Desantis Calls for Statewide COVID-19 Antibody Study

Desantis Calls for Statewide COVID-19 Antibody Study

Gerald Lombardo
Posted by Gerald Lombardo
Updated on
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Published in Local News

Gov. Ron DeSantis says he wants the state to expand its COVID-19 antibody testing capabilities and to commission a study on how widespread undocumented infections are.

Antibody testing, which indicates whether someone already fought off the virus, is available on-demand for medical professionals and first responders at several drive-thru facilities. But with a limited number of serological tests, members of the general public have only been tested through scientific studies.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted one study in South Florida and the University of Miami conducted a test in Miami-Dade County, both suggesting the virus was an order of magnitude more prevalent than diagnostic testing alone indicates.

During a news briefing Monday with health officials from UF Health Central Florida at The Villages, DeSantis encouraged the health care system to conduct a new test in partnership with the state. With antibodies’ increasing prevalence, or seroprevalence, comes herd immunity, some believe.

“I think it’s very important as we get through this period, but not knowing what may happen in the fall and as you get into flu season, to have that source of information I think is going to be very, very important. So, we want to work to get that done,” DeSantis said.

In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated 1.85% of people in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties had COVID-19 antibodies. The study sampled 1,742 individuals between April 6 and April 10 and suggested the pandemic was 11 times more prevalent than diagnostic testing at the time indicated.

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