COVID-19 antibody testing to take place in Brown County


FILE – In this Tuesday, April 14, 2020 file photo, a woman holds her hand out to have blood collected for a 15-minute test for COVID-19 coronavirus antibodies at a drive thru site in Hempstead, N.Y. Antibodies are the markers of infections that someone already had. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – The Public Health Division of Brown County Health and Human Services and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services are partnering with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW) to conduct a population health study to examine the presence of coronavirus in Wisconsin.

“These studies are going to provide public health experts with a better understanding of where COVID-19 has been and help identify communities that may be at risk for future outbreaks,” said Anna Destree, Brown County Public Health Officer. “This research will be a valuable tool for informing best practices while maximizing containment efforts.”

The Past Antibody COVID-19 Community Survey (PACCS) is led by SHOW and will determine the prevalence of COVID-19 antibodies throughout Wisconsin. Antibodies indicate that if a person has been infected with COVID-19 before, even if they did not experience symptoms.

Antibody testing, according to officials, helps in understanding how many people have been infected with COVID-19. This testing does not indicate the current amount of positive cases in the state and is not an alternative to diagnostic testing.

Brown County Public Health says study participants will receive antibody testing quarterly over the course of the next year. Participants will be asked to donate a small amount of blood for a serology test against the SARS CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19. Before drawing blood, SHOW staff will take the temperature of each participant and will ask participants some questions regarding COVID-19 symptoms. Only participants showing no relevant COVID-19 symptoms (i.e. fever, sore throat, shortness in breath, cough, etc.) in the three days prior to the appointment will be allowed to enter the building.

For this study, only past SHOW participants were chosen to participate. For future surveys, anyone interested can go to SHOW’s website or call: 608-890-3840 or Toll-free: 888-433-7469. SHOW began testing on Monday, July 13, and runs through Friday, July 17. The general public can also contact their primary care provider to inquire about requirements and availability for antibody testing in Brown County.

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