Coronado Developing Community Antibody Testing Program

NBC 5 News

The Coronado City Council approved a plan Tuesday to develop a cost-neutral antibody testing program for its citizens, according to Mayor Richard Bailey.

The city has been in talks with Sharp Coronado about a partnership and an agreement is expected soon, the mayor said on his Facebook page.

"This action tonight will help put Coronado residents at the front of the line to access FDA approved antibody testing if they wish," the mayor's post read. "It’s important to note that FDA approved antibody testing is not widely available at the moment, but will be in the coming weeks as large laboratories begin to receive approval and ramp up production."

Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system to neutralize diseases like COVID-19. Antibodies detected in a patient could signify the patient once had a virus and is now immune. Finding out who is safe from COVID-19 could open the door for the reactivation of the economy, but widespread testing isn't close to being a possibility.

San Diego County’s Medical Director of Epidemiology, Dr. Eric McDonald, said last week that for a viral outbreak to stop, 70% to 80% of the population needs to have that antibody.

Antibody testing has come with a warning from physicians and our local county health leaders.

“The quality is questionable,” Encinitas Dr. Georgine Nanos said. “There are a lot of bad tests out there, not necessarily because people are trying to defraud the system, but just because they haven’t had any real scientific oversight.”

McDonald said the county has been looking into antibody testing, but admitted there is a lot that remains unknown.

“Some antibody tests are very good, some aren’t so good,” he said.

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