State health department to clarify testing numbers, antibody tests included

Georgia News

FILE – This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, U.S. health regulators OK’d the first coronavirus test that allows people to collect their own sample at home, a new approach that could help expand testing options in most states. The sample will still have to be shipped for processing back to LabCorp, which operates diagnostic labs throughout the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Georgia’s Department of Health has received antibody tests since April. Those are also included in in the daily status report on the state health website.

DPH is working to provide greater transparency to make sure that the antibody tests and regular COVID-19 tests are separately shown.

The antibody tests only indicates if a person previous carried the coronavirus and not current carriers of the virus.

State health leaders will have a press conference tomorrow at 4:30 P.M. at the State Capitol to clarify some of the concerns.

So far, there are 402,000 tests and the state’s health department says 57,000 of those were antibody tests.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has received reports of antibody tests since early April and, following current Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention methodology, has included the tests received in the “Total Tests” number currently listed on the DPH COVID-19 Daily Status Report. DPH staff is currently working diligently to provide greater transparency in the molecular and serologic testing data displayed on the Daily Status Report. One of our top priorities is to provide accurate and timely data to the public and we will continue to make every effort to do so.

As of today, the number of serology tests reported to DPH is 57,000, and we will get new reports so that number will change daily. Serology tests are useful in determining the prevalence of the disease in the population and have been authorized by the FDA for use in COVID-19.  We will update the website to reflect the number of “Total Tests” that are serology vs pcr.

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