get tested and is encouraging his deputies to do the same. First responders will have their own line at the new testing site specifically for antibody testing.
“We come in contact with the public all the time and it would be nice to know are we asymptomatic,” Chitwood said. “Did we have it? Is our immunity built up? And is there something they can learn from us?”
While having antibodies does not guarantee immunity from COVID-19, Rep. Santiago hopes these tests results will help eventually open up the state again.
“Everybody is talking about this next phase and how do we open up the economy, it's all about testing,” Santiago said. “People want to know whether they had it, whether you have the antibodies to feel a sense of comfort and relief to get back engaged in the economy.”
According to FDA, the results gathered here can also identify who qualifies to donate plasma to help those who are seriously ill and still fighting COVID-19.